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the purse strings

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noun [plural] the purse strings pronunciation in British English
  1. the way in which money is controlled and spent by a group or organization
    control the purse strings:

    She controls the family purse strings very tightly.

    tighten/loosen the purse strings (=reduce or increase the amount of money that is available):

    The government has tightened the purse strings for all departments.

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