Wait, Pause: It Costs How Much to Live 'Comfortably' in LA?

Wait, Pause: It Costs How Much to Live 'Comfortably' in LA?

Here's exactly what you need to survive in the City of Angels.

Published April 29, 2016

Many people from small towns and so-called flyover states turn their attention to one of two places when it comes to where they want to live post-college: New York and Los Angeles. We know settling down in NYC is damn near impossible these days, unless you're making major stacks, but what about LA, home to Hollywood, beaches and fad diets?

A new study from GoBankingRates has figured out exactly how much coin you need to make per year in order to live "comfortably" in the largest city on the West Coast. Using the 50-30-30 rule (50 percent of your income for necessary costs, like a roof and some groceries, 30 percent for optional stuff like dinners out and shopping and the last 20 percent for savings), the average LA resident would need an annual salary of $74,371.

Now, this study doesn't seem to account for the fact that Los Angeles is one of the largest and most socioeconomically diverse cities in the entire country. Real talk: $74,000 won't take you very far if you're trying to ball out like Vincent Chase in Entourage, but you could live very well on that salary in, say, the San Fernando Valley — mostly because you won't have much of a social life.

Of course, the study is also not clear on whether things like Uber, yoga classes and juice cleanses count as "necessary" or "discretionary" costs, though anyone who's lived here probably knows the answer to that.

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis)


Latest in style