Sample Education Paper on How to Survive as a Student on a Budget in CMU

Let’s face it; being broke is real as a student. Joining college is a transition time. You are not yet fully an adult, but you are not a kid either. Being a university student brings you into a new environment. At the beginning of the semester, you are given a certain amount of money, which is supposed to last you an entire semester and fit all your needs, while learning how to save. University students come from different places and are from different backgrounds, and they interact, get new experiences and get to learn more unique things that you were previously not exposed to. Somehow students are always broke. This may stem from lousy budgeting strategies, lack of money, and cheap hacks to help you survive within your means (Vedder). One way to navigate this is to follow some simple tricks on earning extra money and adopting cheap hacks.  This paper looks at the student life routine, sourcing information on how to gain additional income and on cheap college life hacks.

Good College student Paying jobs

One way to live within your budget is to increase your source of income. An extra income allows you as a student to get to afford things that are out of your budget. So if you are planning on getting your first car or as preparation for life after college or saving to travel around the world. This segment is for you. These jobs can be online or offline based on your preference.


Dr Amina Yonis on her YouTube channel, provides a summary of ways you can earn money which is discussed below.  Dr Yonis’ guide covers jobs that a student can do within campus grounds. These jobs are flexible, working in shifts that support hectic student life. Since they are university-based, a student can get good pay for minimal work done and, in some instances, may acquire privileges such as free tuition or resident hall rent (Yonis). These jobs are flexible to suit the busy schedule of a university student.

  • University Ambassador

This is a representative of the university during school events. For example, during formal school events, or college tours, they take people around the campus, pointing out various departments or a specific area of interest. School events are present all-year-round; hence, the job is continuously available. Also, the hours are flexible, allowing a student time for both play and studies. The pay is good per hour with different shift (Kemple).

  • Alumni Call Center

One can work at the university’s call centre. Universities receive a lot of donations from their alumni and usually use this money to run or support some school projects.  This job is full-time and fixed. It involves calling and receiving calls from alumni. Since it is based in the university, the students work in shifts and are paid well. It also allows one to gain skills valuable to job application and interviews post-graduation.

  • Halls night caretaker

This job entails a student to take care of a hall residence in which they live in. It is an excellent paying job, especially for a student residing in the same hall that they work in. You can manage your studies and at the same time, earn money from where you live. Some of the responsibilities of a resident caretaker are opening dorm room for students who locked themselves out of their room or lost their keys, sorting emergency or health issues that occur in the residence hall. This job requires you to work in shifts, and the best part is that the pay is right or you may end up living in the resident hall free of charge which allows you to save up on a lot of money (Goos et al. 82).

  • Tutor

This can be done online or in person. It targets students in their third to fourth year or graduate students, who have gained good mastery in their area of specialization. This is an excellent way to help out your fellow students, while still making some money on the side. Offline tutoring can involve carrying out demonstrations that you are paid hourly for. For example, a science or engineering labs you can be paid to demonstrate to other students. Also, you can tutor other students for a fee. Tutoring also allows you as a student to excel in your area of specialization.

  • IT support

This is available in the IT department at your university. Students are hired to help other students with all their tech difficulties. For example, login into your student or school portal or print notes. This job allows flexibility as one can work n shifts and still manage their student life.

  • Internships

These are short-term jobs where you can earn the right amount of money and gain experience in your area of specialization within a company. These jobs run from between three weeks to a couple of months. They are competitive but provide an experience and money advantage. They help you gain exposure to your job market (Langdon).



Another source of income that is common nowadays is online sources. Ransom Patterson, in his article, provides a guide on online jobs perfect for students. He even goes further and shows you how to get them (Patterson).

  • Freelance writing

This involves the use of websites such as Freelancer, Fiverr, and Reddit to acquire writing gigs. This varies from jobs like writing articles, scripts for videos, material for webpages or even social media captions. The experience gained from this may catapult you into the editing industry. The main advantage is that you may do it at your convenience with good pay.

  • Online Surveys

Online survey jobs only require you to have internet and a few spare moments. You may not get rich doing online surveys, but it is a sure method to get some quick cash.  Unfortunately, you are limited to only a certain of money and only a certain number of surveys per day. Sites that offer such gigs include Survey Junkie.

  • Social media manager/ Influencer

In this internet age, students are lost in the social media world. Apart from interaction, you can also earn money online as an influencer or through the marketing of brands. Social media allows an individual also to sell themselves as a brand. If you maintain an excellent online presence on social media, you can be able to create awareness for brands. Today all businesses require an online presence to expand their niche; a good social media marketer can acquire such position post-graduation in any company. An influencer’s job description includes pushing hashtags and introducing new products to the market.

  • Virtual assistant

A lot of people are busy and do not have the money to hire a personal assistant; this is where a virtual assistant comes in. Students in their spare time with internet can do digital tasks such as booking appointments and answering emails to help busy people who don’t have time for such tasks. This job requires excellent communication and organizational skills. Virtual Assistant sites include Upwork, Zirtual and Fiverr.

