purse strings

noun
1.
the right or power to manage the disposition of money: in control of the family purse strings.
Idioms
2.
hold the purse strings, to have the power to determine how money shall be spent.
3.
loosen/tighten the purse strings, to increase or decrease expenditures or the availability of money: The budget committee is in the process of tightening the purse strings.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
purse strings
 
pl n
control of finance or expenditure (esp in such phrases as hold or control the purse strings)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

purse strings

Financial resources or control of them, as in His mother doesn't want to let go of the purse strings because he may make some foolish investments. This expression is often extended to hold or tighten or loosen the purse strings, as in As long as Dad holds the purse strings, we have to consider his wishes, or The company is tightening the purse strings and will not be hiring many new people this year. The purse strings in this idiom are the means of opening and closing a drawstring purse. [Early 1400s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Its leaders must make its value crystal clear to those who control the purse
  strings.
Those who hold the purse strings can shape the narrative anyway they wish in
  the information age.
They are, you know, they ones who actually control the purse strings.
It won't be easy-it will require changes in purse strings and priorities.
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