They say el dinero mueve montañas (money makes the world go round, literally: “money moves mountains”).
I like to believe it is love that moves the world but still, money and finances are in our lives every single day.
Not a lot of learners willingly try to master financial terms and vocabulary. Normally, you learn them out of necessity or because a not-very-nice teacher is making you study the topic.
But vocabulary is vocabulary. Words, no matter how specialized, will be needed at some point and the better you are prepared for that eventuality, the more proud of yourself you will be.
If that is not enough of a push to learn financial terms in Spanish, there are many other good reasons to study them, even if no one is forcing you to!
Why Study Financial Terms in Spanish?
Whether you are just going abroad for a long vacation, are moving to a Spanish-speaking country to start your life from scratch or you have just gotten that awesome job you have been dreaming about for months, the truth is that sooner or later you will have to deal with the money and banking system of your new country.
Maybe you are an accountant yourself or you want to work in a bank. In that case—even more so!—you are going to need some financial vocabulary to hide up your sleeve if you really want to take that leap of faith and start working in another country.
Picking up some finance vocabulary is also important if you already work in the industry and want to connect with Spanish-speaking clients.
Whatever reason has brought you here, you have found the right place to learn some Spanish financial vocabulary and give your language skills a specialized boost.
80 Financial Terms in Spanish for Practical Use
Vocabulary lists tend to be long, tedious and impractical.
You open the file (or book), start repeating words like a parrot and forget them a few minutes later.
But this post is different!
First of all, I have divided the terms into categories so you can focus on one thing at a time. You can take all the time you want to practice the vocabulary you have learned before going on to the next section.
Second of all, there are some explanations for the words that normally give learners a headache as well as for terms that need clarification. This will help you know which words can be confusing or might need a little bit more of your attention.
Finally (and best of all!) each word is accompanied by an example where you can see it in context. You will be able to learn the word faster and to have a look at a real-life example of how to use it when the need comes!
For even more context and practice, look for these words on FluentU.
Ka-ching! It is time to deposit some knowledge into the great vault that is your mind!
Banking and Buying
1. al por mayor / al por menor (wholesale / retail)
No vendemos al por mayor. (We do not sell wholesale.)
Me encanta el sector de la venta al por menor. (I love the retail industry.)
2. a precio rebajado (discounted)
Allí venden libros a precios rebajados. (They sell discounted books over there.)
3. artículos de consumo (consumer goods)
Hay mucho contrabando de artículos de consumo. (There is a lot of consumer goods smuggling.)
4. artículos de primera necesidad (basic necessity products)
El azúcar y la harina son artículos de primera necesidad. (Sugar and flour are basic necessity products.)
5. balance (balance)
Necesito comprobar el balance de mi cuenta. (I need to check my current account balance.)
6. banco / banca (bank / banking)
The difference between banco and banca goes beyond their gender. While a banco is a bank (the building), banca (banking) refers to the business conducted by a bank or the services it offers to its clients.
¿Hay algún banco por aquí? (Is there any bank around here?)
Hoy vamos a hablar de la banca privada. (Today we are going to talk about the private banking.)
7. billete (bill)
¿Podría cambiarme este billete de 20 euros por dos billetes de 10? (Could you please change this 20 euro bill for two 10 euro bills?)
8. caja (checkout counter)
Por favor, pague en la caja. (Please, pay at the checkout counter.)
9. cajero automático (ATM)
Necesito sacar dinero del cajero automático. (I need to withdraw money from the ATM.)
10. cobrar (to cash)
Me gustaría cobrar este cheque, por favor. (I would like to cash this check, please.)
11. comercio (trade)
Deberían ampliar la zona de libre comercio. (They should expand the free trade zone.)
12. compañía (company)
Tengo una pequeña compañía de seguros. (I have a small insurance company.)
13. cuenta bancaria (bank account)
Necesito su número de cuenta bancaria, por favor. (I need your bank account number, please.)
14. cuota (fee)
In Spanish, we normally use a comma for decimal points instead of a period. Additionally, we add currency symbols after the numbers (separated by a space!), not before them:
La cuota mensual es de 9,99 $. (The monthly fee is $9.99.)
15. deuda (debt)
Tenemos que liquidar esta deuda lo antes posible. (We must satisfy this debt as soon as possible.)
16. dólar (dollar)
Pay special attention to the way we pronounce the word dólar in Spanish. Dollar and dólar are indeed cognates, but their pronunciations are significantly different.
Necesito comprar dólares antes del viernes. (I need to buy dollars before Friday.)
17. economía (economy)
La economía familiar está cada vez peor. (The family economy is getting worse and worse.)
18. euro (euro)
This is another example of two words that are pronounced differently in English and Spanish. Remember that Spanish vowels have different readings than English ones!
Me quedan tan solo 17 euros. (I only have 17 euro left.)
