For me, the high cost of living in L.A. is worth it, because in exchange for the struggle, you’re close to the mountains and the beach, you meet creative and interesting people, and the weather is beautiful all the time.
Also, fwiw, I’ve found that the weather makes it easier to economize in areas that aren’t housing. You don’t need expensive winter clothes. You can bike, walk or take the bus/train to work every day of the year. You can grow your own produce. The parks and beaches are your gym, etc.