News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 2 to 3 p.m.

'Living comfortably' in LA, is it really possible?




Steven Puetzer/Getty Images

Listen to story

07:56
Download this story 3MB

Living in Los Angeles is expensive.

This is not headline news, but what it takes to live here comfortably might surprise you:

Around $75,000 a year.

That's according to a cost-of-living comparison by personal finance website, Go Banking Rates.

Here's what a few of you had to say about 'living comfortably' on KPCC's social media pages:

Connor Thompson

Mario Estrada

Alberto Brian Vega

Andre Salcido

For more on budgeting, if its reasonable these days and if not and more we were joined by personal finance columnist at NerdWallet Liz Weston.

Interview highlights:

What is the 50-30-20 budget?

"This is actually the creation of Elizabeth Warren, our now senator from Massachusetts and she was an expert on bankruptcy and she was looking at all these people that were just failing, you know winding up in bankruptcy court against their will. And she realized, a lot of them were overspending on the basics...this is the part where she narrowed in on, what can you do to give yourself a more comfortable lifestyle? What can you do to limit these expenses so that you actually have some money left over to do the fun stuff like travel and clothes...?"

Can the 50-30-20 work for everyone?

"If you overspend in one area then you have to make it up in another area. What we like to do as human beings is overspend in one area, overspend in the next and overspend in the next...And if you're having trouble getting ahead, if you keep sliding into debt, if you can't save for the future maybe it's worth taking a look at this to see if it can make a difference in your budget..."

What else can people cut back on if leaving LA isn't an option?

"Tough decisions, you have to figure this out, maybe it is a second job and if you're exhausted working your first job, how do you do that? Maybe it is renting out the place you have and finding another place if you happen to be a homeowner. These are not, any of them, easy decisions and we can't make them easy decisions but the reality is: if you keep spending too much and you keep falling behind it's just going to get worse..."

Additionally, Liz gave three quick tips to surviving in L.A.:

To hear the full segment, click the blue play button above.