Chengyu Explanations: 精打细算

精打细算 describes a meticulous plan. The following post describes the meaning of this 成语 in detail.


Characters 精打细算
Pin Yin jīng dǎ xì suàn
Pleco Definition careful calculation and strict budgeting
HSK Level HSK 6


This 成语 is made up of two words: 精细 (meaning ‘meticulous’ or ‘careful’) and 打算 (meaning ‘plan’). It usually refers to a plan which is not wasteful with regards to manpower or resources.

精打细算 图片.jpg精打细算 can be used as an adjective to describe a person who plans meticulously (e.g. 一个精打细算的人). In this usage, it particularly refers to someone who is careful with regard to financial matters.

精打细算 may also operate as a verb phrase which does not take a separate object. It may be modified by auxiliary verbs such as 要, 能 and 得.

精打细算 may also act as a countable noun phrase, which can be used in conjunction with the measure word 次 (e.g. 一次精打细算).

Example Sentences

My wife plans how she spends her money very meticulously. She almost doesn’t waste even a single penny.

University students must learn how to spend their money carefully, otherwise the burden for their parents will be too heavy.

Manager Wang has been planning next year’s departmental budget meticulously.

Since the whole company depends on his forecast, the Director of the Financial Department must plan with careful calculation and strict budgeting.

Since my salary is so low, I have no choice but to budget carefully and limit my spending.

If you want to save up money, you’d best develop a habit of careful calculation and strict budgeting.

References and Further Reading

1. 汉语成语学习手册 (2010), p. 92.
2. 成语词典 (新世纪版: 2011修订), p. 328.
3. 新HSK词汇突破: 6级 (2013), p.198.


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