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Old 04-18-2011, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Midwest
56 posts, read 102,000 times
Reputation: 41

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I fell in love with California the first time that I went there, about ten years ago, and have since played with the idea in my head, over and over, about making the leap and moving there. I've been to San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as some of the surrounding cities. I love the weather, the scenery, the activity, it's all so wonderful to me.

My question is this: What would you say is the most inexpensive place to live in the state around those two cities for someone in their early 20s?

I do not have a college degree and the thought of staying in this horrible state for 4 more years to get one is just not something that I'll be able to convince myself to do. I don't have a clear path as to what I want to do with my career long term and have decided that I will not pursue higher education again until I have made that decision. I have experience working in customer service - retail, hospitality, finance. I have a few hundred saved up but I'm feeling this really intense urge to just go for it and leave. I'm going to San Francisco next month and am considering applying for jobs and setting up interviews the week and a half I'll be there - if I am so lucky to even get an interview of course

Obviously living in the city - either SF or Sacramento - is a definite no go at this point in time. Way too pricey for me. But I've heard that there are some surrounding cities that are way cheaper. I'm doing research but I'm finding a lot of contradictory evidence online. I've gone onto Craigslist but then I've read posts from people who live there saying not to go by Craigslist ads. I've read that it's expensive except for certain areas but then I've also read that it's expensive no matter where you live. Honestly though, I'd be more than happy to pay extra to get away from Wisconsin winters. I cannot tolerate one more of them.

I guess I'm looking for advice from people who have lived in the state on a budget, and any tips you may have to offer. Thank you so much in advance
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:49 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
5,702 posts, read 7,142,789 times
Reputation: 6606
The best I can do is to encourage you to find the right path to take for a career. Your nearest community college should have aptitude tests and career survey forms you can complete to guide you. It's more important to find your place in the world than finding the right place. I'm not against the adventure, but it would be advisable to get a good footing career-wise when you're young than working retail or some other low-paying job for years.
You'll need more than a few hundred saved if you plan to make a go of it out here. Try to save up a few thousand at least and then give it a shot.
Find a job that you can take anywhere or something that CA specializes in, if your dream is to come out here.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:26 PM
 
2,843 posts, read 2,093,053 times
Reputation: 3505
You write "I fell in love with California" but it looks like you fell in love with a couple of towns. Bay area & Sacramento are home to large immigrant population (other than Mexicans) - Eastern Europeans, Cambodians, Vietnamese & such. Not really prosperous crowd, especially Cambodians, some of them subsist on $6,000/year (so I've heard) I don't know how. I guess realistically speaking you have to follow the poorest of the poor immigrants if you feel the urge to move to CA ASAP. Here is "academic" article on "Immigrant Space and Place in Suburban Sacramento". It's the cheapest bet.

http://www.brookings.edu/metro/pubs/...apterdraft.pdf
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:10 PM
 
1,159 posts, read 2,366,106 times
Reputation: 716
Guy, you aren't ready for anywhere decent in California financially. You seriously need to take stock of your life if you have any ideas about moving west. California's unemployment is very high and it is so expensive to live there (I was born and raised there). So unless you can get the education necessary to, say, get a job in healthcare or other growing areas that haven't been outsourced overseas or disappeared due to technological change your options are going to be rather limited. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:48 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,615,953 times
Reputation: 1195
Chico
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
49,548 posts, read 41,487,763 times
Reputation: 21201
someone has suggested you take an aptitude test for starters. That is a great idea. I know you say you fell in love with Ca and that is understandable. There is a lot to fall in love with, but you were there 10 years ago. It sounds like you are living a dream you have built up in your head.

You have obviously had many jobs, have been out of high school probably close to 5 years, have no idea what you want to do with your life and have no money (a few hundered $$S is no money) Just to get an apartment or a room in someones home would cast a few hundred for starters. To even consider such a move you should have $5,000 saved.

The unemployment rate is very high, which I am sure you realize, the cost of living is among the highest in the country and I am guessing you don't even know anyone in the state.

If you are insistant on moving to Ca look at areas just east of SAC, yes, Chico as someone suggested, maybe south of SAc but no way can you find anything near the bay area. Both Sac and San Francisco are going to be expensive living, maybe more than you can ever imagine.

It is true, do not pay much attention to Craigslist. It is ok for a brief idea, but most of what you see job wise and rentals are phonies or have strings attached.

As for job interviews, good luck, you might be one of the few who can get something that pays enough for rent and food immediately, chances are, you will not even get a call back, but who knows.

