Author Topic: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?  (Read 2174 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 1
Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« on: April 29, 2017, 02:22:28 PM »
Married w kids. Both born here, both our families all in Southern California. Husband is attorney, so moving out of state would require another bar exam. We found an excellent affordable catholic school and just sold house to live closer to school and pay all debt. Am late to MMM but feeling super fired up to dive in. Except for fact we live here, and moving out of state is appealing but super tricky to contemplate.

Question: How does one live the MMM lifestyle with kids and 2 cars in LA? Or should I just delete my account now and forget I ever found this site?


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 244
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 02:46:08 PM »
There are always options.

Post a detailed case study. See stickies on how to do a case study.


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 930
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 05:55:46 PM »
It can be done... MMM is about building a life you enjoy, so if you have high incomes, little-to-no debt, and don't feel like you're going to be "burdened" by the SoCal lifestyle then you should be OK. IMO the biggest part of MMM is financial independence - do you feel like you can be financially independent in Socal?

I live in the area too and earn a decent income with a decent standard of living... I consider myself FI and have no real issues living here.


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 317
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Los Angeles
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 06:16:46 PM »
I did it. I think SoCal is an ideal place to be Mustacian. You can make a good income, and while the COL is high, it's not nose bleed high like NorCal. Especially if your whole support base is already there. I agree with the suggestion to post a case study.


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Location: Near LAX
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 07:33:06 PM »
We are wouldbe-Mustachian in SoCal. We are a three-kid, one-car family.

DH is a computer guy without an office, so he roams by foot and bicycle, and catches rides or uses Lyft when he needs a car. I am a SAHM and do the school run with our three kids (one is still a baby but she comes along for lots of dropoffs and pickups).

We live in Culver City, which is a reasonably bike-friendly area (there are dedicated bike routes and many of the city councilmembers and recent mayors are bike people).

My family is here, too, and our support network is here. We aren't leaving.

* If you don't already have TAP cards for everyone in the family, get 'em. The regional bus and train network is better than you think.
* Familiarize yourself with transit apps for your phone, including the option on Google Maps for transit routes to your destinations.
* Sign up for Ciclavia next time it's in your neighborhood. It will make you feel much more confident about riding a bike in the city.
* Buy used and save the difference: There is so much stuff in this town, and people are constantly moving and dying and leaving their stuff behind for pennies on the dollar. Thrift stores and estate sales here are terrific.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 82
  • Location: SoCal
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 09:05:41 PM »
LA is a tough place to make the psychological shift since it's all about $$$. However I've been on the path to FIRE for a few years and with a little effort I've made a lot of headway, so it's totally possible. The most costly things in life are housing & transportation, followed by food. Hammer those areas and see how you do, i.e. downsize, avoid expensive cars (who cares anyway when you're only driving 20mph max in this damn town!), and get inventive with food & eating out (which is awesome here, and also expensive).


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Age: 91
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2017, 09:50:20 AM »
Im in socal and have been mustachian since finding this site n ot too long ago. It's definitely possible here, just harder due to the HCOL. Best advice is to find a solution to keep housing costs low. If you can succeed with that youve won more than half the battle.


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 241
  • Location: LA LA Land
Re: Stuck in SoCal: ideas?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 01:58:23 PM »
Also in SoCal, westsider.  I will definitely echo, find cheap housing.  I had cheap housing and that was very very important.  Now I'm back at "fair market value" but I have a mortgage so, in a few years inflation will help move me back to cheap housing.  Rent in Los Angeles feels like it's sky rocketing up, so I'm really excited to have that locked mortgage.

I bike to work and don't own a car, partner has a car, so I'm not without access, but not having a car really helps.

Food, I'm really trying to get it down to a reasonable level.  Eating out for dinner was not a huge thing for me, so that helped.  Cutting eating out for lunch and NO coffee shops got me about $340.00 dollars a month, back in my pocket.  Now I'm really trying to optimize grocery shopping.  I spend on average $225.00 a month and really want to get it to $185.00 per month.  So $185.00/ month groceries and about $50.00/ month entertainment is the goal.

Everything else is smaller and I just really try to do free, second hand, and sales for everything.  I spend about $30,000/year and that includes my mortgage, the rest of my income is being put in my 401k.  I have a Roth IRA for any leftover money each month.  I'm not a super high earner or I would do the tIRA, to get more tax deferment. 

Good Luck I hope you have great success.  It can be done.