Cost of Living in San Francisco

Summary about cost of living in San Francisco:

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 20.00 $ 15.00-25.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 80.00 $ 60.00-100.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 10.00 $ 6.00-11.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 7.00 $ 6.00-8.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 7.25 $ 6.00-9.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.55 $ 4.00-5.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.54 $ 1.59-3.50
Water (12 oz small bottle) 1.86 $ 1.00-2.50
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 4.09 $ 3.00-6.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 3.15 $ 2.00-4.00
Rice (white), (1 lb) 1.96 $ 1.00-3.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.16 $ 2.00-4.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 8.78 $ 4.00-20.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 5.92 $ 3.99-9.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 6.67 $ 4.99-12.00
Apples (1 lb) 1.87 $ 1.00-2.39
Banana (1 lb) 0.91 $ 0.69-1.00
Oranges (1 lb) 1.57 $ 1.00-2.30
Tomato (1 lb) 2.10 $ 2.00-2.50
Potato (1 lb) 1.76 $ 1.00-2.00
Onion (1 lb) 1.25 $ 1.00-2.00
Lettuce (1 head) 1.20 $ 1.00-1.79
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.87 $ 1.00-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 $ 10.00-20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.04 $ 1.20-2.86
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 2.20 $ 1.25-3.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 12.00 $ 12.00-13.25
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.75 $ 2.50-3.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 81.00 $ 78.00-94.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 $ 3.50-4.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 3.50 $ 2.75-5.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 33.00 $ 33.00-33.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 3.94 $ 3.59-4.30
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 22,000.00 $ 20,000.00-27,179.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 21,606.80 $ 18,000.00-28,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 137.33 $ 65.00-225.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.10 $ 0.07-0.15
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 67.53 $ 50.00-99.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 81.95 $ 45.00-170.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 18.50 $ 5.00-35.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.00 $ 13.00-17.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 2,210.33 $ 1,500.00-3,000.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 27,864.50 $ 15,000.00-36,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 64.20 $ 45.00-100.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 42.63 $ 30.00-60.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 86.82 $ 65.00-120.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 150.12 $ 90.00-250.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 3,442.61 $ 2,800.00-4,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,830.55 $ 2,300.00-3,317.50
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 6,190.70 $ 4,800.00-8,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 4,750.64 $ 3,700.00-6,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,177.14 $ 999.99-1,499.99
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 889.93 $ 699.99-1,199.99
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 7,168.72 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 4.19 3.50-5.00

Prices in San Francisco, California

These data are based on 2353 entries in the past 18 months from 382 different contributors.
Last update: October 2019
Sources and References: Info
Add new source here:
Sign up for our newsletter:
Your email address:
This page in other languages:

DeutschLebenshaltungskosten in San Francisco
PortuguêsCusto de Vida em São Francisco
ItalianoCosto della Vita a San Francisco
FrançaisCoût de la Vie à San Francisco
EspañolCosto de Vida en San Francisco

Leave a comment:
Your name: Sign In
Your email address (optional):
Your comment (no HTML):

16 Comments so far

#ITer on Aug 18, 2019 :
The IT salaries they boast about are a huge scam: of those 250k for a SSE 40% goes in taxes for a 3rd world level welfare, of the remaining at least 30% are RSUs/stocks.
1 bhk is at least 3.5k a month
#Anonymous on Jan 26, 2019 :
Offficial minimum wage in San Francisco 2019, is 15$/hr.
#Bob on Jan 10, 2019 :
What is minimum salary for part time jop for international student?
#Karl Bartz on Jul 09, 2018 :
Iam a owner of a house in Traben-Trarbach 5000 Inhabitants in the west of Germany near the river Mosel.
In my house there are 3 apartments,
two with 60 square meter and 4 rooms one with two rooms and 40 squaremeter.
The two apartment with 60 sq.m are for 400 Euro rent.
The 40 sq.m room is for 400 Euro rent.
#AE on Jul 08, 2018 :
I wonder what the price of the apartment I rented would be now...

For a couple years, I lived in a beautiful 1-bedroom apartment on Steiner Street, just off Union, in 1988 - 1990, and the cost was only $750 per month. I did not own a car, but I could catch the electric bus a half block from my apartment, to go anywhere in town, quite often to SoMa, to e.g. Hamburger Mary's and to the rock clubs nearby - likely all gone now... I could walk to a great fresh pasta/bread/wine store 2 blocks away from my apartment, near the Triangle (if it's even still called that), and get the makings for a wonderful dinner, and I could grab a video at the vid store just up on Union (yeah, long gone), or go grab a coffee at the place just one block up on Union (too lazy to check the current name). Best time of my life. I will remember the fog rolling in, grabbing a sandwich and beer at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store (Union & Columbus). I will remember the Christmas day when it was 32 degrees. I also lived for a year or two on Kearney, above the stairs, and will always remember the delicious caccuccio, bread and red wine at Little Joe's on Broadway. I was in SF when the earthquake struck in '89. I was in the building on Montgomery directly across from the TransAmerica Pyramid - I recall a long stream of yuppies walking home, west on Union Street, since the electric buses were out.

Best single years of my life. San Francisco is so beautiful. I will always remember it. Thank you San Francisco. I hope that at least some of the magic still remains. At least the Fog...
#SF glory on Feb 11, 2018 :
SF is expensive but wait till you get to europe. Coming from Lille, a town in France, I have to say that SF is paradise in terms of space, quality of life AND PRICE!

SF is expensive but not as expensive as Paris. I have been searching for rooms in SF and I found through a site called Zoopla and Craigslist a couple of apartments that are around $2,200 all inclusive of utilities. Plus has amenities.

