San Francisco is a beautiful city located in the Bay Area of California. It is one of the most attractive places in the country thanks to its temperate climate, access to fascinating attractions, beautiful natural landscapes and diverse population. San Francisco is a short drive from Silicon Valley, the site of a number of booming tech companies, which attracts people looking to work in the industry. Understanding the cost of living in San Francisco is the key to crafting a workable budget.
Rental price in San Francisco
The cost of living in San Francisco is among the highest in the country. Prices continued to rise, not least due to the massive growth of Silicon Valley and tech companies located near the city. Currently, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $ 2,700 per month. Of course, prices vary widely depending on the neighborhood you live in and what amenities you have.
Housing is also expensive in San Francisco, which is why more than half of residents rent their properties.
If you follow the 30% rule, which says your rent shouldn’t be more than 30% of your gross monthly salary, you’ll need to earn at least $ 8,500 per month to pay the average price of $ 3,500 per month. If you aren’t making that much money, you can still live in San Francisco, but you’ll just need to look around in areas that are a little more affordable. Calculating your budget with a higher cost of living is also a smart way to prepare for the move.
Affordable neighborhoods in San Francisco
By comparing different neighborhoods in San Francisco, you will see a drastic fluctuation in rental prices. Some neighborhoods are still affordable, even for newcomers to the city or students who don’t make much money. One example is Haight-Ashbury, a well-known area that was home to Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin. It is also known for its pedestrianized streets and median rental prices which have remained relatively stable in recent years.
Lone Mountain is a suburban neighborhood near the edge of Golden Gate Park, and it’s one of the many neighborhoods in San Francisco that have recently seen rental prices drop. This neighborhood is close to the University of San Francisco, making it a great area for students.
The Outer Sunset sits on the west side of Golden Gate Park and has earned a place among the city’s three most affordable neighborhoods. In the neighborhood, you’ll find pockets with local favorites like Andytown Cafe, Outerlands Restaurant, and Woods Outbound Brewery, which offer some of the best food, coffees, and beers in town.
Utility costs in San Francisco
Although San Franciscans pay above average rent, their utility costs are relatively low. Since the climate is pleasant for much of the year, residents do not have to operate their air conditioning or heating systems very much, if at all. For a 900 square foot apartment, the average total for utilities is $ 154 per month, including electricity, gas, water, and garbage collection. Some landlords cover some utilities, such as water and waste, while others will require the tenant to pay for all utilities based on usage.
Travelling expenses in San Francisco
Since San Francisco is known for its narrow, hilly streets and minimal parking, the majority of its residents rely on public transportation rather than personal vehicles. Fuel and auto insurance costs are higher than the national average in San Francisco, rising to $ 2,257 per year compared to the national annual average of $ 1,548. Additionally, the city’s traffic congestion levels are third in the country, after New York and Los Angeles. If you need to park downtown for your work, the typical daily parking rate is just over $ 27, while the average monthly parking is over $ 300.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train system runs throughout the city’s metropolitan area, so many residents rely on this mode of transportation to get around. The average fare for a single passenger is $ 4, although monthly passes are available. You can expect to spend around $ 160 per month if you take an average of two trips per day, or about 20 days per month. Other public transportation options include the familiar buses, taxis, and cable cars that run through tourist areas and the city’s downtown core.
Food costs in San Francisco
Groceries and food are factored into the overall cost of living in San Francisco. The price of groceries is higher than in other parts of the country and even in the state of California. A gallon of milk costs an average of $ 4, while a dozen eggs costs an average of $ 3. The typical city household spends about $ 430 per month on groceries, or just over $ 5,000 per year. The number of people in your household, your eating habits and the frequency of your restaurant meals will be factored into the grocery bill.
Since San Francisco is home to thousands of restaurants serving a wide range of dishes, many residents enjoy dining out. Depending on the restaurant, two people could spend $ 20 to $ 200 or more on meals.
Student costs in San Francisco
Several major universities and colleges can be found in San Francisco, so the area attracts a number of students. Most students share apartments with roommates to offset rising rental prices and utility costs. If you plan to live off campus, look for rental accommodation within walking distance of your school’s campus to eliminate transportation costs. San Francisco state students can gravitate to the Outer Sunset while USF students can choose Lone Mountain, but students will likely be living with roommates anyway.
Living in San Francisco provides access to an attractive year-round climate, world-class dining options, a diverse population comprising many different cultures, and renowned landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge. Many of the world’s largest and fastest growing tech companies are headquartered in the city, making it a prime destination for those looking to work in the industry.
When planning to relocate to San Francisco, prepare for the cost of living and what to expect so you can budget for it. Search thousands of San Francisco apartments for rent on Zumper and find your new home.