Temping in Hollywood is not a lucrative occupation. The pay range is typically between $11 and $18 per hour. Right now Temp X is making $14.30 per hour before taxes. But whatever your hourly rate, Hollywood isn't cheap and you need to spend your money wisely -- whether on food, rent or well, actually you're usually out of money by then. But the most curious thing is how you look at the cost of things.
Temps (and for that matter, most assistants in Hollywood) cease looking at expenses as a dollar amount but rather as how many hours you'll have to work to make up that cost. I was gonna do a whole breakdown of the Consumer Price Index and a Market Basket analysis, but then I realized I got a C in economics, so I'd probably just screw it up.
So instead, here's a quick list of likely purchases a Temp would make and how much they cost in "Temp Time":
1 cup of coffee (for you) = 10 minutes
1 Grande Macchiato & 1 non-fat scone (for your boss) = 45 minutes
1 burrito (half for lunch, half for dinner) = 30 minutes
1 tank of gas (regular unleaded) = 4 hours
1 monthly bus pass = This is LA, how would I know?
1 beer (foreign) = 30 minutes
1 beer (now that you're buzzed, domestic) = 15 minutes
A date = N/A
2 movies ("Theater Hopper" rate) = 1 hour*
Valet parking = 30 minutes
Parking ticket for accidentally using the Valet Zone = 5 hours
1 computer to write "Showgirls 2" = 80 hours
Laser printer, paper and brass fasteners for script = Free (use the stuff at work, duh!)
1 pack of cigarettes (for networking with Studio Executives) = 30 minutes
1 box Nicoderm CQ (7 patches) = 3 hours
NOW GET BACK TO WORK!
DENOTES: A BARGAIN
DENOTES: A NECESSITY