It can always be worse. Another website, Apartment Therapy, did a better job on rent prices, but I don’t think it’s accurate enough. You need to base everything around your set budget and look for specifics. I create a monthly food and shopping plan. It’s the most sensible thing an actor who has just moved here and trying to cut down on cost of living in Los Angeles can do. To save money and live as cheap as possible as an actor in LA, you need to plan your budget well. Spend your money on rent, gas and acting classes instead. If you want an example, let me know and I’ll create a “stock” one just for you. However, the prices here aren’t quite as high as other California cities, namely San Diego and San Francisco. This makes sense, of course, since meat does cost more. Living Wage Calculation for San Diego County, California The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual in a household must earn to support his or herself and their family. Naturally, Los Angeles has a city life that demands to be explored, and that means bars and cafes. Cost of Living in Los Angeles. Pick the one that fits your budget and go from there. Food coupons. I also recommend buying from a reputable dealership. Here are just a few cheap areas to avoid due to safety precautions: The three areas in bold are a complete no-no. Los Angeles is a huge, spread out and diversified city. Example: 1 bed, 1 bath, 750 sqft – $2,200, Culver City (1 bedroom): $1,600-$2,500 According to a Numbeo.com report from May 2019, the average cost of a two-person, three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant is $60. There’s definitely a reason to wrinkle your nose at public transport in LA. Also, keep in mind that some very affordable areas are so cheap for a reason. In my spreadsheet, I lay out my sources of income and my expenditures, and also graph these. (And the famous Spanish sunshine you get for free.) The salary needed to live comfortably in Los Angeles has risen by more than $25,000 in the past year, due to rising annual costs of transportation and utilities. Even normal clothes cost more in the City of Angels. For example, if you live in Sherman Oaks like I do, and you need to get to an audition in Santa Monica or somewhere in West Hollywood, it may take you 1 metro ride and 2-3 bus rides. Bottom Line: The only way to cut down costs on rent is to have a roommate and pick a cheap neighborhood. Madeline Parkinson is a 22-year-old Australian citizen living in Los Angeles and working as a video editor. Don’t splurge on expensive clothes, cars or other things to demonstrate your status. Focus on what matters the most in your life at the moment, and that’s sustaining yourself for as long as you can in this city while pursuing a career as an actor, which isn’t easy as is. If you’re in the position to move to Los Angeles, then as brave and bold as this call may be, it will also demand of you to keep a hawkeye over your finances, something that causes pre-mature balding from late-night hair yanking. Imani Change, 28, lives in London, England and earns $227,000 a year as a senior operations manager for a tech company. In general, rentals in Los Angeles are fairly expensive. Buying a home and getting a mortgage is a major decision. That’s why as a starving actor who can barely afford rent you need to find a roommate until you’re able to pay the bills and live more or less comfortably (or at least without the headache of not knowing whether you’ll pay rent or not next month). This way it will be easier for you to separate cost of living in Los Angeles from acting costs and create a better budget structure. Don’t forget to take sales tax into account. LOVING LIVING LOCAL - Want to win amazing prizes all year long? With all that being said, living in Los Angeles is possible even on a minimum wage for a struggling actor. run down) area. Complemented with a shopping plan, by which I write a precise grocery list, I’ll get more control over my food budget, and put an extra dollar in my “acting jar.”