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Question on budgeting in LA

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm just out of college and starting a new job. I only have about 10k to my name right now (but no student loans). My salary is 50k per year ($850 a week net) with a bonus target of 30k (paid twice annually). The bonus is structured such that I should be able to hit most of it (at least 20-25k), but I've always been told not to live off a bonus.

My current expenses:

Car Payment: $185
Insurance: $143

What is the maximum I should pay for rent? The office is in Santa Monica and I'd like to live as close as possible. I'm really having trouble finding anything reasonable on Westside rentals or craigslist. How much should I budget to spend a month total?
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeze View Post
I'm just out of college and starting a new job. I only have about 10k to my name right now (but no student loans). My salary is 50k per year ($850 a week net) with a bonus target of 30k (paid twice annually). The bonus is structured such that I should be able to hit most of it (at least 20-25k), but I've always been told not to live off a bonus.

My current expenses:

Car Payment: $185
Insurance: $143

What is the maximum I should pay for rent? The office is in Santa Monica and I'd like to live as close as possible. I'm really having trouble finding anything reasonable on Westside rentals or craigslist. How much should I budget to spend a month total?

Others can probably make better budgeting suggestions than I can. Just as an outdated and thus only marginally useful data point, when I was starting out professionally (and making a bit more than that) I had a one bedroom apartment a block off the beach in a medium-sized complex, right on the border of Santa Monica/Venice for which I paid $850/month in the mid-90's. (Not sure what that would translate to with inflation, etc.) Culver City might be another area to look at.

For a place that's relatively a bit cheaper, there are quite a few unremarkable but perfectly fine apartment buildings in Palms, in the general vicinity of Palms Blvd. Inland Santa Monica, near Santa Monica college and the SM airport (Sunset Park vicinity) are relatively affordable and close to your work.
post #3 of 6
woah. Was that right off Ocean Ave? I was looking at some place literally a half block from the beach in that area in the early 2000s.....about the same price. No garage killed it for me (there was a carport though). As for budget, I think around $800-$900 is ok without getting too over your head. I live in Playa del Rey, which is decent and 20 minute drive with traffic to Santa Monica....westchester you might be able to find something around that price? Venice area east of lincoln blvd you could probably find something too...lots of complexes there. The big advantage for this area is its near the airport and halfway between Santa Monica and the South Bay, where I spend the majority of my recreational time. Realisitcally speaking, it'll be hard finding a decent place in LA for under $1100 though.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xericx View Post
woah. Was that right off Ocean Ave? I was looking at some place literally a half block from the beach in that area in the early 2000s.....about the same price. No garage killed it for me (there was a carport though). As for budget, I think around $800-$900 is ok without getting too over your head. I live in Playa del Rey, which is decent and 20 minute drive with traffic to Santa Monica....westchester you might be able to find something around that price? Venice area east of lincoln blvd you could probably find something too...lots of complexes there. The big advantage for this area is its near the airport and halfway between Santa Monica and the South Bay, where I spend the majority of my recreational time.
I like Playa, but my sense is that traffic-wise it can be a real bitch getting in and out in high-traffic times because of the whole Culver/Jefferson/Lincoln bottleneck area. My place was on Navy between Pacific and speedway, so about a block and a half toward the beach from Ocean -- just west of Davy Jones' liquor store. For someone young and single, it was pretty nice. On weekend, I wouldn't have to get in the car. Go for a run or bike ride on the beach, breakfast at the Novel Cafe or Omelette Parlor. Worked out at the Powerhouse gym, which had just opened so I got a great rate as one of the original members. Lots of decent, cheap places to eat, and staggering-home distance from the Circle Bar, Library Alehouse, and that place on Ocean that has been Brennigan's, Sharky's, and 14 other things. Now, with somewhat different places and more disposal income, there would also be the advantage (or disadvantage) of being two blocks from Ian Daniels' Finer Threads warehouse. As another data point, a friend has a perfectly decent two-bedroom apartment in Culver City (just south of Venice Blvd, near Grandview) for which I believe he pays in the $1200-$1400 range.
post #5 of 6
Playa isn't too bad if you figure out the side streets (Culver, Jefferson, Sepulveda, Mindanao, etc). Easy to get anywhere....I actually like the lack of traffic versus places around West LA and Mid-city. For my AM commute from my place to Brentwood, only takes me 20-25 minutes on the 405. Used to work in Santa Monica...traffic did kind of suck there in that bottleneck, took 25...up to 40 minutes or so....always detours you could cut through (Abbott Kinney to Main, etc) instead of Lincoln. They widened Lincoln by Playa vista so now its not bad really. In that same area, I did look at some pretty inexpensive one bedroom/studios a block east of Main Street in Santa Monica. I think it was 3rd street....they have a ton of buildings with lots of apartments in them, kind of hidden. The BEST places for you to live if you can find something is right off Main Street in Venice. Apartments at end of Washington Blvd in Marina Del Rey. Most anywhere in Santa Monica north of Olympic. Or in Brentwood. West LA is ok too.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeze View Post
I'm just out of college and starting a new job. I only have about 10k to my name right now (but no student loans). My salary is 50k per year ($850 a week net) with a bonus target of 30k (paid twice annually). The bonus is structured such that I should be able to hit most of it (at least 20-25k), but I've always been told not to live off a bonus.

My current expenses:

Car Payment: $185
Insurance: $143

What is the maximum I should pay for rent? The office is in Santa Monica and I'd like to live as close as possible. I'm really having trouble finding anything reasonable on Westside rentals or craigslist. How much should I budget to spend a month total?


Just get a roommate or two you fag. Ii came to LA with 5k to my name, no job, no bonus, first job was 30k a year, etc... and I live just fine.
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