Rent went up from 2700 to 3300…was planning on leaving anyway but jeez.

I don’t know what to do anymore. When I first got this apartment in 2021 I was paying $2400/mo and that was at the cap of my budget. Then in 2022 it went up to $2700. Now it’s looking like it’s going up to $3300 if I sign for 12 more months, and the month-to-month price is $4300.

I have a really nice salary in a HCOL city but honestly this does not feel okay. I was planning on the possibility of relocating to a less expensive city but this makes that decision a whole lot easier.

Seriously, how does anyone do it? No matter what I do, I can’t seem to feel like I’m getting ahead. I’m responsible. I do the right thing. I save for retirement and don’t eat out my meals. I drive a modest car. It feels like after a while, nothing else really helps.

In order to leave and find a less expensive city though, I’d need to leave my job. My job needs me to be in this city for some reason. They don’t even have us come into the office, they just need us in LA. I have no desire to stay here where the cost of living violently outpaces my ability to make money.

I’m 30, I have a savings of about 45k cash just in case I’d be moving, I have about 60k in 401k/ira funds. I work every weekend and sell artwork and have a YouTube channel. I can’t possibly side hustle more than I am. I cook at home and don’t eat out ever these days. I say no to plans. I’m trying so hard to do everything right.

I’m desperate for help on this. I feel so lost and defeated. If you have any guidance, I’m all ears.