Moving To LA With No Money: Your Complete Guide

Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, dreams of living in a big city don’t have to be squandered by high costs of living. Living on a budget in Los Angeles can help; whatever drew you to LA, we’ve got your back. Here are some useful tips that make the prospect of moving to LA with no money achievable.

Curious to know how to survive in Los Angeles when you’re broke? Let’s get started!

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before Moving to Los Angeles

Cost of Living in LA

So, what does it cost to live in Los Angeles? Entertainment and housing prices make Los Angeles much more expensive than most other cities in the U.S.

That being said, while expenses are generally higher, they vary greatly based on the area you live in, your transportation methods, and your overall lifestyle. If you’re moving to LA with no money and are unsure where to start, here are some important cost trends to help you get started.

Use these to estimate your own potential living expenses and set expectations for when you move to LA.

Related: Renting in Los Angeles: Part 1 – The Search Guide

Rental cost

Living on budget in Los Angeles where the average rent is approximately $2,258 per month seems tough. The typical rent varies widely by neighborhood. The average rent is driven upwards by incredibly high rent costs in some areas, but that there are still areas that are significantly below the average within the city itself.

So, don’t be intimated by rental cost statistics, research your way through before moving, as statistics can be misleading.

Related: Getting Out Of A Sitch With Your Landlord | Renting In LA

Costs of transportation

If you’re moving to LA with no money, you will need to think carefully whether you’ll want a car or rely on public transportation. With gas prices reaching an all-time high, averaging $4.78 per gallon in February 2022, you’ll be paying more for your everyday commute. Los Angeles has a great public transportation network that includes transportation services such as bus and rail. Choose from a 1-way, 1-day, 7-day, or 30-day pass to get you to and from destinations.

Entertainment expenditure

LA is big on expensive entertainment but living on budget in Los Angeles is attainable. A movie ticket will set you back approximately $15, depending on the location, and a cocktail will set you back roughly the same.

Calculate all of your entertainment costs and figure out what you’re paying for that you can live without. It’s lot simpler to plan around such expenditures and cut out anything extra if you clearly understand how much you’re spending every month.

Related: Living Cost In Los Angeles For Students: The Complete Guide

Moving To LA When You’re Broke: Budgeting Strategies

1. Decide wisely on where to live

In Los Angeles, the rent will be your biggest expense. You can save a lot of money by opting to reside in a less costly neighborhood.

You don’t have to live in the middle of nowhere in order to save money. Instead, look for a neighborhood that’s still not popular, rather than one that has already established itself as a trendy hotspot or an elite beach community.

Related: How to Find the Best Student Housing in Los Angeles, CA

2. Get roommates

One of the best ways to stay on budget in Los Angeles is to live with a roommate or two. If you’re moving to LA with no money, consider how much money you could save if you could divide your housing bills in half or even in thirds!

The cost per room decreases as the number of roommates in an apartment increases. So sharing a home and dividing rent and utility expenses with other roommates will save you a significant amount of money.

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Related: Co-living In Los Angeles: Where Should You Look?

3. Choose the right transportation

Calculate whether it’s more cost effective to drive or utilize public transportation for your journey. Remember to take the cost of car ownership such as insurance and gas into account.

If you live in a transit-accessible neighborhood, the bus or train may be the most cost-effective mode of transportation.

Though public transportation may add a lot more time to your commute, you may utilize it to catch up with friends, read, or work. Also, if you live relatively close to your workplace, consider cycling, which will serve as both transportation and exercise.

Related: Uber vs Lyft: Which Is Better in Los Angeles?

4. Opt for Flea Markets

If you’re wondering how you are going to survive in Los Angeles without sacrificing shopping, we got you! Los Angeles Flea Markets are a great place to go shopping.

You might be used to shopping at places like Target and IKEA, as well as high-end stores like Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. When moving to LA with no money, we advise you to avoid buying your home goods, clothes, and furnishings from these lavish stores. Instead, save money by equipping your home with unique items found at flea markets around the city and county.

Related: 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Los Angeles

5. Register in Local Reward Programs

You may think reward systems are nothing more than annoyance — just firms that collects your email address and sends you regular special offers or newsletters.

However, if you use various rewards programs, your purchases can help you save money when you need to stretch every dollar. Here are some examples:

  • Most pharmacy and supermarket stores in Los Angeles have programs that either provide cash back or offer discounts on in-store purchases.
  • If you shop at Vons frequently, you might save up to 30 cents per gallon at your local Shell station. Ralphs is the same way.
  • If you join Rite Aid Wellness, you’ll earn rewards dollars that you may use at a later point at the store.

Is Moving to LA With No Money Possible?

Yes. Will it need some time and effort? Also yes. With careful neighborhood choice, smart entertainment picks, and co-living with roommates, moving to Los Angeles with no money can be more than just a pipe dream.

If you need help finding cheap apartments and perfect roommates for your move to Los Angeles the Roomi app will save you a lot of time and effort. It’s safe, guarantees your privacy, and most importantly, it will not affect your budget as it is completely free. Download the Roomi app today!