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Old 03-13-2012, 12:58 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,497 times
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Hello, I have been reading the forums here for the past 5 days about moving to Los Angeles and so I finally decided to write my own and hopefully get good advice since I am really confused at the moment. I will be graduating this December with a bachelors in Psychology and plan on moving to Los Angeles to get my Masters in Social Work at Cal State Long Beach. I won't be going alone since my girlfriend is actually from Whittier, CA and is super excited about moving back to her hometown. Now here's the problem, I was really excited about it all until last week when reality sunk in. I am scared of moving and not making it financially since I am aware cost of living in California is much higher than here. I am also extremely close to my family which makes it even harder. I have been wanting to move since high school graduation but couldn't due to some family problems and decided to stay here to help them out and those problems are still present but i really don't know what to do. Should I stay here and keep helping my family or should I pursue this dream of mine? Please help me.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,321,908 times
Reputation: 1633
This is more of a moral issue than a logistical one, so it'll be very difficult to help answer your question.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:33 PM
 
Location: GLAMA
16,584 posts, read 32,641,418 times
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Caveat: I have a friend living in Long Beach. She earned her MSW about 4 years ago. She's having a rough time making ends meet with what her job pays. She works with at-risk kids.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:40 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,497 times
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I can transfer my job where I make $12/ hour and she can get her job back where she made $10/hour, would that be enough for a 1 bed apartment? She claims her friends are making it just fine but I am really terrified about not making it, I also have to focus on school and not stress too much about other stuff. I do see see how it can be a moral decision but I need some advice on is it time to move on with my life and still help them with what I can?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:46 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,321,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbgb09 View Post
I can transfer my job where I make $12/ hour and she can get her job back where she made $10/hour, would that be enough for a 1 bed apartment? She claims her friends are making it just fine but I am really terrified about not making it, I also have to focus on school and not stress too much about other stuff. I do see see how it can be a moral decision but I need some advice on is it time to move on with my life and still help them with what I can?
Thats about $45k a year between the 2 of you. Certainly doable, but you wont be living like kings. After taxes and living expenses are taken out, it'll be pretty slim. I don't know how much less expensive LB is than LA, but I normally work with a $1200/month minimum for a 1 bedroom apartment. Its probably possible to find something around the $1k mark.

What other money do you have going out every month? Loans/bills/car/insurance/etc?
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:58 PM
 
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Well between the both of us we pay about $1,300/month in bills :/ not including rent.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:03 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,162 posts, read 8,321,908 times
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I don't think the math works out here.

$10/hour * 2080 = $20,800
$15/hour * 2080 = $24,960
(assuming full time job).

Thats $45,760 / year - Roughly $3,800 / month.

Minus $1300 = ~$2,500.

$2,500 - $1200 rent = $1313 left over for living expenses.

Keep in mind, that does not take into effect income tax, health insurance, car expenses (unless they are in that $1300 you mentioned), savings or other expenses.

I don't see that working well.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:17 PM
FHL
 
3 posts, read 4,512 times
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I think it's great that you are pursuing your Master's degree. I think it is important to focus on your goal. Is your goal to move out here to California? Is your goal to live with the love of your life? Or is it your goal to get your Master's degree? Identify your primary goal and make that your main goal without adding additional hurdles. Studying for a your Master's degree is difficult and I would try to limit the number of hours worked and also limit taking on other responsibilities (maintaining a place and relationship). As others have mentioned, it sounds like you are barely going to be able to pay your bills and that is in case nothing happens (loss of job, sickness, a baby, etc.)
My recommendation would be to stay in your state and live with your family and study in a familiar environment. Less stress about all the peripheral things that are not part of your goals. Work to save money but do not make it your primary thing.
If you absolutely have to move to California to study for your Master's, I'd make sure you have money saved for contingencies, a higher paying job and rent a single room for yourself in someone's home.
Best wishes!

If getting your Master's degree is your main goal, I would recommend that you then it may be stressful enough to be studying toward your Master's and then to add working full time and also other responsibilities of paying for bills (with not alot of money).
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