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Moving to Los Angeles Without a Job: Your Survival Guide

First things first: LA is massive, and it's easy to get sucked into the trap of its “superficial” culture.
Want To Move To LA Without A Job Here’s How?

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So our top piece of advice? Be yourself 100% of the time.

Admittedly, the idea of moving to LA can be pretty scary, especially if you’re arriving without a job in hand.

But that’s what we’re here for; to give you the rundown on how to survive (on a budget) in one of America’s most expensive places to live.

Cost of Living in LA

So, what’s the price tag of living in LA? It’s no secret that LA is one of the most expensive places to live, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ball on a budget.

Your expenses will largely depend on a few key factors: the neighborhood you choose, how you get around, and your lifestyle.

Explore various transportation options, from public transit to biking, and consider how each impacts your budget. Also, note your daily habits; you may have to get rid of some, like Starbucks every morning.

1. Rent

The average rent hovers around $2,258 per month, which may scare you at first. But, it’s important to remember that this average can be skewed by extremely high rents in certain neighborhoods, while other areas are much more affordable.

It’s essential to do your homework and look beyond the surface numbers like the one above. You can find a place that fits your budget and needs by researching thoroughly.

2. Transportation

With gas prices hitting record highs, averaging $4.78 per gallon in February 2022, driving could significantly increase your daily commuting costs. Fortunately, LA does have an expensive public transportation network, which is more economically friendly.

To make the most out of LA’s transit system, you can purchase passes – single ride, day pass, weekly, or monthly. These options can provide flexibility and can help manage your transportation expenses.

3. Entertainment

Whether it’s catching a movie or sipping a cocktail, you could be looking at spending around $15-$20 for each indulgence, depending on where you are in the city.

To keep your finances in check, it’s crucial to budget for entertainment purposes because they can add up fast. Having a clear picture of your monthly expenses lets you easily trim the non-essentials and keep what’s important.

How to Budget

1. Choose Wisely on Where to Live

In LA, brace yourself because rent is likely to be your largest expense. However, you can save a lot of money by choosing to live in a more affordable area.

Consider moving to an up-and-coming area that hasn’t become a trendy spot yet. Also, don’t overlook the potential for more than just financial savings. Living in these non-trendy spots often means a close-knit community.

2. Get Roommates

We can’t stress this one enough. If you’re on a budget, getting roommates is the best thing you can do to save on rent, and you might make a few friends out of it too. The cost per room decreases as the number of roommates in an apartment increases.

So sharing a place and dividing rent and utility expenses with other roommates will save you a significant amount of money.

3. Choose the Right Transportation

It’s very important to use the right form of transportation for you. Make sure to calculate whether it’s more cost-effective to drive or use the public transit system.

Sure, it might tack on some extra time to your daily commute, but think of it this way: you can use that time to catch up with friends, dive into a good read, or for work.

Biking is also a great choice in LA, and it’s also a great way to get in some exercise.

4. Go to Flea Markets

Flea markets in LA are like treasure hunts on a budget. You might be a fan of spots like Target or IKEA, but when setting up shop in LA with a tight budget, it’s wise to skip the pricier stores and opt for a flea market.

You can literally find anything here, from home goods to clothes and even furniture. This is an opportunity to find one-of-a-kind items that add some character to your place.

5. Register in Local Rewards Programs

You might think rewards systems are just a way for companies to snag your email and flood your inbox with promotions.

But hear us out, utilizing various rewards programs can actually be a smart strategy to save some cash when you’re trying to stretch every dollar.

Here are some ways you can save:

  • Supermarkets and Pharmacies
  • Gas Savings
  • Health and Wellness

Think about the potential savings next time you consider skipping the sign-up for a rewards system.

The Job Market

Before the Interviews

  1. Make a Plan: Make a detailed plan of how many outreaches you want to be sent out per day. Update your resume and dial in your cover letters too.
  2. Use an LA Address: If you don’t already have an LA address, try to use a friends. Trust us, you’ll get a lot more call backs once you have an LA address on your resume.
  3. Apply for Multiple Jobs at Once: Apply to as many jobs as you can, but make your applications detailed and genuine.
  4. Wait for Call Backs + Follow Up: Try to set up interviews all on the same day if possible. You’ll be in a flow state and will want to get them over with in a short period of time. If you don’t hear back from some people, always follow up on multiple channels to show you’re interested.

During the Interviews

  1. Don’t Lie/Be Authentic: Our #1 piece of advice is to always be your most authentic self when interviewing and answering questions. Don’t lie on your resume or during the interview to impress your interviewer. They will sniff that out quickly.
  2. Prep for Interview: Make sure to prepare for your interview with behavioral questions, situational questions, and your own questions about the company.
  3. Do Your Best: All you can do is your best, so give it all you got!
  4. Wait for a Call Back: Now that you’ve finished the hard part, it’s time to wait. Go hang out with friends or take a walk to try to get your mind off the interview.

Is Moving to LA With No Job Possible?

Yes. Will it take some time and effort to get comfortable? Of course. But with careful planning, cutting down on overall costs, and splitting your rent with roommates, living a great life in LA is possible.

Last piece of advice: there are lots of great people in LA to meet, so network as much as you can. Who knows, maybe a good first impression on the right person could be the difference between you getting a job or not.


How long does it take to find a job in LA?

This can vary. It all depends on your work ethic, how ready you are to get back into work, and a little bit of luck. Realistically, you should expect to spend at least a month searching for jobs before landing any interviews. From there, it can take up to several weeks to go through those interviews and get accepted into a position.

What are the best jobs in LA?

Some of the highest-paid industries are seeking skilled workers in healthcare, sales, marketing, and technology. Or you could do your own thing and escape the 9-5, similar to a lot of people who reside in LA. Teaming up with a staffing agency can be a strategic move to tap into the job market and connect with employers.

Nik Watson

Nik Watson

Meet Nik, a dedicated writer with a passion for real estate/moving blogs and, of course… writing. For the past two years, he’s crafted engaging content for a plethora of real estate firms and E-commerce companies, accumulating credibility and experience to be one of the best in the industry. Having relocated multiple times recently, Nik has utilized a plethora of moving companies, gaining valuable insight into both solo and professional moves. Through these experiences, he would recommend moving with professional services, as it lowers stress levels tremendously. When he’s not immersed in his writing, you can find him working on other entrepreneurial endeavors in the real estate/moving space.
Green Group

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