We already know that LA is expensive. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the country. So what exactly do we pay more for? Rent is the obvious one, with LA rents soaring to more than 150% of the national average. That’s bad enough, but there are plenty of everyday costs that are also higher in the City of Angels. These 5 things are more expensive in Los Angeles than just about anywhere else.
1. Gym Memberships
This is a city full of beautiful people, which can make it feel like there’s a lot of pressure to be fit. A gym membership is one way to get to that goal, but beware – gym memberships are expensive here. The national average is about $58 per month for a standard membership. In Los Angeles, it’s about $70. That’s a lot of cash to shell out, especially considering the fact that almost 70% of people with gym memberships never even use them.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend that kind of money. The weather here is almost always perfect, so you might as well take your workout outside and enjoy the sunlight. That, at least, is free.
New York and San Francisco top the list for most expensive haircuts, but the City of Angels comes in third. Here, the average cost of a woman’s haircut is $69. Men pay an average of $45. The national average, on the other hand, is $44 for women and just $28 for men. Keep in mind that this is just the price of a cut – if you want color or styling, it’s going to be even pricier.
With Hollywood right around the corner and everyone concerned about their image, there’s plenty of pressure to keep up with the latest trends and styles. However, keeping a simple style with low maintenance is a lot easier on your budget. If you’re really set on something cutting-edge, you can frequently get discounted or even free cuts at beauty schools. Of course, you’re taking the risk of putting your hair in the hands of a student.
3. Restaurant Meals
LA is home to some fabulous restaurants with really staggering price tags. Even at a regular, mid-range restaurant, however, a meal in Los Angeles is more expensive. For two people at a mid-range restaurant, the national average cost is $45. Here, it’s $56. That number only includes 1 drink, so it’s even pricier if you like to have a second cocktail.
Restaurants are always more expensive than eating at home, so your best bet for a limited budget is to cook your own meals. You’re in luck there – produce in LA is actually cheaper than it is in the rest of the country because California is an agricultural center.
4. Movie Tickets
This town is the center of the movie industry and we love the silver screen. Unfortunately, a ticket here costs significantly more than it does in the rest of the country. The national average for a movie ticket is just over $8. Here, the price of a ticket ranges from $10 for a matinee to $20 for a prime-time ticket, especially if it’s IMAX or 3D. Of course, that’s the price to get into a seat. If you want popcorn, a soda, or other snacks, you can expect to pay significantly more.
As always, there are cheaper options. If you’re really pinching pennies, you can always wait for the film to come out on streaming services for free. If you need that big-screen experience, join your local theater’s membership club to accrue points toward free tickets. You can also follow movie theaters on social media, where they frequently offer deals and coupons. If you’re a member, you can also buy bundles of tickets at warehouse club stores at a significant discount. Finally, check out online deal sites for cheap tickets.
5. A Pair Of Jeans
You may be able to go without restaurant meals, movie tickets, and gym memberships. You may even be able to have a friend cut your hair and avoid the salon. However, there are very few ways to get out of paying for a pair of pants. Unfortunately, jeans in Los Angeles are almost twice as expensive as the national average. Here, the average pair costs about $60. In the rest of the country, it’s just $34. These are just the prices for off-the-rack jeans, such as Levi’s. If you added in the prices for designer and couture denim, the LA price would be even higher.
The only real way to save your wallet on this front is smart shopping. Shop online and compare prices to keep your costs down as much as you can. You can also extend the lifespan of your jeans by line-drying them instead of throwing them in the dryer and repairing them if they have minor holes or tears.
Your Budget Is Your Best Friend
It’s not always easy to live in the City of Angels. The rent is sky-high, the traffic is terrible, and there are always too many tourists. Of course, there are also beautiful beaches, perfect weather, and an amazing city to explore. For most of us Angelenos, that makes it worth the costs.
So how do you manage living in one of the priciest cities in the country? A careful budget is the key. It’s all too easy to give in to the temptation for new clothes, a fancy meal, or an expensive haircut. Those costs usually wind up on your credit card bill, which means you’re at risk for falling behind and having to pay interest. That debt can spiral out of control quickly. Try to stick to your budget wherever possible.
Of course, sometimes things happen and you have to make an expensive purchase – a pricey doctor’s visit, new tires for your car, or some other surprise expense. Alternately, maybe you got injured and couldn’t work for a while. Perhaps you’re dealing with student loan debt on top of the high cost of living. Whatever the cause, sometimes you just fall behind. When you’re struggling with debt, the best thing you can do is address the problem as quickly as possible. The sooner you act to get your finances back on track, the easier it will be. We may be able to help. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your options for getting your debt under control.
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