All SF apartments for around $2,200 have amenities meaning, gym, pool and rooftop. Yes it is pricey, especially since I was paying 800 Euros in Lille. But for all that I get, it is extremely OK!

And of course, if you want to have a CAR, then yes, the cost of living will go up! But use the bus! Americans are not used to using public transport for some reason.
#Jackson Reuli on Sep 28, 2017 :
Before SF i was living in a smaller city north of Chicago. Lived with my parent till 24. Till then i was saving every penny. Eventually I started making around $10M per year in RE. Decided to move to SF for a new job. I bought another property here roughly 7M. I make quite alot off of it and basically can live for free but still pay rent because why not. It comes right back to me.
#Sfgirl on Oct 04, 2016 :

I'm from SF area, these stats look about right. I've lived here my whole life and I'll agree the cost of living here is wayyy too expensive, unless you're in low income housing or some kind of government aid you'll be living in the out skirts of the city or inner city area. Living anywhere near or in the bay you will be paying at least 2200+ for a good 1bdrm apartment in the nicer safer areas. It's not impossible to find something cheaper but it is hard. Especially if you don't have the right connections. Right now I am living near the lake merrit area and I have an amazing 1 bdrm in Oakland really popular and diverse place. Lots of restaurants and bars, night life is ok I guess. But I am paying 1870 for a tiny 1 bdrm just imagine living in the city!
#Let's Go To San Francisco on Aug 30, 2016 :
San Francisco sounds much like London, very pricey and really a town for the super rich tech fraternity and finance sectors..

All the blue/white color workers should move out and then the rich will have to fend for themselves and learn how to cook and clean their houses themselves..

Cities like this are losing their creativity and friendly community.. economic unfairness where there's a one two of three per cent that have it all and then everyone else is struggling to pay rent on a one bedder..

Back in the 70s and 80s SF was a totally different place and was really cheap and fun..

Gotta bring back the fun in life...
##MIC on Aug 11, 2016 :
I live in the "Tendernob" and my studio (1/2 bedroom because I converted the closet into a bedroom) is $1,636 w/ rent control. Someone here brought up that the 'average wage' was over $4k/month. I don't think that's 'average.' There's great wealth disparity here which means, among other things, that there are a disproportionately large (when compared to the rest of the US) population of VERY highly paid tech & finance industry workers. That said, there are still fewer of them than service workers. Very poorly paid service/retail workers are LEGION here. So, with both compensation ends being skewed ~ either by the inflated wage or by the inflated number of people ~ there's just no real, accurate "averages." There are two extremes and not much in the middle. The problem is that although there's no average wage, there are averages for rent, food, utilities, etc. Those averages are skewed WAY up so that the very highly paid (relative) minority at the top can afford a 1BR apt, eating out at restaurants, going to movies, etc. Most people can't, though.

Most of the people I know who got here within the past 5 years (within the housing price bubble) live 3~5 in a house, 40 minutes outside of downtown by bus in the Richmond. They eat beans-&-rice and scrape their change together to go out for 1 beer a week with friends. Virtually no one works as few as 8 hours/day.

If you want to move here, decide what quality-of-life level you can sustain. Then figure out from data like on this site how much that would cost you. Do you or can you make an income that will pay for that? Will you be able to save/invest at all? How long can you sustain living like that? Bottom line: I wouldn't 'casually' move to SF. You're likely to loose your shirt and limp home to your parents if you don't think hard and plan carefully.
#BamBoo on May 30, 2016 :
You know what SF should have ... capsule hotels like what's in Japan.. They're cheap, clean, private and handy..

Lot's of tech workers as well as everyone else workers could find this a great way to head-down at night without going broke...
#SH on May 13, 2016 :
It's Expensive.
I rent a bunk bed (the top half at that :-() in a warehouse for $1399. !!
Then food, etc also costs more.
I pay $300 for parking in a garage where I can take my ar out 6 times/month (I never take it out.) I walk generally. Or take the bus ($225 each way), or Uber ride share: $4.75-$16 depending on how far an what time of day).
Generally parking garages with in/out privileges are $450 or more. Daily parking is $25-$35 / day.
Best of Luck.
It's a great place to live, but difficult if you're on a budges, or have little free time to take care of things.
The best deal is in the Sunset district. There is street parking, rents are lower, and you'll have more Space for the price you pay. But the bus could take 40min or more to get you downtown. If you work 12hr/day, you're not gonna want another 1.5hr commute time. It's also easier to get to a grocery store, or do other shopping from the sunset district. Parking is a nightmare downtown; both traffic and parking is more normalized in the Sunset, but still no guarantees.
#sure shot on Apr 25, 2016 :
if you're on a low budget and not independently wealth then you can approach commendation with a more imaginative way ..

rent is the big ugly expense .. right !

ok, then forget about rent and become a secret car sleeping urban nomad .. don't use big vehicles or suv's because they stand out like a sore thumb and keep your belongings out of view from people looking in through the windows.. if the car looks like a mobile home on wheels then your cover is blown.. so the car has to look just like an everyday urban vehicle.. keep your stuff in the trunk or camouflaged perhaps under a black sheet or something that looks like one thing but really is another thing.. if you understand my meaning..

look, it's not going to be five star living .. and i don't recommend it to people who can't cope with such things.. but if you're independent, free and adventurous then hey it may be worth a shot..
#charlie on Mar 26, 2016 :

No. 3.4k is the average for a normal 1 bedroom apartment.
#H on Dec 14, 2015 :
How much would a 2 bedrooms apartment cost that's located say 30-45min to the center of SF?
#Negin on Dec 05, 2015 :
I wana move to SF in next year for living , i just wana know the price of rental apartment monthly , this is really high !!!!!! I'm single and i wana find cheap small home
Over to 500_850$ !
Is it possible!?