‘You’: Can Joe Goldberg Afford His L.A. Rent?

You, which premiered on Lifetime in 2018, has gained a massive following after Season 1 dropped on Netflix. Season 1 took place in New York, while Season 2 focuses on Joe Goldberg’s new life in Los Angeles. While there is a lot to unpack about the show, fans are still pretty confused about Joe’s finances. How does the misunderstood stalker and murderer actually make ends meet, and can he really afford his life in Los Angeles?

Where does Joe live during Season 2 of You?

During Season 2 of You, Joe travels to Los Angeles to lay down roots. The apartment he lives in is an actual complex in the Hollywood Hills. Located at 1830 Winona Boulevard, Joe’s apartment is a small one-bedroom, one-bathroom with a bay window in the living room. The complex promises unique features, including vintage tiles.

While nothing is currently available in the complex, an apartment was recently available for rent as recently as November 2019. According to Hot Pads, the unit, which seems like a carbon copy of Joe’s living space, was priced at $1995 per month. Residents are allowed to have a single pet in the unit for an additional deposit, and can even rent a parking spot for a fee.

The rent is on par with what most people can expect to pay in Los Angeles. According to Business Insider, the going price for similar-sized units in Los Angeles is $1,949. The national average, for a one-bedroom apartment, is just $977, according to the publication.

What does Joe Goldberg do for a living?

After fleeing New York, Joe ends up in Los Angeles and manufactures a situation that eventually leads to him landing a job at Anavrin, an upscale grocer that caters to the health-conscious. While the actual store doesn’t exist, Bustle suggests that Anavrin took its inspiration from a real market. The market in question, Erewhon, focuses on ethically sourced, sustainable food products.

Joe never mentions how much he makes on the show, but one can surmise that he likely makes about $14 per hour, based on salaries reported from Erewhon Market employees. Assuming Joe works a full, 40-hour week, his gross weekly pay would be about $560. After taxes, Joe would need to figure out a way to budget $446 per week.

Can he afford his LA lifestyle?

Joe would be hardpressed to survive in Los Angeles on just his Anavrin salary. If Joe is paying the going rate for rent, he wouldn’t even make enough money to cover the monthly payment. He would likely take home just under $1800 each month, leaving him $200 shy for his rent every single month. That is all before factoring in paying for necessities like transportation, food, utilities and anything that Joe would consider fun, like stalking people.

It’s possible that Joe had money from Mr. Mooney, or that he is supplementing his income selling fake, rare books. One Reddit user notes that Joe could likely make rent by selling a single counterfeit book each month. It is never mentioned, in the series, if that’s how he makes ends meet, though.