Cost of Living in San Francisco

Summary about cost of living in San Francisco, CA, United States:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 20.00 $ 12.00-30.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 85.00 $ 60.00-150.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 10.00 $ 8.00-12.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 7.75 $ 5.00-9.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 8.00 $ 7.00-12.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.72 $ 3.25-7.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 2.43 $ 2.00-3.25
Water (12 oz small bottle) 2.01 $ 1.50-3.00
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 4.70 $ 3.50-6.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 3.45 $ 2.00-5.45
Rice (white), (1 lb) 2.39 $ 1.00-4.00
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.77 $ 2.00-6.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 6.77 $ 4.08-20.00
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 6.24 $ 2.99-8.99
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 7.02 $ 4.60-13.99
Apples (1 lb) 3.04 $ 1.17-4.00
Banana (1 lb) 1.01 $ 0.53-2.50
Oranges (1 lb) 2.24 $ 0.91-6.00
Tomato (1 lb) 3.20 $ 1.00-4.59
Potato (1 lb) 1.87 $ 0.50-3.28
Onion (1 lb) 1.57 $ 0.99-3.00
Lettuce (1 head) 1.97 $ 1.00-3.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.04 $ 0.89-4.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 $ 8.00-25.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.89 $ 1.79-4.29
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 3.19 $ 1.50-5.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 11.00 $ 9.00-15.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.00 $ 2.50-3.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 83.50 $ 80.00-99.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 $ 3.50-4.25
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 3.00 $ 2.75-4.45
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 33.00 $ 33.00-40.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 4.01 $ 3.20-4.50
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 25,000.00 $ 22,000.00-30,000.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 20,819.12 $ 20,000.00-24,000.00
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 175.80 $ 91.49-350.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.14 $ 0.03-0.26
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 63.99 $ 50.00-110.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 79.86 $ 35.00-150.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 17.57 $ 0.00-25.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 15.00 $ 12.75-20.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 2,508.97 $ 1,833.33-3,750.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 34,823.45 $ 26,000.00-60,000.00
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 57.38 $ 35.00-90.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 42.04 $ 30.00-60.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 86.91 $ 65.00-120.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 136.86 $ 90.00-200.00
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 2,997.58 $ 2,350.00-3,743.25
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,504.64 $ 1,800.00-3,070.62
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 7,446.60 $ 4,500.00-9,900.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 4,570.97 $ 3,600.00-6,500.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,238.22 $ 999.99-3,056.05
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 907.19 $ 749.99-1,299.99
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 7,658.69 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.52 3.00-4.50

Prices in San Francisco, California

This city had 1818 entries in the past 12 months by 283 different contributors.
Last update: July 2021
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11 Comments so far
Julie Bryan on Jun 10, 2021:
Hello folks

Firstly I am from England. Another place where things are stupidly costly on the money we get. I am wanting to know from someone that isn’t going to bull **** me what to expect for a monthly cost of living in Manhattan.

I’m going to give you an example of my current circumstances and I want as many responses as possible to compare. Realistic ones mind you. I am not interested in sharing with some loud drunken hormonal idiots.

I live near Sheffield. That’s Yorkshire for them that don’t know. The centre of Britain. In 2008 the cost of a city centre apartment with hardly enough room to swing a cat - was about £625 rent for a 1 bedroom maybe 2. In 2020 it’s now £925. So I now live in a house.

Here unless you are from a rich family with good jobs life sucks. You have to work long hours and put up with a lot of rubbish!

Monthly costs:
Water £60
Child support £200
Council tax (not including income tax and national ins contribution)
Rent £475
for a two bedroom is cheap normally it’s £700 for somewhere good.
£6 a week tv
£50 cable tv and internet
£20 month phone
£100 a month food if you don’t like eating a lot
£50 a month credit card

I have bad credit and no savings so I couldn’t get a mortgage.
If you earn a bit more then you can get a car. If you have a mummy and daddy they’ll pay for your car. They’ll get you started. Your £100 hang bag and make up and clothes. Whatever.

Here The average monthly wage is £1350
But they’ll claim it’s £2200 Your lucky if you get that.
Jobs are so hard to get because of the amount of applicants and I have 12 years experience and a degree!
That would be for a customer service, call centre, admin, business support, supervisory role. Sales.
You might make £2000 a month with overtime but you get taxes on this. They claim the average salary is £28000 a year maybe it is but you really have to work a lot and maybe you’ll get that if you a manger or tradesman.

Now compare that with yours. For my house worth £250k I can buy a house with a pool in America. For doing a customer service job in California(minus all the ridiculous costs on fashion you lot are into) I’d get £60-80k a year but need an American degree for that. A green card. A back up plan. I’d have to commit to long hours and we’ll if they don’t line you they can get rid.

You have no idea how lucky you are. No idea.

But your net pay is shocking.
Let’s say your in a £75000 a year job - which is a good job but you work long hours in California for that and will probably have no life) spending hours commuting. Putting up with pollution, crime etc and high living costs.

But you’ve all the deductions. Tax etc

I’ve seen hundred of 1-2 bed apartments in a good area in one of your skyscrapers with a gym (rubbish one) and some innovative design - THats between £3000 and £6000 alone - but what they don’t tell you is how much from your net pay you lose before it hits ya bank!!!

I’ve seen apartments in worser areas for less but not much less.
I’ve seen pay slips online and they claim £75000 dollars - a year
Your net pay is £2,500 a month. Before rent!!! Is this true??

Regardless because I’m a writer I have to spend time over there after lockdown. If you guys ever follow the rules.

What can I expect?

Gemme a run down


How much do you take home after deductions?

Be good to finally know the truth!

USA is sweet......I need friends in US cause I feel bored all the time I'm spending here....Yo can text me on my number (409)-292-3527.
Anonymous on Jan 01, 2021:
Hopefully covid19 will eliminate the majority because I need less travel time to shop
Anonymous on Sep 21, 2020:
San Francisco is a really great place to live for young or non-married folks.
Weather - Amazing weather all year long
Job opportunities - Extremely good. Tech, finance, arts, construction, barista, any and all jobs are out there
Compensation - Top of the market. You won't get paid better for the same job elsewhere
Cost of living - (bad) Really high.
*But if you're one to save, you can do what I did and get the high paying job (relative to other cities), and have a lower cost of living (smaller apartment, make my own coffee, bike around the city). Doing this, I was able to make and save a lot while living in SF.

But if you're going to come here, get paid a lot, but spend a lot, kind of defeats the purpose of getting the high comp.
Somebody on Mar 01, 2020:
San Francisco is old and filthy. The traffic is horrible, the people are rude and there are many people with Hiv/aids. If you are young and want to work to save your pennies, then you will likely be living in a closet paying $2,000/month to live like a rat. The Rich are the only ones making money off of the poor hardworking immigrants. The only way to survive is to work at least 80 hours per week. The only reason to be in San Francisco is to be around the Homosexual population. If I could choose anyplace to live in, it would be San Diego.
Tyler on Nov 12, 2019:
I’m currently 19 and thinking of moving to San Francisco from the UK in about 4-5 years time. I’m looking to find out wether this is an option I can explore for a 25 year old and to see if there are any opportunities for me. I’m currently working in the hospitality industry working in a hotel as a trainee manager. I was wondering if there is anything I can go straight into or if there is anything around? Thanks!
Anonymous on Jan 26, 2019:
Offficial minimum wage in San Francisco 2019, is 15$/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.