San Diego Cost of Living


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San Diego is one of the most beautiful, diverse, and populous cities in the United States, with world-class restaurants, stunning sandy beaches, a comfortable year-round climate, and a community-oriented population. health. Whether you want to live in the artsy Hillcrest district, the glitzy community of Coronado, or the hip, hip Pacific Beach area, you’ll want to know the cost of living in San Diego, California. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basic average cost of living in San Diego so you can budget accordingly to find the best neighborhood to live in.

San Diego Cost of Living Calculator and Index

Due to its beautiful climate and strong economic growth, San Diego has seen a massive influx of people moving to the area, which contributes to an above average cost of living in San Diego. Overall, the city’s cost of living is 49% higher than the national average, with housing costs being a whopping 130% higher than the national average. Costs of goods and services are 8% higher, with groceries 16% higher, transportation 30% higher, and utilities around 19% higher than the national average.

Most jobs are in the professional and commercial sector, government services, recreation and hospitality, and health care. Naval Base San Diego employs nearly 50,000 people and the University of California San Diego employs nearly 40,000. The median average income for all of San Diego is $ 79,646, making it one of the highest in the United States.

Cost of living in San Diego: Average rental prices

San Diego has many diverse neighborhoods, including Julian in the Cuyamaca Mountains, upscale La Jolla on the north shore of the Pacific Ocean, and trendy beaches like Pacific Beach. As you can imagine, rental prices vary a bit depending on the location. Overall, San Diego has been successful in keeping rental prices stable.

Check out these rental price comparisons for a one bedroom apartment in the San Diego area. If you are moving to Coronado Island, expect to pay $ 2,500 per month, $ 1,960 for Encinitas and San Diego proper around $ 1,800. You’ll find cheaper rental rates as you head east from the beaches and downtown, with La Mesa at around $ 1,600 and El Cajon at $ 1,340 per month.

If you are planning on attending school at San Diego State University near La Mesa and College District or working at the Naval Base or downtown San Diego, consider finding a roommate to help you reduce rental costs. Depending on where you live in the San Diego area, you’ll also need to calculate transportation costs if you need to travel to work or school.

Cost of living in San Diego: Utilities

When you include electricity, natural gas, water, and garbage, the average utility bill in San Diego is around $ 130 per month. Since the weather in San Diego is fairly mild, your heating bills rarely change with the seasons, which means your utility bills stay pretty consistent. High speed internet costs around $ 65 per month.

Cost of living in San Diego: Transport

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Traffic can get heavy in San Diego, especially on the many major freeways that residents use to get to and from work. Interstate 5 takes people from the northern part of San Diego to the naval base, colleges, and downtown. Interstate 15 brings commuters to eastern regions like Riverside and Escondido. During rush hour, expect to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Plus, school vacations bring many families to beaches and major San Diego attractions, adding extra traffic to freeways. If you don’t drive, you can use the Metropolitan Transit System, which offers several bus and trolley lines that can take you around popular areas of San Diego. Fares range from $ 2.50 one way or you can get the Compass Card for discounts.

Average gasoline prices range from $ 3.18 per gallon for regular gasoline to $ 3.75 per gallon for premium. For auto insurance, expect to pay a little more than the national average. In San Diego County, the average cost per year is $ 1,030. In other parts of California, drivers pay around $ 842 and nationwide, around $ 889.

Cost of living in San Diego: Food budgeting

Groceries are about 13% higher than the national average, depending on where you shop. Essential groceries will cost more if you shop at trendy grocery stores than if you shop at one of the many outdoor farmers markets. San Diego is a diverse city with a range of cultures, and you can find specialty stores that sell Latin, Asian, and Mediterranean products.

San Diego has so many wonderful restaurants and bars to enjoy that you’ll want to save some money for dining out. From the freshest seafood to premium handcrafted cocktails, you’ll want to get out occasionally to experience San Diego’s food scene. Keep in mind that foodie sections of San Diego like the Business District, Gaslamp Quarters, or La Jolla can be pricey, with the average lunch meal for one costing around $ 17.

Cost of Living in San Diego: Health Care

Health is another factor to factor in the cost of living in San Diego. In general, you’ll pay around 64% more for health care when you live in San Diego than in other parts of the United States, which makes San Diego one of the most expensive places for health care. health.

Sales tax

Overall, San Diego’s 7.75% sales tax rate is higher than in most cities in California. California also enjoys high personal income tax rates, so be sure to budget for both of these tax structures. However, if you own your home, San Diego County has a relatively low property tax of 0.76%.

Free San Diego Activities

If you’re on a budget, take advantage of the many free things to do in San Diego. Head to the beach to play in the surf or watch the sunset, hike the trails of the Eastern Mountains or stroll through Balboa Park and the historic Mexican part of Old Town. Whether you’re strolling through the Gaslamp District to window shopping or flying a kite in Mission Bay Park, enjoy the outdoors.

Whether you choose to settle in for the surf lifestyle, go to school, or soak up the laid back vibe that San Diego has to offer, you’ll know exactly how much living in San Diego costs. Search apartments and houses for rent on Zumper and find your next home.

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