19. impuestos (taxes)
A nadie le gusta pagar impuestos. (Nobody likes paying taxes.)
20. libra (pound)
Libra can be a unit of measurement or it can refer to the British currency. When followed by a noun, it will normally be a unit of measurement but when it stands alone, it refers to money.
He comprado una libra de queso. (I have bought a pound of cheese.)
Necesito comprar libras. (I need to buy some pounds.)
21. libre de impuestos (duty-free / tax-free)
He podido invertir dinero libre de impuestos. (I have been able to invest money tax-free.)
22. moneda (coin / currency)
The word moneda has two different meanings: It can refer to individual coins or to the currency of a country.
Tengo tres monedas en mi cartera. (I have three coins in my wallet.)
La moneda de Portugal es el Euro. (The currency of Portugal is the Euro.)
23. pagar (to pay)
I bet you knew this verb already. Pagar is a very easy-to-use -ar verb. That does not mean we like paying for things!
Tenemos que pagar el alquiler antes del domingo. (We have to pay the rent before Sunday.)
24. precio (price)
Every time I hear the word precio I remember myself watching “El Precio Justo” (“The Price Is Right”) as a kid. Now as an adult, I have become obsessed with the price of things (me he obsesionado con el precio de las cosas):
Esta camisa tiene un precio muy alto. (This shirt has a very high price.)
25. salario (salary)
Another pair of cognates with different pronunciations!
Tengo un salario fijo más una comisión. (I have a fixed salary plus a commission.)
26. vender / venta (to sell / sale)
La acción de vender algo se llama venta. (The action of selling something is called a sale.)
27. a la orden de (by order of)
El cheque fue extendido a la orden del beneficiario. (The check was issued by order of the payee.)
28. contribuyente (taxpayer)
El contribuyente recibirá la carta en cinco días. (The taxpayer will receive the letter in five days.)
29. déficit (deficit)
Notice the difference in pronunciation! Also notice the Spanish word has an accent mark.
España debe reducir el déficit anual. (Spain has to reduce its annual deficit.)
30. entrada de dinero (inflow of money)
La principal entrada de dinero de mi negocio proviene de donaciones. (The main inflow of money for my business comes from donations.)
31. exportar / exportación (to export / export)
Hemos comenzado a exportar aceite de oliva. (We have started exporting olive oil.)
La exportación de aceite de oliva se ha triplicado. (Olive oil export has tripled.)
32. giro de dinero (money order)
Tengo que enviar este giro de dinero por correo. (I have to send this money order by mail.)
33. importar / importación (to import / import)
No podemos importar más de lo que podemos comprar. (We cannot import more than we can buy.)
La importación ilegal está en alza. (Illicit import is on the rise.)
34. ingresos (income)
La principal fuente de ingresos de España es el turismo. (Spain’s main source of income is tourism.)
35. liquidez (liquidity)
La venta le añadirá liquidez al mercado. (The sale will add liquidity to the market.)
36. préstamo (loan)
Necesito un préstamo para comprar un coche nuevo. (I need a loan to buy a new car.)
37. presupuesto (budget)
Tenemos que ajustarnos al presupuesto original. (We need to stick to the original budget.)
38. propiedad (property)
Me gustaría vender mi propiedad. (I would like to sell my property.)
39. saldo (account balance)
Me gustaría saber por qué han congelado el saldo de mi cuenta. (I would like to know why my account balance has been frozen.)
40. sucursal (branch)
Este banco tiene sucursales por todo el mundo. (This bank has branches all over the world.)
41. tasa (fee)
No se olvide de pagar la tasa cuando se registre. (Do not forget to pay the fee when you register.)
42. transacción (transaction)
La transacción se ha realizado correctamente. (The transaction has been carried out correctly.)
Playing the Stock Market
43. acción / accionista (share / shareholder)
“Action” and acción are clearly cognates (check the difference in pronunciation). However, acción also means “share,” and the person who owns shares is called accionista.
El accionista compró 50 acciones a 30 dólares cada una. (The shareholder bought 50 shares for $30 each.)
44. activos y pasivos (assets and liabilities)
Deberías añadir los activos y pasivos al informe. (You should add the assets and liabilities to the report.)
45. bienes (assets, property)
Probablemente el banco embargará todos mis bienes. (The bank will probably seize all my assets.)
46. bolsa (stock market)
Es un momento muy malo para invertir en bolsa. (It is a very bad moment to invest in the stock market.)
47. bono (bond)
Los bonos corporativos no son arriesgados. (Corporate bonds are not risky.)
48. capital (capital)
Capital is a very interesting word because depending on its gender, its meaning changes.
La capital means “capital city.” That is why we say cada país tiene una capital (each country has a capital city).
When it is masculine (el capital), it refers to “capital” as in wealth. Bear that in mind!
No tengo capital suficiente para empezar un negocio. (I do not have enough capital to start a business.)
