A Week in Los Angeles on a $60,000 Salary


Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a content creator who makes $60,000 a year

Occupation: content creator

Age: 26

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Salary: $60,000 (approx. $1,800 per pay period)

Day One

I’m a small-time content creator living in Los Angeles. Some might even refer to my job as a “micro-influencer,” but it’s not really a term I hear outside of the industry. Most people think that being a content creator means you easily make six figures, but there are some of us who make a decent living so long as our audiences are engaged. Similar to other types of freelancers, I negotiate my rates with the brands I work with to guarantee I have a good income. Today, I went out to shoot some content for a brand. I stopped by a bakery before going home.

Total: $7

Day Two

I didn’t do much besides some emails today. Part of my job is just paying attention to trends online. For example, if a specific toy from Mattel is trending, then it would be in my best interest to make content about it. Most people are familiar with the company because they’ve been manufacturing toys since the ’40s. They’ve made everything from Hot Wheels to Barbie dolls. And some of their other heavy-hitters include American Girl dolls, Fisher-Price toys, Monster High, and even UNO. Who hasn’t heard of UNO or Barbie? There are online content creators who share new toys, show off Barbie collections, and review specific products. Personally, I love being part of any online conversation.

Total: $0

Day Three

My dad is celebrating his retirement soon and has really been into gardening and house plants lately. So, I’ve decided to get him one. Because he lives in Washington, I decided to send live plants as gift. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit his green thumb, so I only have low-maintenance indoor plants like snake plants. But I think he would really appreciate getting a Chinese money plant or even some orchid plants on his doorstep. I ended up going with the money plant.

Total: $40

Day Four

Because I don’t have an office, I tend to make every other place my office. I will be spending my day working at a cafe instead of my apartment. It’s nice to be around people but also get my work done.

Total: $12

Day Five

As usual, I started my morning by responding to emails from brands. I also scheduled some posts to go up for the next week. A lot of my work as a content creator involves publishing content on social media, so I spend hours on my phone. My screen time is probably close to six hours. I respond to comments and messages, and I also follow other content creators to network. Thankfully, Los Angeles is full of people who do the same type of work. So, it isn’t hard to meet other people even as someone who is technically self-employed.

Total: $0

Day Six

My roommate T. and I are going to spend a whole day treating ourselves. We’re heading to a flea market to shop for some vintage home decor. Then, we’re stopping by the farmer’s market to look at fun ingredients we can cook with tonight. T. works at a popular restaurant here and makes amazing food. I like to pretend I’m her sous-chef and help with cutting vegetables.

Total: $53

Day Seven

I’ve decided to give myself the day off because it’s been a while. I went to visit my Aunt P. in Los Feliz and brought her some flowers. Whenever I visit, I always end up going home really full and with a bag full of random groceries and treats that she insists I take.

Total: $9

Total for the week: $121


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