Are "lost time" and "lost money" common, idiomatic expressions? What article should be used with them?

For example:

Before starting to work you need to make sure all requirements are discussed. Because time spent on implementing something different from what a customer expected is a lost time and lost money.

If not, could you provide other expressions that are close in meaning to these ones?

  • Thank you for the answer! Dec 31 '19 at 16:37
  • I've provided an extended version as an actual Answer rather than a comment (which some mods and other others disapprove of). I don't need the rep points, but I'm sure those who disapprove would much prefer you to "Accept" my answer and delete your comment. (You could even upvote it if you want! :) Dec 31 '19 at 17:40

Ignoring other Off Topic "proofreading" aspects of my earlier comment, Yes - the sequence lost time and lost money is perfectly idiomatic (and common, as shown by many written instances in that link).

It's also common (but not required) to "delete" the second (predictably repeated) instance of lost in such constructions, but no article should be present - it's just [blah blah] is lost time and money.

It's actually far more common to convey that "negating" link between time, money, and some "futile, non-productive" activity by saying it's a waste of time and money. But that's a bit more "dogmatically belittling", so you should avoid it unless you actually want to be slightly "rude, dismissive".

Finally, it's worth pointing out that time and money is something of an "irreversible binomial" (like horse and cart, deaf and dumb, bread and water) - so you won't often encounter money and time in that order.

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