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Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Southern California

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in Southern California

California Dreamin’ wasn’t #89 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time for nothing. Aside from its popularity as a song and being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the song epitomizes the desire and longing that so many have felt to be in California — not just during the winter months or for Tinseltown, but for those California Girls.

With 38.8 million people living in California, and 22.68 million of them in Southern California alone, just knowing that the state has over 12% of the US population makes one wonder what the big draw is.

California Sound and the Beach Boys aside, Southern California is actually a great place for raising a family, has nearly-perfect weather year round, and well, you’ll be living the California Dream. Below, we’ve listed the top Southern California cities to live in.

Irvine

As #1 on the NerdWallet’s list for best cities for young families in Southern California, and in the top 100 on Livability’s list of best places to live, Irvine is at the top of our list for a reason. Set just a little inland, Irvine has consistently ranked as one of the best places to live. Its livability score on AreaVibes is 86, and it received A’s all across the board (aside from cost of living). With 10 higher education campuses and continually generous support for public schools, Irvine is one of the best places for families. Irvine has a medium income rate of $92,663 and only a 7.64 unemployment percentage, far less than the nation’s average.

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irvine

    Fullerton

    Fullerton is a quaint, picturesque city set in Orange County. With one of the top Public Schools and a rating of 8 out of 10 for Capistrano Unified School District, Fullerton has been ranked as an “Exceptionally Livable” city. With a lower median housing value than most Orange County cities, nine different parks within one mile of each other, and at least a dozen libraries and book shops, Fullerton offers families a wonderful living experience. With better scores for education, weather, employment, and even better housing, Fullerton ranks higher than Provo, UT — which ranked higher than it on Top 100 Best Places to Live.

    fullerton

      Costa Mesa

      With the Orange County Fair, Pacific Amphitheatre, and South Coast Plaza all close by, Costa Mesa is another top city in Southern California to live in. Also considered “exceptionally livable,” Costa Mesa has high graduation rates and an extremely stable housing market. Between Huntington Beach and Newport, Costa Mesa is a short drive to the beach and surpasses the supposed #1 place to live in the US, Madison, WI, with a higher median household income and a lower crime rate — Costa Mesa should really be #1 on that list.

      sealbeach

        Seal Beach

        With a Greatschools rating of 10 on NerdWallet, Seal Beach, California is not just one of the best, but one of the cheaper choices for families in Southern California. With top company Boeing calling Seal Beach home, it has one of the lowest housing values in California. At $286,400, Seal Beach also competes with another top US city to live in — Arlington, Virginia. As #3 on the Top 100 Best Places to Live, Arlington’s median housing value rockets to $577,300. Seal Beach also has a higher high school graduation rate than Arlington, at 93%. Seal Beach boasts a tight-knit community — when the pier needed major rebuilding, the community came together to save the pier and raised $2.3 million.

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          Rancho Santa Margarita

          As #2 on NerdWallet’s top Southern California cities, Rancho Santa Margarita definitely is on our list! With a small-town feel, Rancho Santa Margarita has a high-quality education background with a 94% graduation rate. With an exceptionally high median household income of $102,975, Rancho Santa Margarita’s small and local businesses have played a huge role in the city’s growth since 1999. (According to NerdWallet, there was a 31.22% income increase from 1999 to 2012!)

          cypress

            Cypress

            The quaint suburb town of Cypress, California is a great place for new families. With great neighborhoods and a Greatshools rating of 9 from NerdWallet, Cypress ranks high on the AreaVibes livability scale. Cypress battles the #2 best place to live, Rochester, MN, with a lower crime rate and higher median household income. Oh, and don’t forget the better weather! Cypress ranks an A+ on local.niche.com

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            placentia

              Placentia

              With a 46% lower crime rate than anywhere else in California, Placentia is a great and safe place to raise a family. Placentia also has a higher average household income ($75,693) than even San Diego ($63,990). It also has a high graduation rate, like most other California cities, and was named the “second-best place to live” in California according to The Orange County Register. Among this, Placentia also has a low unemployment rate, sits next to some beautiful lakes, and has great weather!

              Citrus_groves,_Golden_Ave.,_Placentia,_June_1961

                Murrieta

                Nestled between Temecula and Corona, Murrieta, California is a booming town in Riverside County. With a 133.7% population increase from the years 2000 to 2010, Murrieta definitely ranks on our top 10 cities. With an extremely low average housing value, at $286,600, Murrieta competes with our other top cities to live in. It also ranks 48% lower in crime rate compared to other California cities, and even Boulder, CO — which hits #4 for livability. Murrieta also has a much lower cost of living than Boulder and a higher household income, at $75,485.

                anaheim

                  Anaheim

                  Home of the Anaheim Angels and Disneyland, Anaheim California is the epitome of California Dreamin’. With a lower housing value than most other Orange County cities, at $415,900, Anaheim’s beautiful summer temperatures and great sightseeing make it a fun and adventurous place to live.

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                    Westminster

                    As another top city with a lower housing value ($462,100) than most California cities, Westminster has a wonderfully stable housing market. It’s even ranked as “extremely livable!” It has a great high income per capita and tons of great local amenities. With its close proximity to the LA metropolitan area and Little Saigon, Westminster offers great fun for families. It also scores an A+ on local.niche.com, and even though you may run into some notorious LA traffic, you can be sure to find great a personal injury attorney close by.

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                      Featured photo credit: Cypress at Lover’s Point Park, Monterey Bay/Ed Suominen via flic.kr

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                      Bethany Cleg

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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