5 Ways to Say ‘I need money’ in Spanish

If you’re visiting a Spanish-speaking country, there are a few phrases that I’d say are pretty important to know!

I definitely hope that you NEVER find yourself in dire financial straits, but if you’re ever in need of some pesos (euros, etc.) to get by, you’re gonna have to know how to ask for help in the local language.

With that in mind, I give you 5 super useful ways of saying ‘I need money’ in Spanish.

Let’s dive right in!


‘I need money’ is mostly expressed in the following ways –

1. Necesito dinero = I need money

Necesito dinero para la colegiatura. = I need money for tuition.

2. Me urge dinero = I need money <urgently>

¡Me urge dinero! No he pagado la rent. = I need money right away! I haven’t paid the rent.

3. ¿Me prestas dinero? = Can I borrow some money?

¿Me prestas dinero para el camión? = Can I borrow some money for the bus?

4. ¿Me podrías prestar dinero? = Could you lend me some money?

¿Me podrías prestar dinero? Te pago mañana mismo. = Could you lend me some money? I’ll pay you tomorrow.

There are also idioms specific to Mexico, such as ‘ocupo dinero’

Ocupo dinero para salir con mi novia. = I need money to go out with my girlfriend.

1 Necesito dinero – I need money

Plain and simple, ‘I need money’ translates as necesito dinero’ in Spanish.

Maybe you’re wondering, “Why is there no ‘yo’ (or the pronoun ‘I’) in that sentence?” …

… well, in Spanish we often omit the subject pronoun (i.e., ‘yo’) because the subject can actually be inferred from the conjugated verb (unlike in English!).

So, even though it’s correct to say ‘yo necesito dinero’, a simple ‘necesito dinero’ will often sound far more natural.

Oh, and no matter what Spanish-speaking country you’re in, ‘dinero’ will be your go-to word for ‘money’ … but if you know any local variations, feel free to substitute ‘dinero’ with one of your faves!

Be sure to check out our article on all the different ways to say money’ in Spanish if you wanna learn all the (many!) variations!

Rolando – Necesito dinero para pintar la casa…Yo creo que voy a pedir un crédito.

María Eugenia – Solo asegúrate de que puedas costear la tasa de interés.

Rolando – I need money to paint the house … I think I’ll ask for credit.

Maria Eugenia – Just make sure you can afford the interest rate.

Necesitamos dinero en efectivo para ir al tianguis; casi nadie acepta pago con tarjeta.

We need cash to go to the street market; hardly anyone accepts card payments.

2 Me urge dinero – I need money (urgently)

The verb ‘urgir’ means both ‘to urge’ AND ‘to be urgently needed’, so when someone says ‘me urge dinero’ it means they’re in dire need of some bucks!

En una llamada telefónica

Alessia – Mamá, dejé mi cartera en la casa; me urge dinero para el camión.

Mariana – ¿Dónde estás? Te pido un Uber enseguida.

During a phone call

Alessia – Mom, I left my wallet at home; I need money for the bus!

Mariana – Where are you? I’ll send you an Uber right away.

¡Me urge ahorrar dinero para arreglar el coche!

I really need to save some money to fix the car!

3 ¿Me prestas dinero? – Can I borrow some money?

‘Prestar’ means ‘to lend’ in English, so if you wanna ask somebody for money in Spanish, you can say ‘¿Me prestas dinero?’.

Papá, ¿me prestas dinero?

¡Te presté mil pesos la semana pasada! ¿En qué te lo gastaste?

Dad, can I borrow some money?

I lent you a thousand pesos last week! What did you spend it on?

Rodrigo – Alex, ¿me prestas lana para el lunch y te pago el lunes?

Alex – Sí, wey, no te apures.

Rodrigo – Alex, can I borrow some money for lunch? I’ll pay you on Monday.

Alex – Yeah, bro, don’t sweat it.

4 ¿Me podrías prestar dinero? – Could you lend me some money?

You can also ask, ‘¿Me podrías prestar dinero?’, which is a more polite way to ask for money.

And if you wanna sound even more formal, just remove the ‘s’ from ‘podrías’ and you’ll get the conjugation for ‘usted’ (the formal ‘you’ in Spanish): ‘¿Me podría prestar dinero?’.

Lety, ¿me podrías prestar palta para el metro?

¡Claro, amiga! Yo te lo disparo, no te preocupes.

Lety, could I borrow some money for the subway?

Sure, pal! It’s on me, don’t worry.

Disculpe, ¿me podría prestar diez pesos para el parquímetro? ¡Me quedé sin monedas!

Excuse me, could I borrow ten pesos for the parking meter? I ran out of coins!

5 Ocupo dinero – (idiom) I need money

The verb ‘ocupar’ means ‘to occupy’ or ‘to take’ in English, so if you hear someone say ‘ocupo dinero’ – and if you’re in Mexico you probably will! – you may feel somewhat befuddled.

And, well, that’s because this phrase doesn’t actually mean ‘I take money’, it’s just an expression meaning ‘I need money’ or ‘I want money’.

‘Ocupar’ is commonly used a synonym of ‘necesitar’ in general, so you’ll likely hear it used in other ways too, such as ‘ocupo vacaciones’ (or ‘I need vacations’).

Guillermo – Ay…Ocupo dinero extra.

Víctor – ¿Para qué, wey?

Guillermo – Para ir a conciertos, wey. ¿A poco no?

Guillermo – Jeez … I need some extra money.

Victor – What for, man?

Guillermo – For concert tickets, bro. Am I right?

Anaís – ¡Ocupo dinero para ir por tacos!

Vale – Uy … ¡Ocupamos dinero para una cervecita para acompañar los tacos!

Anaís – I could really use some money to go for tacos!

Okay – Oof … We could really use some money for a beer to go with the tacos!

Final thoughts

Well, that’s pretty much it!

You’re now covered in any dire money-related situation, whether you’re just making conversation about craving a few more pesos, or you’re in an actual emergency and you genuinely need a helping hand.

And if you wanna level up your ‘money’ knowledge even further, I recommend you head on over to our article on all the different ways to say I don’t have any money‘ in Spanish (I mean, we’ve all been there, right?).

¡Nos vemos pronto!

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