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Make a Living
Make a Living English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English meaning of 'make a living'

Date: Jul 21 2015

Themes: How To, Soap Opera

Grammar: Phrasal Verbs


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When our grandparents were young, it was important to find a respectable job to stick to and make a living. People sometimes worked at the same job for 40 or 50 years. They learned to set aside some of their income for the future. They tried to be a good example for their children, who they hoped would find lasting jobs, too.

Today things are a little different. It’s not that people don’t want respectable jobs anymore. What’s different is that we change our jobs more often. It’s not as common today for someone to work at the same place for 40 or 50 years. It’s more likely that a person will move from job to job, or decide to go back to school and try something new.

Marni is thinking about returning to school. But how can she make a living at the same time? Read on in today’s English lesson about money.

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Marni:  If I go back to school… and that’s a big “if”… how am I going to make a living?

Kellie:  That’s a good question.

Brian:  Oh, I know. You can deliver newspapers!

Kellie:  Brian, she’s not ten years old. Besides, that doesn’t pay well.

Brian:  Oh, OK. I know! You can sell your plasma.

Marni:  I don’t need money that badly.

Brian:  Exotic dancing!

Marni:  Brian!

Kellie:  Oh, you can make great tips working at a restaurant.

Marni:  That’s true. But if I’m in school all day, and working in a restaurant all night, I’m never going to see my daughter.

Brian:  You’re just going to have to create a budget. It’s the only way.

Marni:  I hate budgets. They’re so hard to stick to.

Kellie:  And you never get to spend money on fun stuff.

Brian:  You can make room in your budget for fun stuff. You just can’t spend everything on fun stuff.

Marni:  Do you have a budget?

Brian:  Totally. My mom taught me how to set one up. The important thing is that your expenditures aren’t more than your income.

Kellie:  Can budgets help you save money, too?

Brian:  For sure. A good budget will help you to set aside money at the end of every month.

Marni:  What’s important to me is that I make a living doing something respectable.

Brian:  I’ve got it! You can buy and sell human organs.

Marni:  BRIAN!

Brian:  Alright, just sell them.


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Marni needs ideas from her friends on how to make a living as a student. Since she’ll be taking classes, having a normal job will be too difficult. Marni also wants to make sure she has time to spend with her daughter and husband. Is there a job out there for her?

Brian has a lot of ideas, but none of them are respectable. Kellie tells Marni to think about working at a restaurant. Finally, Brian shares his experience with creating a budget. Budgets may not be fun, but they are very useful.

How do you think that Marni should earn a living? Do you have a budget?



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Iran, Islamic Republic Of

it’s more fun to be independent and supporting yourself than being a child dependent on parents and unable to make all of your own decisions and choices.

07:37 PM Aug 02 2015 |

1 person likes this




I think she should earn a living. I’ll try to have a budget,I think it should be useful.

11:52 PM Jul 21 2015 |



Russian Federation

That guy(Brian) gave me a real good idea.
Would anybody buy my kidney? You know I need money for studying too.




Earning big money is not easy. You need to find you niche that will be what you love to do and what for the others hard to rich, unless you’re a computer specialist and generate idea after idea in our computerised age. Like, for example, those guys who came up with the YouTube. Geniuses! How much they sold it for?



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Maybe it could better her husband work more or take an extra job instead of Marni’s job or maybe a part-time job if she can find is suit for them or doing both of these offer would be better to compensate for the loss of Marni’s normal job.

About of budget, I think even if Marni start to have a budget, it needs years to save money for going back school, so when she saves enough money, she may not like to go back school!




Narny could work in a restaurant. I try very hard create a budget, but my real situation is diferent, my incomes are not enough, so I spend more than I receive….

03:54 PM Jul 21 2015 |




When i started to work ,way , way long time ago some of my coworkers had been working in the company since they were very young, and after 25 ,30 years were about to retire. Their entire life in the  same workplace . Nowadays , people don`t last long in their jobs , i have to be crude, the workforce at certain age is disposable.

As for Marni , if she lacks of a credential or good califications the labor market for her would likely be a  part-time job paying minimum wage . This is the life of many couples in the US. I don`t have a budget .


02:24 PM Jul 21 2015 |

La Princesse de la vie


I’m sorry, Marni, to let you down, but if I got any good ideas for you, I’d have got it myself! But I have no clue about it!

I tried to make a budget out of my daily allowance in semesters and also my monthly allowance, but I just fail to stick to it each time, nevertheless, I’m still trying.

01:52 PM Jul 21 2015 |




I think it is a serious topic about how Marni can make a living as a student ,a wife and a mom.Finding a part time job or online job which can complete at home will be good for Marni and make a budget to arrange income and expenditures reasonably.

Yeah ,I have a budget and i use it to restrain myself buy too many unnessary stuffs online.



Everybody ( except rich people) needs to have a job for making a living .Money is a changing symbol for buying and selling items..None can live without money in this world,especially in today ..Everyone wants to have a good job ,good salary for theirselves and their families..

they say, Money is a good slave  and bad master ))) 

10:41 AM Jul 21 2015 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I think Brain was embarrassing himself with all of his ridiculous ideas such as EXOTIC DANCING AND SELLING ORGANS!!!

In my opinion Marni should consider a budget if she really wants to achieve her dreams. Maybe it’s better for her to find a virtual job, in that way she could earn some bucks while spending the time with her husband and her child at home. A college education in Iran costs an arm and a leg and it really doesn’t guarantee you to get better opportunities or job out there in the market and in many cases it all just end up to a dead-end job such as a cabbie or …, but I hope it wouldn’t go the same way for Marni and all of her efforts don’t go down the drain. 

At least we all live in a recession-stricken world especially in Euro Zone, and many people around the world are living from hand to mouth. And it is so for me and many Iranians too but thank goodness that at least the UN sanctions against Iran are lifting and it would make a living easier for Iranians.

08:58 AM Jul 21 2015 |



Sri Lanka

No, I don’t have a budget. I just spend my money wisely and try to squirrel away a little bit for the future every month.

As for Marni’s problem, I don’t know, maybe she should do a part time job at a store or something????!!!

In our country, a barber’s job is considered as the most respectable job since everyone bows their head before him when they get a haircut. LOL.  

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