  • PPC Marketer

All that PPC marketing requires is some basic training on which you can sign up for free courses. It requires a student to use spreadsheets and some simple software to create google ads and manage them. These ads pop up on social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google and one is paid per click (Wessel).

  • Translator

This job takes advantage of your basic knowledge and pronunciation of your indigenous language. As a translator, you can translate an audiobook from one language to another. You can also act as a language intermediator between two people. The only requirement is a good grasp fluency in two languages. ZipRecruiter is one such site that allows a student to showcase their translation abilities (Gile).



Cheap Hacks

When the money-earning methods are not enough, it is essential to adopt some cheap hacks to save money.

Affordable Colleges Online (AC) provides cheap online hacks that allow a student with a lack of or a minimal source of extra income. These tips cover housing, School supplies, and tech and entertainment (Writers).

  • Housing

Moving in with family helps you save on rent and in a tough situation you can rent your room for cheap.

You can also choose to live in suburban apartments or unpopular neighbourhoods where the rent is low and is rarely raised.

Choosing to live near campus may be expensive, but one gets to save on transport allowance. It also provides some excellent health benefits as one is forced to walk or cycle to school.

One can also switch to alternative housing. Though unpopular, it is a great way to save on rent. This includes mobile homes, basement apartments and tiny apartments (Glaeser et al. 347).

To cut on living costs, one can apply to be a residential hall caretaker which allows you to get discounted or free-living quarters.

For housing furniture and equipment one can opt to buy from dollar stores or get second-hand furniture from craigslist and thrift stores to save on money.

  • School supplies

You can rent textbooks instead of buying, download digital copies of books or borrow from a friend in the same class or from those who have done the unit.

Always save and budget for school supplies during the holidays before the school begins so that you have ample time to come up with the necessary money (Sara et al.).

College orientations and job fairs usually have a lot of goody bags that may come in handy for the school year. You may also land a good part-time job.

Craigslist contains a free section on which you may get some supplies for free. Dollar stores and Targets also provide some excellent discounted prices on school supplies.

Social media marketing allows the influencer to gain some free samples from the company in exchange for free marketing and review of their products.

Mijello Art also sends school art supplies to students and teachers. This is through their recycling initiative.

  • Tech

Refurbished devices are available for discounted prices on Amazon.

As a student, be alert on school programs that provide free software, tablets, laptops, WIFI and companies that offer student discounts during school openings.

Always take advantage of free online apps and tools that are created for students such as graphing calculator and Evernote.

Black Friday deals and shop sales over the holidays are a time to get great deals on school gear.

  • Entertainment

Use your student ID to get discounted prices into events and activities.

Take advantage of Groupon, which offers huge discounts on travel, wellness and restaurants.

Campus clubs and societies usually offer free entertainment and networking events.


While college times are regarded as the best, one drawback to thoroughly enjoying your college experience is brokenness. Lack of money while at school usually stems from lousy budgeting and overspending, as a student you can employ some strategies to gain and save money. A student’s schedule is tight, and it calls for specific strategies that can suit this lifestyle. One of the best ways is through employment opportunities available on campus, which many ranges from alumni call centres to managing residential halls. These are the best, as they give leniency to your busy schedule as a student. Online jobs are also a favourite for this internet age where everyone is found on the internet. Cheap student life hacks also come in handy when living on a student budget. With these tips and resources, we can have a good college experience devoid of money woes.






Works cited

Writers, Staff.”67 MoneySaving Hacks For Students You Don’t Want To Miss”. Affordablecollegesonline.Org, 2019,

Yonis, Dr Amina. HIGH PAYING JOBS For University & College Students. 2019, Accessed 15 Nov 2019.

Patterson, Ransom. “23 Of The Best Online Jobs For Students – And How To Get Them”. College Info Geek, 2019,

Goldrick-Rab, Sara, Jed Richardson, and Anthony Hernandez. “Hungry and homeless in college: Results from a national study of basic needs insecurity in higher education.” (2017).

Langdon, David, et al. “STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future. ESA Issue Brief# 03-11.” US Department of Commerce (2011).

Vedder, Richard, Christopher Denhart, and Jonathan Robe. “Why Are Recent College Graduates Underemployed? University Enrollments and Labor-Market Realities.” Center for College Affordability and Productivity (NJ1) (2013).

Goos, Maarten, and Alan Manning. “McJobs and MacJobs: the growing polarisation of jobs in the UK.” The labour market under New Labour. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2003. 70-85.

Wessel, David. “For recent grads, good jobs are hard to find.” Wall Street Journal (2014).

Kemple, James J. “Career Academies: Impacts on Students’ Initial Transitions to Post-Secondary Education and Employment.” (2001).

Gile, Daniel. Basic concepts and models for interpreter and translator training. Vol. 8. John Benjamins Publishing, 2009.

Glaeser, Edward L., Joshua D. Gottlieb, and Joseph Gyourko. “Can cheap credit explain the housing boom?.” Housing and the financial crisis. University of Chicago Press, 2012. 301-359