The usage of the expression "to come out in front", in the sense of gaining an advantage, or succeed in an endeavor (in spite of all odds?), isn't very clear to me. As far as I can tell people use it most often when talking about finances, as in “We sold the house and managed to come out in front financially”, but I've also encountered phrases like "how women can come out in front" and similar.
I searched TheFreeDictionary, Wordnik, Google and there's no official definition. Is it a colloquial expression?
I guess I'm confused as to whether I should use it abstractly and in the context of some sort of deal, or as a valid substitute for "to win/triumph/succeed".
For example, in a capsule description of a The Simpsons episode from the SNPP fansite the writer comments at the end
"This is the only episode where the family actually comes out in front financially at the end of the show."
Am I using it correctly if I use it like this?
"The police fought the gangs and eventually managed to come out in front."
"I didn't study for the test but came out in front anyway."
"The politician came out in front thanks to minority voters."
"When the player comes out in front, he's rewarded with 1000 experience points and can progress to another level."