Author Topic: How Mustachian is LA??  (Read 4322 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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How Mustachian is LA??
« on: April 27, 2015, 05:46:22 PM »
With the desire to experience nice weather, culture, and a city, how well does LA live up to Mustachian standards. COL / Public Transit /Bikeablility / co-ops / cheap entertainment.

I'm planning a trip to check it out this fall. I'm currently getting my masters in Public Policy and Nonprofit management. I would probably work in that sector which doesn't pay a ton at the lower levels. But also LA has a tremendous Poker scene at the Bike and Commerce Casino. If you are one of the MMM crowd who doesn't understand the profitability a good player has playing cash games, just pretend it is any other side hustle that will likely add about 50k to whatever my jobs salary is.

So my bottom line question, is being a Mustahian too tough in LA??
Who is there making it work currently without a monsterous salary?

Thanks everyone! 


  • Stubble
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Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 06:09:12 PM »
With the desire to experience nice weather, culture, and a city, how well does LA live up to Mustachian standards. COL / Public Transit /Bikeablility / co-ops / cheap entertainment.

Im right there with you on all of this. Would love to hear what folks have to say/ any tips they have.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 25
  • Location: Eastern Ontario
Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 06:13:53 PM »
I am not from LA, but I just read this cool article on Wired
They are going to be putting in a 51 mile bike path that spans the entire river. Although that is by 2020, and it is a government job... The info on the bike path is in the caption of the 9th photo. Obviously useless information until 2020 or if you aren't near the river.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 34
  • Location: Long Beach, CA
Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 06:20:30 PM »
Los Angeles is HUGE, so you have to answer your question by neighborhood.  IMO the best combination of lower rent and bicycle accessibility around town is Long Beach.  It's an hour Metro ride from DTLA as well.

Santa Monica, DTLA, and perhaps the hipster neighborhoods (Silverlake, Los Feliz, Echo Park) have a great bicycling culture too, but rent will be higher.

You will likely want a roommate regardless.  Play around on Padmapper to get an idea of just how high rent can get in different areas.  Check out proximity/transportation to your casinos as well.  If you choose to have a car, note that a reserved parking spot can often run another $100+ (or you can deal with street parking in areas where you spend 20min circling for a spot.)

Just some things to think about.  FWIW I love Long Beach and I love Los Angeles.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 06:21:53 PM »
I live in LA, the biggest expense is housing, a one bedroom is around $1500, studio about $1000.  I work in film and television so whenever I am working, all meals are catered so it saves me a ton in food, but food is not any more expensive than anywhere else I've lived.

I make six figures now, but for several years while trying to break into the business I made much less (my first year I made 7k).  I lived with a roommate which helped, but even splitting expenses you're looking at $800-$1000 best case scenario.  There are technically more affordable areas to live, but they are far enough out of LA where you'll just spend the difference in fuel and time sitting in traffic, or they are really lousily places to live (and I'm no prude).  A regular normal person house that would cost $150k elsewhere will cost $900k here, no joke, I am always shocked when I look up a house that I feel would be cheap, and found out its 2.5 mil.  and this is in like Burbank not on the beach or Beverly Hills something (where the house costs 50 mil). 

Despite my increase in income, I continue to live like I did before (except I have my own 1 bedroom place, however it is about 500sqt, for $1500 a month) and am able to bank about 75% of my from the point of view that as long as you are willing to work hard to keep your expenses low, you can make much more money here than you can elsewhere which works out great as long as you save it.

Public transportation exists but isn't anywhere near the level of convenience of other cities, you can bike, people do, but I don't because I fear for my life, people here do not take kindly to bike riders. 

The city is big enough where you can find entertainment at any price level you seek.

It's 78 degrees and sunny out right now.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 08:09:11 PM »
Moved to Pasadena last summer.

I've been pleasantly surprised by:
-rent: our $1k-1.5k search range yielded some nicer 1BRs and some cheaper 2BRs. This is more expensive than Chicago but cheaper than NYC or SF Bay Area.
-utilities: Aug-Oct are still prime time for heat waves but we used our AC pretty minimally, i.e. not all the time like Illinois in summer, thanks to dry heat rather than 100% humidity. We were gone 3 weeks in Dec-Jan, which included the one time temps dipped into the 30s: with that caveat, we haven't used heat, except before/during morning showers a few times for 10-15 mins.
-public transit. Granted my expectations were nil, but there are buses for bf and me to take to work w/in 5 min walk, and Gold Line goes to downtown LA from a mile away. I commuted to USC once, went just fine. Trains are cleaner than any other city where I've used them. The city is more sprawling than many others and the train network fairly sparse...but transit exists.
-not really a surprise, but bikeable weather practically year round, no need for badassity. Would also apply to motorcycles/scooters for a further commute or one with bike-unfriendly roads.
-not a surprise: outdoor activities availability. Hiking in the mountains, beaches, volleyball in the have options.

Not as Mustachian:
-Going car-free is undesirable; maybe you could go about everyday life if you planned it right, but getting out of the city or even across the city (like across the LA area) would be untenable. Maybe just me but living in CA without being able to explore it seems stupid to me. Also, all the grocery stores (in this area) are off major 45MPH+ arterials. I am uncomfortable biking to them, although they are close. Could get away with a scooter/moped/motorcycle though.
-Rent is pretty expensive, if not the worst. Buying is pretty unreasonable. A 1BR, <750 sqft condo in our building is selling for around 300k. Scale that up for family-sized housing.
-Taxes? I assume.
-Bike-friendliness is spotty in general.
-High chances of hitting or being hit by a Lexus. No personal experience, just some close calls. They are seriously asking for it sometimes!


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2015, 05:39:20 AM »
It really is going to depend on your work location, and how open you are to housing location. LA is in a housing crisis and prices are rising, though.

For buying, it's all relative to your comparison point. A lot of people who complain about how expensive homes are aren't being very open minded or creative, IMO. Parts of LA are the Ritz - people pay stupid money for houses and cars. So just don't look there. I view owning a home here as a tool for holding some investment money til you decide to buy somewhere else (at least that's the Mustachian way to live here, I think)

There are unsafe areas - but just the nature of the space you'll find super rich next to ghetto within a mile. Some of those inbetween areas are the best deals.

In some respects COL is higher, but it balances out. We have no winter heating costs (compared to a cold climate). There's rarely lost productivity to severe weather. There are markets with fresh produce for super cheap all year around. Being such a large metropolitan area you can find deals on anything if you know where to go - but that takes a car. You could probably live off of Craigslist!

I think there's opportunities you'd miss not having a car... But because there's no severe weather, you can get an old car and make it last forever!

Are you thinking of retiring here, or just coming to make money and run? Have you considered moving to Vegas?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How Mustachian is LA??
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2015, 07:16:55 AM »
The drought and the increasing rate of climate change would make me think twice before moving to any city in a desert ...


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!