How to Afford Living in Los Angeles

How to Afford Living in Los Angeles

By Jessica Breslow

While I’ve only been here for a couple weeks so far, I’ve already figured out lots of ways to save money. Los Angeles is expensive, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned to encourage anyone who is struggling financially to not completely dismiss attending the program just because of money.

Let me just start out by saying this: you can do it if you want it bad enough. Cliché yes, but it’s true! I am completely on my own paying for school, and I’m doing it, so I promise you totally can too if you’re willing to work hard!

Here are some tricks:
1. In Los Angeles, you have to pay for paper and plastic bags at grocery stores. In Burbank, bags are free!! ALWAYS save your bags and keep them in your car at all times
2. Cook a couple meals for the week on the weekends. It’s way cheaper than eating out all the time, and it’s much healthier.
3. For Target shoppers, download the app: Cartwheel. It’s super easy to use – for each product you buy, you scan the barcode and it looks up if the item has a coupon. If it does (literally almost everything does), it’ll add the coupon to your cart. Once you’re done shopping, you show the app to the cashier and the coupons will apply. I saved $20 on groceries this weekend, and I’m very proud 😉
4. For Ralphs shoppers, get a Ralphs card & download their app: Ralphs. A Ralphs card is free to get, and it gives you automatic discounts on a bunch of items in the store. For example, a gallon of water is only $1 with the Ralphs card. If you download the app, you have access to even more discounts. The other awesome thing about the Ralphs card is that for each $1 you spend, you get a point. Once you have accumulated 100 points, you can use the points at any Shell Gas Station for 10 cents off per gallon of gas.
(For anyone Gluten Free: Ralphs has awesome gluten free desserts in the bakery, and next to SULA’s campus, there’s an awesome organic/gluten free bakery called Buttercelli!!)
5. To find out where the cheapest gas stations are near you, download the app: GasBuddy
6. Apply to the Jack Oakie Scholarship and other outside scholarships
7. Carpool to class/events
8. Ship your car (if you have one) to avoid all the underage surcharge fees

On a non-saving money note, honestly, choosing to do SULA as my last semester of college is the best choice I’ve made because it’s the perfect bridge between college and the real world. I’m super excited to start my internship at Interscope Records this week, and I couldn’t have asked for better classes/professors/directors. So please, don’t let money be the reason you don’t attend SULA and take advantage of everything it has to offer. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and/or need advice!! 🙂