Meaning of purse strings

purse' strings"

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. the right or power to manage the disposition of money: in control of the family purse strings.
  2. to have the power to determine how money shall be spent.
  3. to increase or decrease expenditures or the availability of money: The budget committee is in the process of tightening the purse strings.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.