Nita
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Midwest
56 posts, read 102,000 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snort View Post
The best I can do is to encourage you to find the right path to take for a career. Your nearest community college should have aptitude tests and career survey forms you can complete to guide you. It's more important to find your place in the world than finding the right place. I'm not against the adventure, but it would be advisable to get a good footing career-wise when you're young than working retail or some other low-paying job for years.
You'll need more than a few hundred saved if you plan to make a go of it out here. Try to save up a few thousand at least and then give it a shot.
Find a job that you can take anywhere or something that CA specializes in, if your dream is to come out here.
I've taken dozens of career aptitude tests, I took a semester long college course in finding a career that's right for me, I've read half a dozen books on the topic...and nothing. This is over the span of 2 or so years. But I do appreciate the suggestion

I'm not currently working retail, I've been working at a credit union for the past year. Obviously that's not super glamorous but it pays more than minimum wage so it works for me.

A few thousand...that would definitely be more responsible. I'll keep that in mind. Thank you.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Midwest
56 posts, read 102,000 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RememberMee View Post
You write "I fell in love with California" but it looks like you fell in love with a couple of towns. Bay area & Sacramento are home to large immigrant population (other than Mexicans) - Eastern Europeans, Cambodians, Vietnamese & such. Not really prosperous crowd, especially Cambodians, some of them subsist on $6,000/year (so I've heard) I don't know how. I guess realistically speaking you have to follow the poorest of the poor immigrants if you feel the urge to move to CA ASAP. Here is "academic" article on "Immigrant Space and Place in Suburban Sacramento". It's the cheapest bet.

http://www.brookings.edu/metro/pubs/...apterdraft.pdf
Haha, you're right! I definitely don't want to live in the mountains where they get snow...that's the whole reason I want to leave Wisconsin to begin with. And I would rather cut my foot off than live in LA. So I suppose my wording should have been the Bay Area.

I don't really mind if the people I live around aren't prosperous. I think that there's more to life than earning lots and lots of money. Also, I'm very open to other cultures so I would actually really enjoy living near people who come from such diverse backgrounds. I think that it would be a fantastic learning experience.

Thank you for the link

Last edited by elephanteazul; 04-19-2011 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Midwest
56 posts, read 102,000 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobE View Post
Guy, you aren't ready for anywhere decent in California financially. You seriously need to take stock of your life if you have any ideas about moving west. California's unemployment is very high and it is so expensive to live there (I was born and raised there). So unless you can get the education necessary to, say, get a job in healthcare or other growing areas that haven't been outsourced overseas or disappeared due to technological change your options are going to be rather limited. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Girl actually I've heard about the expense many times. But is that true for every area of the state? I can't imagine that every single town is crazy expensive. I could be wrong of course, but it's just hard for me to imagine that. Thanks for the advice, it's definitely something I'll keep in mind. I'm not so good with practical matters, I guess. I'm a dreamer I need folks like you to bring me back down once in a while.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Midwest
56 posts, read 102,000 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
someone has suggested you take an aptitude test for starters. That is a great idea. I know you say you fell in love with Ca and that is understandable. There is a lot to fall in love with, but you were there 10 years ago. It sounds like you are living a dream you have built up in your head.

You have obviously had many jobs, have been out of high school probably close to 5 years, have no idea what you want to do with your life and have no money (a few hundered $$S is no money) Just to get an apartment or a room in someones home would cast a few hundred for starters. To even consider such a move you should have $5,000 saved.

The unemployment rate is very high, which I am sure you realize, the cost of living is among the highest in the country and I am guessing you don't even know anyone in the state.

If you are insistant on moving to Ca look at areas just east of SAC, yes, Chico as someone suggested, maybe south of SAc but no way can you find anything near the bay area. Both Sac and San Francisco are going to be expensive living, maybe more than you can ever imagine.

It is true, do not pay much attention to Craigslist. It is ok for a brief idea, but most of what you see job wise and rentals are phonies or have strings attached.

As for job interviews, good luck, you might be one of the few who can get something that pays enough for rent and food immediately, chances are, you will not even get a call back, but who knows.

Nita
I'm sorry if my post was worded incorrectly. I began traveling to California ten years ago, but I've been there many times since. I would never make the decision to move somewhere I have only been to one time.

$5,000? Yikes! Thank you for giving me a figure to work with, that makes it a little easier to think about planning. I'll definitely look into Chico. The funny thing is that people say the same about the unemployment rate here (although I think that we're doing better than CA) but I've found it pretty easy to get job interviews and job offers. Doesn't mean it'll be the same everywhere, but it's interesting to me.
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