49. financiación (funding)
Necesitamos financiación del gobierno central. (We need funding from the central government.)
50. fondo de inversiones (investment fund)
Ese fondo de inversiones es privado. (That is a private investment fund.)
51. ganancias (profit)
Although the singular word ganancia exists, it is very rarely used. When referring to profit, choose the plural noun ganancias.
Las ganancias de la compañía son más altas este año. (The company’s profit is higher this year.)
52. garantía (collateral, backing)
Tendremos que usar nuestra casa como garantía para el préstamo. (We will have to use our house as collateral for the loan.)
53. inflación (inflation)
Once again, watch out for the pronunciation!
El aumento del precio del petróleo ha sido debido a la inflación. (The increase in the price of oil has been due to inflation.)
54. mercado (market)
El mercado mundial está en peligro en la actualidad. (The global market is currently in danger.)
55. oferta y demanda (supply and demand)
La oferta y la demanda de teléfonos móviles afecta directamente a su precio de venta. (The supply and demand of cell phones directly affects their selling prices.)
56. porcentaje (percentage)
Solo debe invertir un pequeño porcentaje de sus ganancias. (You should only invest a small percentage of your profit.)
57. quebrar / quiebra (to go bankrupt / bankruptcy)
Quebrar normally means to break, but when used in reference to money, it means to go bankrupt. As you can see from the noun quiebra, quebrar is an e:ie verb:
Muchos negocios quiebran en invierno. (A lot of businesses go bankrupt during the winter.)
La quiebra es lo peor que le puede pasar a una empresa. (Bankruptcy is the worst that can happen to a company.)
58. bancarrota (bankruptcy)
Bancarrota and quiebra are synonyms and they are both used equally often. You can choose the one you prefer, but I would recommend using bancarrota at first because of its similarities to English “bankruptcy.”
La explosión de la burbuja inmobiliaria ha supuesto la bancarrota para mi negocio. (The burst of the property bubble has led to the bankruptcy of my business.)
59. tipo de cambio (exchange rate)
Los riesgos por tipo de cambio son algo muy normal en estos tiempos de crisis. (Exchange rate risks are very common in these times of crisis.)
60. valores del Estado (government securities / bonds)
Le recomiendo invertir en valores del Estado. (I recommend that you invest in government bonds.)
¿Dónde hay / Dónde puedo encontrar… (Where is / Where can I find…)
61. un banco? (a bank?)
62. un cajero? (an ATM?)
63. una oficina de cambio? (an exchange bureau?)
Necesito / Me gustaría… (I need to / I would like to…)
64. abrir una cuenta. (open a bank account.)
65. cambiar dinero. (exchange currency.)
66. sacar dinero de mi cuenta. (withdraw money from my bank account.)
67. transferir dinero. (transfer money.)
68. ingresar… (deposit…)
69. solicitar una tarjeta de crédito. (apply for a credit card.)
70. cancelar mi tarjeta de crédito. (cancel my credit card.)
71. enviar dinero. (send money.)
72. solicitar un préstamo/crédito. (apply for a loan.)
73. pagar mi deuda / mis impuestos. (pay off my debt / pay my taxes.)
74. cobrar este cheque / mi nómina. (cash this check / my payroll check.)
75. hablar con el director. (speak to the bank manager.)
76. Su cuenta está en números rojos. (Your bank account is in the red.)
77. ¿Podría decirme el saldo de la cuenta, por favor? (Could you tell me what my current account balance is, please?)
78. ¿A cómo está el cambio? (What is the current currency exchange?)
79. ¿Podría cambiarme este billete? (Could you please change this bill?)
80. ¿Cuáles son las tasas de interés? (What are the current interest rates?)
If you have survived until now, congratulations!
I know finances may not sound like the most interesting topic in the world, but as a learner of Spanish you should know a little bit of everything.
Moreover, if you have visited this post out of necessity, it means you are going to use these terms quite often from now on. Whether it is because you are planning on working abroad or going on vacation for a few months, if your plan is to spend some time in a Spanish-speaking country, you are definitely going to need a lot of the words included in this post.
If you still think you could use some more financial vocabulary, you can take a look at these resources:
- CFPB’s “Glossary of English-Spanish Financial Terms,” where you will a whole lot about consumer financial markets,
- The “English to Spanish Dictionary of Finance Terms,” which I personally love for being so user-friendly!
- The bilingual “World Bank Glossary,” because it is superb and will allow you to find any financial term you can ever imagine
- The cute “Glossary of Economics and Trade” from Babel Linguistics, because everyone has to start somewhere, and this is a great concise resource for less advanced learners.
And now that you are ready to start your new journey, print this vocabulary list and have it with you at all times. You never know when the biggest investment opportunity of your life may arise!
Stay curious, travel a lot and happy learning!
Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.
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