Today’s post comes from Tonya at Budget and the Beach. Enjoy!
What’s your first impression when you think about the women of Los Angeles? Big (fake) boobs? Plastic face? Blonde? Driving fancy cars and gold-digging their way into marriage?
Yes, that’s what the movies and television would have you believe about LA women, but I’m here to tell you that that is about 1%…OK fine maybe 2% of what LA women are really like. In a town of approximately 3.58 million people, you can bet we are way more diversified than that, and many of us are living on tight…really tight budgets to make it in this sunny and expensive city.
I’m here to give you my perspective on how this real LA woman lives!
The reality TV shows would have you believing that we are out on most nights of the week partying at a new club, attending a charity event, fashion show, or some kind of movie premier.
But this LA woman stays home in her old 500 square foot apartment most nights of the week. If I do go out, it’s usually something very mellow like a movie or a friend’s house for a potluck and board game night. Occasionally I’ll grab a beer and a burger after playing beach volleyball all day. I’ll probably splurge on a good craft beer, but usually stop at one so it doesn’t get too expensive.
When I have a dinner party, it’s not fancy or catered. I usually make an inexpensive meal and friends bring over wine, beer, dessert, or an appetizer. For my 43rd birthday everyone brought over cheese, meats and wine, and we played charades. I doubt Lindsey Lohan would think my parties were worth attending.
90% of my home furnishings were donated from friends over the years, or from Ikea. Aside from replacing a shelf last year that I had over ten years and was about to fall over, I have not updated anything in my apartment in years. I’ve even used the same comforter I bought over seven years ago, despite the fact that it has minor rips and tears.
I don’t shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Instead I choose discount stores like Target, Kohl’s, and Marshalls. I buy shoes from Payless and my purses cost around $15-$20, which I pretty much use until they are worn out or too dirty to look presentable. I have one pair of black heels that I wear on the rare occasion I have to dress up, and most of my shoes are pretty worn down. I do, however, tend to put most of my dollars towards good quality sneakers for working out/running.
Speaking of fitness, I don’t belong to a gym, have a personal trainer, or have fancy equipment in my home. I workout outside with running and beach volleyball, and have a few basic exercise tools like two sets of free weights, a medicine ball, and a resistance band, so I can use them with free workout apps like Nike Training Club.
I don’t take a private jet to the Virgin Islands on a whim or fly in first class, but instead save up for a long time for trips, and use creative methods like churning credit cards for airline points. I also sacrifice places I really want to go, because I have not saved enough money and don’t want to go in debt or jeopardize saving for retirement.
My car is not a BMW or a Mercedes, but a paid-for 2002 Subaru with minor dents and scratches. My favorite moment with my car is when I visited my uncle when he was staying at the Beverly Hilton (yes, the same place Whitney Houston died), and you have no choice but to valet so I pulled up behind a Bentley in my POS car when it was super dirty and had sand all over.
I see the signs of aging and do admit to being enticed by expensive fillers to fill my hollowing cheeks, but could never really part ways with thousands of dollars to try to cover up who I really am and the natural ways we look as we get older. Besides, you have to repeat treatments almost once a year anyway! So everything you’re looking at on me is real…the good and the bad.
I hope this helps change some of the perception of the women who live in this city. A lot of us come from all over the country…well, because we like good weather! We all don’t work in the entertainment industry or want to be actors. We are video editors, writers, aerospace engineers, physical therapists, nurses, IT people, business owners, and teachers.
What is your perception of LA women?