The West Coast is a popular place to live, but in many cases, it’s also quite expensive. Buzzy locales like Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area are among the most expensive cities in the U.S. By one calculation, you’d need to make over $120,000 a year just to live comfortably in San Francisco. In Seattle, that number is almost $90,000. Los Angeles isn’t quite as bad as either of those cities, but it’s not too far behind them either, with an expected income of about $87,000 to feel comfortable. So what do you do if you love the laid-back vibe of the West Coast but don’t want to live with three roommates and/or sell an organ just to make the rent? Luckily, there are other, less-costly cities in the country’s western half that still have plenty to offer, including Las Vegas.

Sin City Life

When traffic is bad, the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas is about five hours. But the drive is well worth it if you’re looking for a cheaper place to live. Someone who makes $50,000 in the Los Angeles area only needs to make about $37,000 in Vegas to reach the same standard of living. Las Vegas may not have the population of Los Angeles, but LA is the second-biggest city in the country, so not many places are going to be able to match that. However, Vegas does have nearly 650,000 inhabitants, and Clark County is the most populous county in Nevada with a population of almost 2.5 million. Neither of those numbers is anything to sneeze at, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of the migration into the Vegas area is coming from Los Angeles County. It’s much easier to afford a house in a place like Las Vegas. Sure, you have to deal with a lot of desert heat, but that’s why air conditioning exists.

There is a good chance that you are downsizing if you are moving to Vegas, so you’ll probably need to part with that lazy boy from college or buck up and rent a self storage facility. Moving is an ideal time to take inventory of your life and figure out what you really do and don’t need in your house. Do you really need that nightstand that you’ve had since college? What about your old high school yearbooks? Self storage is the perfect solution when you’re looking to clear out space in your living area but aren’t ready to haul a big load of items to either your local dump or your local thrift store. There are plenty of self storage units in Vegas with various promotions so it shouldn’t break the bank.

Las Vegas Culture

It would be useless to pretend that gambling isn’t a significant part of life in Las Vegas. The tourism industry markets itself as a playground for adults with slogans like “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But locals will tell you that you don’t have to go hang out on the Strip unless you want to. There’s a lot to do there, sure, but casinos aren’t the game in town, pardon the pun. All that casino money does have a way of attracting plenty of talent to the city to perform, though. Big names like Britney Spears and Celine Dion have taken on residencies in Vegas, and more names are being announced all the time. Gwen Stefani recently launched her “Just a Girl” residency at Planet Hollywood, and Lady Gaga will be playing The Park Theater at Monte Carlo starting in December 2018.

If sports are more your thing, then you should know that the NFL’s Oakland Raiders will be moving to Vegas soon, and the Golden Knights NHL hockey team is already there. In fact, they just completed their first season with a run to the Stanley Cup Finals. They lost to the Washington Capitals in 5 games, but that long playoff run turned a city in the middle of the desert into a major hockey town.

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