. Example: 1 bed, 1 bath, 700 sqft – $1,900. That’s pricier than not only New York ($145.55), but also LA’s neighbors in San Diego ($130.60) and San Francisco ($123.47). A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,056.53$ without rent. Married couple living in different states part of the year At the end of the last year my wife moved from NY to VA to start a job. Compare the Cost of Living in DC with any other city in the world. Duh. There’s no way you’ll be able to juggle your auditions by taking public transit, let alone going to work and acting classes on top of that. But how does that help us? Most people imagine romantic strolls on beautiful cobblestoned walkways with flamenco music playing in the background, sipping sangria at al fresco bars. I love my meat, but other actors told me that they were able to cut their food costs when they switched to plant based foods. Owning a car will give you the much needed personal freedom and a sobering scent of air freshener. I keep a close track of my budget, so I know the numbers are correct and accurate. I have tens of Excel spreadsheets for my monthly budgets. Whenever I mention Central/Eastside Los Angeles, please always assume that I mean all of Central and the western part of Eastside LA only, unless otherwise noted. It’s not cost-effective in the least. The assumption is the sole provider is working full-time (2080 hours per year). It’s also way too far for someone trying to work in showbiz. That’s $10 above the national average. If you take a look above, you can see which areas are cheaper to rent in. This saves me quite a bit of money. I bought a used Ford Mustang V6 2003 a few years ago for $3,000 with 130k miles on it. Get a roommate. Pricing-wise, it’s a mix between what you get in Pasadena and Long Beach. I’m a single person living by myself, so all calculations are based around that. Example: 1 bed, 1 bath, 825 sqft – $1,850, Hollywood (1 bedroom): $1,200-$1,700 Living in NYC has been an interesting experience with its many ups and downs. They calculated an annual income of $74,371 was about right … This post will save you time and money if you’re new to LA. In San Fran, the median home sales price is $952,400, while San Diego sits at $626,000. Trust me, it’s worth being financially aware in Los Angeles. I think I will do a separate write-up on acting costs in Los Angeles (once I regain my muse after spending a whole day writing this one), and after that’s done, I’ll update this post with a link. My total bills usually come down to about $60/mo (for a 2 bedroom apartment without trying to save on anything), which is far from what SmartAsset says you’re going to pay. Due to constant need to save money, I’m always on the lookout for better deals on apartments or other ways to stash away a few dollars every week. Los Angeles is a huge, spread out and diversified city. After a year of the NYC hustle, here's some of the things I've learned about one of the world's best cities Keep reading. Expect to pay around $2,846.”. Even though I’d love to support our farmers and local businesses, I rarely shop at farmer’s markets. It’s very convenient. Cost of living index in Los Angeles is 17.50% lower than in New York. Example: 1 bed, 1 bath, 750 sqft – $1,500, Silver Lake/Echo Park (1 bedroom): $1,500-$2,000 It can be a fine place to live, but there’s more ghetto areas around. There are some very nice family-friendly areas, while others can be quite rough. This is important to understand, because many of the most popular expat spots are about that far removed from the extreme cartel violence you might read about. Utilities in LA are usually the highest during hot months because the AC is running almost 24/7. The famous Los Angeles farmer’s markets, of which there are many, like The Original Farmer’s Market on 3rd St and S Fairfax St, often charge a lot more. The short answer is that the cost of LA life is very high compared to many other cities in the world. Here’s briefly on neighborhoods that do not apply to you as an actor: Pasadena is a nice family-friendly area. Hopefully this helps you to brave through all the voices around nagging you about how expensive moving to Los Angeles is, and why you shouldn’t make the move. There’s of course the (in)famous cheaper option that is Walmart ($), which so far beats out any other supermarket for prices. Bottom Line: Cost of living in Los Angeles is much higher than in many other cities in the US and the world, according to data. See what you'll need to earn to keep your current standard of living … More specifically, only 36% of LA residents own a home, while 64% pay rent. This is what I paid for it the year before: Total: $185 for one year (approx 10-12k miles). My water and electric bill (from LADWP), which is what you pay the most in terms of bills (besides internet), for 2 months (May-July) was $57. In terms of ethnic food markets, those typically have a reputation of being less costly (again, depends on your area) compared to the standard supermarkets. From the mansions of Beverly Hills to the hipster bars of Silver Lake, Los Angeles charms visitors to its palm tree-lined streets. Here’s how I create my weekly/monthly budgets. After that, you can start looking at apartments. It’s not worth it. 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