Knowing the actual cost of living in Los Angeles is essential for everyone who plans to get long-distance moving services or to spend a certain time here. We all know it’s expensive, but what are the exact figures you can expect to pay? If you want to prepare your budget well, take a look at this guide.
Since everyone spends their money differently, we’ll try to cover the most basic costs everyone has. On that figure, you can add any additional expense you plan to have in LA. Living in Los Angeles on a budget is possible if you plan everything thoroughly, which is very important, especially if you’re moving from a small town to a big city and you’re not prepared for these high expenses.
Let’s start with some basics explaining that will help you understand all the further info. According to the economy’s basic laws, if something is in demand, its price will rise. LA is known as a cultural hub with several thriving industries, including tech and healthcare, and it’s one of the best cities for college grads. The movie industry is headquartered in Hollywood, while many musicians come here to try their luck. Apart from that, the weather here is warm and nice, there are beautiful beaches, and it’s one of the best outdoor towns in the nation. People here are very outgoing, creative, and motivated, but yet relaxed, so being surrounded by that type will make you that way as well. All in all, the average cost of living in Los Angeles has very justified reasons to be this high.
Even with these thousands of options it offers, LA isn’t on the top of the list of most expensive cities in the US. When we compare the average cost of living in Los Angeles per year with other cities, you will see that many of them have higher expenses. According to Numbeo, the website that factors the cost of living in various places across the world, the cost of living in Los Angeles vs San Francisco isn’t even close. San Francisco is an amazing place to call home, but residing there will cost you almost $2,000 more. You will see similar results when comparing the cost of living in Los Angeles vs New York, while the cost of living in Seattle vs Los Angeles is almost the same. Only the cost of living in San Diego vs Los Angeles comes a bit cheaper – residing in San Diego will cost you around $400 less per month. Watch the following video to see how actually different moving to Los Angeles is when we compare it to moving to San Diego, price-wise.
The amount of money you earn will depend of course on what type of job you have and the answer to the question of how much do you need to live comfortably in Los Angeles will depend on your lifestyle. You’re not moving to a small town, so you’ll have too many places to spend money at – from the nightlife to eating out and going for drinks. The current average monthly salary in LA after the taxes is $4,500, which means that the annual salary is $54,000, but is that enough? Almost half of your paycheck will be spent on the rent, a quarter will go on groceries, while transportation, restaurants, utilities, and all other expenses make the rest. Because of that, we’ll start with housing. Turn on your calculator, and let’s begin.
While creating a new apartment shopping list and moving out for the first time budget, keep in mind that your rent will be your biggest expense. As in every metropolitan area, the location determines the price, so after learning what do you need to rent an apartment, take a look at the neighborhoods and suburbs of Los Angeles. Make sure you choose a safe neighborhood in Los Angeles, especially if you’re coming with family. For example, the east part of the city is pretty nice and safe, while the south is to be avoided because of gang violence. If you’re moving to Los Angeles alone in 2021 and looking for the best places to live in Los Angeles for singles, choose Los Feliz or Silver Lake. Even in one of the most affordable places to live in Los Angeles, the rent won’t go below $1,400, while the average for a one-bedroom place outside of the center is almost $1,800. If you prefer to be closer to downtown, expect to pay $2,300. Coming here with family or sharing the place with roommates means having a bigger apartment, so keep in mind that a three-bedroom home can cost anywhere between $2,500 to $6,000, depending on the location and the condition of the apartment.
Even though the costs here are lower than the cost of living in San Francisco and the cost of living in New York, the prices still add up. The basic utility bill for a 915 square feet apartment will be around $140. That includes electricity, water, cooling, heating, and garbage (heating won’t be much of a problem, since you’re moving to a warmer climate). You will need the internet connection as well, so unlimited data can cost around $65, while one minute of prepaid mobile tariff costs 13 cents.
If you’re choosing where to live in California after moving cross country according to how diverse the culinary scene is, you might have a problem deciding. Cali is known for the fact that many different cultures reside there, and all of them brought some part of their cuisine. There’s also a big impact of the Mexican culture, so tacos, tortillas, and quesadillas here are mouth-watering. Eateries here can compare even with the famous restaurants in Chicago, but eating out is expensive. A meal for a single person ranges from $10 to $30 in an inexpensive eatery. If two of you went for a three-course meal, expect a bill of at least $75 – without the drinks. One pint of domestic draught beer is $6, and a regular cappuccino is around $5. If you plan to eat out all the time, the answer to is 70,000 a good salary in Los Angeles will be – almost.
If you have time and skill for cooking, your expenses will be much lower. You can shop at Trader Joe’s, Target, Ralphs, Walmart, and Costco to find inexpensive food. Wholefoods is a bit more pricey option. Expect to pay around $4 for a gallon of milk, $3.5 for twelve eggs, one pound of chicken filets for $5.6, and $6.4 for a pound of ground beef meat. One pound of white rice is $2.7, and one pound of local cheese is $5.6. You will need a bit more than $4 for three pounds of various fruit, and the same goes for that amount of different vegetables. Cheaper shops usually have long lines, so prepare for that.
So, you learned how to do a home inventory, called professional cross country movers, and moved to LA, but did you know that you weren’t coming to one of the cities with the best public transportation? No matter how tempting residing here was, there’s one thing that unites all people’s opinion – the traffic is horrible. There’s another dilemma – if you get auto transport services and decide to drive here, you’ll lose hours every day stuck on the road. If you opt for public transport, you won’t be able to reach every part of the city, since it’s so spread out. So, what to do? If you don’t want to ride a bike every day, learn how does car shipping work, and how to prepare your car for shipping, and get to know the prices. One gallon of gasoline is $3.68, which is much more expensive than in other states. That is because of the high taxes California has on gas. Another pricey thing will be car insurance, which is 20% more expensive than the national average.
On the other hand, you can always share rides with someone, use Uber or Lyft, or get a monthly pass for public transportation that costs $100, while a one-way ticket is $1.75. Take a look at the video to see what are the expenses of a person who decided not to drive here.
Since we covered the essential expenses you will have after moving state to state to one of the best places to live in California for young adults, what is left are the additional costs. If you go shopping here after cross country moving, you will pay around $50 for a pair of jeans, $40 for a summer dress, and $80 for branded running shoes. Man leather shoes are around $115. Of course, you can always shop at discounts or choose cheaper stuff, but the prices in stores are similar to these. Your free time here can be filled with all sorts of activities, so if you choose to go and see a movie, your ticket will be $15, or if you go to play tennis for an hour, you will pay $10. Working out outdoors is always a better option, and you’ll have plenty of hiking and biking trails, but some workouts have to be done in the gym. Your monthly membership in an average gym in LA will be around $40.
Let’s add everything – according to our calculations, if you opt for using public transportation, your monthly expense will be a bit more than $2,000. If you choose to drive, the amount of money you spend will depend on the gas and parking, but it will still be less than $2,800. That means that the average salary of $4,500 is more than enough for comfortable residing in LA, even after the taxes. But there’s one more expense – long-distance moving. Hiring a long-distance moving company is simple, but the move can get pricey, depending on where you reside now. If you find the right Los Angeles long distance movers that don’t manipulate the price, your long-distance moving services will go without any problems. A reputable long-distance moving company will also offer you packing services, as well as a free storage unit for a month. They will make sure that your moving across the country becomes a pleasant experience.