{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "LA ladies, is $100k a comfortable salary to live on? I’m moving in October from NC and I’m not sure what to expect. 26 yo, 3 YOE, no kids", "post_id": "61127f513fc482001ccb74d6", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

LA ladies, is $100k a comfortable salary to live on? I’m moving in October from NC and I’m not sure what to expect. 26 yo, 3 YOE, no kids

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It depends on your definition of comfortable. Of course there are millions (billions?) of people who make less than that and have kids/other dependents and are doing fine. But you also won’t be able to live like a millionaire on that budget, so if that’s the bare minimum for you to be comfortable then no (I’m being hyperbolic on purpose to demonstrate the point lol). I recommend making a budget that’s realistic and honest with your lifestyle. Include everything from rent and groceries to debt payments (if you have any), to more flexible things like purchasing clothes and eating out. Don’t forget that a salary of $100k isn’t a take home of $100k - you’ll need to take out things like taxes, investment contributions, HSA/FSA contributions etc. There are a ton of calculators online. Make sure you factor in COL of where you’re moving to. For example I made ~60k in a LCOL and didn’t really have to check that I stayed within my budget bc everything was so cheap. I auto save and invest so that’s always done regardless, but I never had to check to make sure I didn’t overspend. Now I make over double that in HCOL: I save much more (both cash and investments), but I also spend more on rent, gas, groceries etc. I also have seemingly endless opportunities of things to do, eat, etc so I have to be more aware of my spending - I can’t do everything that sounds fun like I used to bc there’s always a new fun thing to spend money on! So keep a budget for discretionary spending that’s realistic to your COL as well.

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Thank you! Totally agree. I’m going to check out the online calculators you mentioned

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26 with no kids, $100k is a great salary.

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What SC1 said. Personally for me, “living comfortably” meant I could afford my own apartment and still be able to save money despite also having student loans and other bills. At 100k, I was finally able to move out of my parents and could afford to live alone (albeit at an oldish, decent apartment) and saved money, but that meant I only ate out a couple times a month and limited my vacation/recreational spending budget. So it was somewhat comfortable but not 100%. It all really depends on your definition of comfort. Is it living alone or do you mind 1-2 roommates? Do you want a brand new apartment or something a little dingier as long as it provides certain amenities? Do you eat out multiple times a week and go out every weekend? Are you an Erewhon shopper or do you shop TJs/Ralphs for groceries? Do you want to live on the Westside or Weho or do you want more affordable living in mid-city or koreatown? Things like that will adjust how comfortably you live. I’ve heard most friends say that $120/130k+ is definitely a comfortable salary for a single person. I’d agree with that as I live within my means but would love a little extra each month to go towards loans/fun activities. I’d start budgeting based on your take home (which will probs be close to 65-80k depending on medical/dental/vision, 401k, any other elements). Look up apartments in the areas you want to live in. Utilities are about $40-80/month, I spend about $150-250 per month on groceries (Ralphs, TJs, Asian/Latino markets, sometimes Costco), I now pay like $40 every few months for gas cuz I don’t commute and my SO drives but I used to pay like $60-80/month (this was before the gas price surge though). Then account for all your bills and that’s just your essentials. That’ll at least give you somewhat a picture of your ideal spending each month on everything else. Good luck!

It’s not terrible but you will need to budget. I’m in LA making $139. I’m able to afford my own place with little saving but at 100 you might have to get a roommate and a place with no AC. Besides living costs, it’s a very expensive city to go out to bars/restaurants if you’re into that. I think if you live on the east side like silver lake, echo park you might be okay.

It will go a lot farther on the east side than the west side.

I recommend living in highland park if you don’t need to be somewhere for work regularly. Affordable and lots of other young people your age. Public transportation is easy to get to downtown.

Agree with D1. My husband and I live in LA and have a total pay of about 100k. We live comfortably, pay about 2k for a 2 bd/1 bath, have healthy savings/retirement/investment, still pay extra on student loans and take 1-2 big trips a year. East side (ie Pasadena and anything along the 210 fwy) will get you a place in a decent neighborhood with more amenities (ie parking, w/d in unit, AC).

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