What if I told you that you can live well in California with an income of less than $50,000 a year? A budget of this kind is not some sort of financial bait and switch but a realistic budget that many frugal people use on a daily basis. California has one of the highest costs of living and if you can figure out how to live here making $46,000 a year, you can live anywhere in this country.
While many working professionals in California struggle with the ability of buying a home, there is a large class of people who are simply dealing with the day to day items of life. In fact, if we look at a county like Los Angeles, the most populous county in Southern California 52.1% of households actually rent. This is significant given the population of this county is approximately 10,000,000 people.
This is not as far fetched as you would suspect. The median household income for the entire United States is $46,326.
The median household income for Los Angeles County in 2004 was $43,518 so our hypothetical budget of $46,000 could apply to 5,000,000 people living in this highly populated area. This probably goes against the wide perception that most people in California are wealthy and live in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, or Laguna Beach but this is a very tiny part of the population. This is not the reality. Many of these working families are simply getting by and have little way of accessing the media to discuss their struggles. Read more........