Being in California (Will Cost You an Arm and a Leg) Part II

Hi Readers and Happy Friday! I hope all of you had a wonderful Halloween. It was nice seeing everyone in their costumes. Low key was jelly of all those people who got to do some sort of Halloween-theme celebration in their offices.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have one in my office. But it’s all good. This was probably the first year in quite some time that I did not do anything for Halloween. Tony and I had our own night in and it was very relaxing especially after all the moving we’ve been doing.

Today, I wanted to go back around to my previous post from a couple of weeks about living in California. I said it was two-part blog post and I had planned to release the second part immediately after the first but I got caught up and was unable to publish that.

So here we are 🙂 For purpose of this narrative, all names and locations will be fictitious as in this case I don’t want to disclose people’s personal lives but just know this is based off a true story.

Just to start, we as Californians know the reality of living in California. We make jokes and memes about the cost of living, the excessive amount of traffic, and how we can’t handle the weather as soon as it drops below 70.

California is one of the most expensive states in the U.S. to reside and if you are considering moving here, it is best to do a little research and plan financially for your future here. The memes may be funny but they are by comparison not far from the truth. Here are just a couple of favorite memes about California that I reposted on Facebook:

  • “Don’t come to California, we at capacity no cap just don’t. Minimum wage be like 12 bucks, rent is 2000, you gone need about 2 roommates, a YouTube channel, and a sugar daddy to make it here.” – @teamTonyy via Twitter.
  • “Surviving in California requires like 2 jobs and a little fraud on the side.”

Although none of these memes are literal, knowing the reality of the cost of living, it might as well be literal in comparison. But hey, who knows? Maybe you actually know someone in California who does work two jobs and has a little fraud business on the side.

But let’s face it, the intent to reside in California comes with a hefty pocket and it’s best to prepare for such a move coming from out of state.

Tim was a former coworker of mines. Him and girlfriend moved here from Illinois; not from the big city (Chicago) but more of the rural areas. They both picked up and decided to just move to California. Fortunately for him, he had a family member who resides in San Diego County that he was able to stay with at the time.

They both made the attempt to try and make it out here; with barely any money and in search of jobs. Tim was hired at my company but at a rate just a little above minimum wage. His girlfriend landed an interview the first week they arrived.

In an overheard conversation between my coworker, Frankie and Tim, they discussed more of his background and living situation. Tim told Frankie where he came from and what he hopes to happen living out here in San Diego.

Frankie: So where are you from?
Tim: Illinois. Greenville.
Frankie: Cool. Did you come out here alone? What made you want to come out here?
Tim: I came out here with my girlfriend. I actually have family out here; my cousin. He lives in Escondido which I guess is considered part of San Diego?
Frankie: Oh yeah, it’s part of North County. It’s still within the San Diego County.
Tim: Yeah. My girlfriend and I are looking for places to rent for the time being. What are some areas you recommend?
Frankie: Well, most areas that rent for cheap, you’d either have to go little further South or a little further East.
Tim: The thing is, my girlfriend and I don’t even to want to rent. We were actually trying to come out here and buy a house.
Frankie: Everyone here rents unfortunately. It’s expensive to buy a house out here and the average person lives paycheck to paycheck. Renting is just our best option even though we’re wasting money.
Tim: Exactly. Renting is just wasting money. That’s why we’d rather buy a house.

Needless to say after being oblivious to the facts about the cost of living in California; having to ask for more compensation and unfortunately being denied, Tim and his girlfriend had move back to Illinois.

The song and/or phrase of “California Dreaming” implied to be free and away from hardship but the meaning can no longer stick. Being in California means you need to pay a little more than other states to live here and a lot of people here face financial hardship or at least close it to if not at all.

I think if Tim had planned and did a little bit more research about California’s cost of living and the housing market, he may have been able to strategize better in trying to move here. My hope for him and his girlfriend by moving back to Illinois is that if they ever have any intentions of coming back to California, they’ll make a long-term plan for it.

Being a Californian, I’m so hopeful for us but numbers don’t lie. The average Joe in California:

  • Lives paycheck to paycheck
  • Most likely to rent
  • Most likely to carry two jobs
  • Most likely to be living in two-income household
  • Most likely to eat out because we work late hours and we don’t want to go home and cook.
  • Most likely to consider moving out of state.

It’s everything. I hope Tony and I will one day just break this stigma although I did talk about moving out of state and so did his parents. I guess the cost of living is so ridiculous that we too have to joke and laugh about it.

Let me know what you guys think. Are you feeling the cost of living creeping up on your back? If you’re from out of state or have lived out state, how does that compare to now living in California? Could you afford to buy a home at the moment? Are you working two jobs? Do you have a side business?

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post or maybe it made you feel salty (just kidding). Hope you all have an amazing weekend. (80 degrees in November!)

Until the next post,


Relatable + Empathetic (2019)

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