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Cost of Living in Los Angeles, California – The Best Budget Guide

Amis qui vivent à Los Angeles et qui connaissent le coût de la vie


Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. On average, the cost of living is 49% higher than average in cities in the USA. Housing prices are notably higher, whether you are buying or renting.

Nevertheless, salaries are also higher, allowing expatriates to find a certain balance. As you can see, adapting to the cost of living in Los Angeles means living there.

What is the Cost of Living in Los Angeles?

The cost of living in Los Angeles is much higher than the national average. Find out how much you can expect to pay for each item of expenditure.

Cost of Living in Los Angeles: Understanding All Expenses

According to Numbeo’s calculator, renting an apartment in Los Angeles costs between $2,000 and $5,000 per month.

Here is a summary table of the budget to expect according to the location and size of the property:

Type of housingMonthly rent
One-bedroom apartment in the center$2,450
One-bedroom apartment outside the center$1,800
Three-bedroom apartment in the center$4,400
Three-bedroom apartment outside the center$3,500

Prices are relatively high. The average price for a fully equipped apartment in the city’s center is $9,300.

For a fully equipped apartment outside the center, you can estimate a price between $5,000 and $6,000.

Food Expenses: Cost of Living in Los Angeles

As far as food is concerned, prices are higher globally than in other cities. Your lifestyle may impact your budget for groceries.

A couple should spend between $400 and $500 on monthly groceries.

To help you see more clearly, here is a table summarizing the price of essential food products:

Bread (per unit)$3,70
Milk (2.5 liters)$3,80
Eggs (box of 12)$3,65
Cheese (1 kg)$12
Chicken (500 grams)$6,42
Rice (1 kg)$5,80
Apples (1 kg)$4,5
Salad (per unit)$2
Water bottle (per unit)$2
Bottle of wine (per unit)$12
Roast beef$17

Transportation Costs in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, having your car is almost unavoidable. Indeed, the bus lines are pretty irregular, and cabs are not always available. The public transportation network is not as extensive as in other major cities such as New York or San Francisco.

Here are some examples of the costs associated with transportation in Los Angeles:

Bus ticket$2
Monthly bus pass$95,28
Cab (one kilometer)$3,8
Gasoline (per liter)$1,64

Electricity, Water, ADSL Subscription

The monthly electricity, water, and Internet subscription charges remain relatively high. The table below summarizes the monthly budget:

Electricity and Water$120
Telephone subscription$65
ADSL subscription$65


In the USA, education is not free. If you have children, it is important to know the average budget for enrollment in a daycare or school:

Private nursery$1,400 per month
Private elementary schoolBetween $10,000 and $15,000 per year
High SchoolBetween $15,000 and $20,000 per year
UniversityFrom $20,000 to over $50,000 per year

Cost of Living in Los Angeles: The Average Budget for Unexpected Expenses

As far as the unexpected expense budget is concerned, everything depends on your lifestyle.

However, to give you a better idea of how much you should budget for your outings, you can consult the following table:

Lunch in a popular restaurant$30 
A cinema ticket$15
Gym membership$50 per month
Tennis courses$15 per hour
A menu in a fast-food restaurant$10
A cappuccino in a restaurant$5,6

Cost of Living in Los Angeles vs Other Cities

The cost of living in Los Angeles is relatively higher than in other medium-sized cities in the United States.

On the other hand, prices are still more affordable than in the very large U.S. metropolises, as the table below shows:

ServiceSan FranciscoNew YorkLos AngelesVilles moyennes des USA
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment downtown$3,500$2,800$2,500$1,500
Cost of a drink in a restaurant$6$6$5$4
Cost of a menu in a fast-food restaurant$8$7$7$7
Cost of a metro ticket$3,25$3,25$2$1,75
Cost of a kilo of rice$7$5$3$3

Average Salary to Expect to Living Good in Los Angeles

According to GoBankingRates, to make a decent living in Los Angeles, you need to be able to earn an average of :

  • $130,000 per year if you are a couple
  • $60,000 as a single person
  • Between $100,000 and $150,000 for a family.

Please note, however, that these figures are a guideline and may vary depending on your lifestyle. For your information, the average monthly salary in Los Angeles is currently $5,800.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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