I took a $40,000 pay cut to work remotely from my Los Angeles apartment. Here's how I live and what I spend money on.
- I was making slightly more than $100,000 a year before I was laid off from my editing job in January.
- I decided to start working remotely from my Los Angeles apartment, taking a $40,000 pay cut to start freelance writing.
- Read on to see how I live and where my money goes, from the rent I pay to the groceries I buy.
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Los Angeles is an expensive place to live.
Back in 2017, Apartment Guide named Santa Monica the most expensive place to rent an apartment in the United States, with other popular West LA neighborhoods like Venice and Playa Vista not far behind. When I moved to California in 2012, I was aware of the punishingly high cost of living, but I mitigated that with a 90-minute commute so I could own a home outside of LA County, where prices were only eye-watering, not panic-inducing.But then a lot changed. Fed up with three hours on the road every day, I sold my house and started renting an apartment in Westwood (a lovely neighborhood near UCLA) for its proximity to my office. Shortly after that, in January, my office was shut down - I was one of a dozen LA editors who were laid off as the base of operations shifted to New York.
I chose to make lemonade out of this bag of lemons by returning to my original passion: freelance writing from home.
Unfortunately, an unavoidable consequence of the shift from a corporate desk job was that I've taken a drastic $40,000-a-year pay cut for the privilege of working in a T-shirt, six feet from my fridge. I'm now making a lot less than the roughly $105,000 I was making annually before, but I'm still able to pay for my apartment, gas for my car, a few subscription services, live entertainment, and the occasional frozen yogurt.
Read on to see how I live and where my money goes.