Cost of Living in San Francisco

Summary about cost of living in San Francisco:

Restaurants [ Edit ] Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 15.00 $ 12.00-20.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 75.00 $ 60.00-100.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 8.00 $ 7.00-10.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 6.00 $ 6.00-7.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 8.00 $ 7.00-9.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.41 $ 3.50-5.00
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.11 $ 1.00-3.00
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 1.75 $ 1.00-2.50
Markets [ Edit ]
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 4.34 $ 3.50-6.00
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 3.68 $ 2.41-5.00
Rice (white), (1 lb) 2.38 $ 1.00-4.25
Eggs (regular) (12) 3.91 $ 3.00-5.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 7.79 $ 5.00-16.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 5.70 $ 3.99-9.00
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 8.08 $ 4.95-14.00
Apples (1 lb) 2.80 $ 1.20-5.00
Banana (1 lb) 1.07 $ 0.79-1.80
Oranges (1 lb) 2.17 $ 1.00-3.00
Tomato (1 lb) 2.93 $ 1.50-4.15
Potato (1 lb) 1.91 $ 0.99-3.00
Onion (1 lb) 1.95 $ 1.00-3.00
Lettuce (1 head) 2.33 $ 1.00-3.80
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.14 $ 1.00-3.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 $ 11.75-20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.29 $ 1.30-3.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.75 $ 2.00-3.50
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 8.50 $ 7.50-9.80
Transportation [ Edit ]
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 2.50 $ 2.25-2.75
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 80.00 $ 73.00-91.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 $ 3.50-3.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.88 $ 2.75-4.50
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 33.00 $ 25.00-33.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 3.32 $ 3.00-3.75
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 22,000.00 $ 20,000.00-27,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 21,167.86 $ 18,500.00-25,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ]
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 112.43 $ 51.00-200.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.10 $ 0.10-0.20
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 57.48 $ 40.00-80.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ]
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 75.28 $ 40.00-130.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 21.11 $ 10.00-40.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 14.00 $ 12.00-16.00
Childcare [ Edit ]
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Private, Monthly for 1 Child 2,027.00 $ 1,600.00-2,750.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 22,633.33 $ 11,000.00-32,000.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ]
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 54.65 $ 39.00-80.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 44.00 $ 30.00-60.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 84.33 $ 60.00-120.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 139.10 $ 80.00-200.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ]
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 3,294.54 $ 2,500.00-3,800.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,588.04 $ 2,000.00-3,200.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 5,996.88 $ 4,500.00-8,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 4,277.63 $ 3,300.00-6,000.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ]
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,071.44 $ 939.99-1,299.99
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 783.31 $ 600.00-989.99
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ]
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,581.11 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 3.96 3.50-4.30

Prices in San Francisco, California

These data are based on 2449 entries in the past 18 months from 355 different contributors.
Last update: February 2018
Sources and References: Info
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24 Comments so far

#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!?
#Channing on Aug 07, 2015 :
The wonderful thing about San Francisco is depending on when your building was built rent control. The bad thing is there is lots of new construction and the rates are ridiculous. The new techie boom has driven up prices higher than ever and now we have a lot of high rises ugh.....
If you are looking at reasonable neighborhoods West Portal, Inner Parkside, Ingleside, Sunset, parts of the Richmond, dogpatch, and the mission. Areas where you don't want to live Tenderloin (nothing is tender about the loin), bayview, hunters point, China town, Excelsior, or the tenderknob. Super expensive areas Sea Cliff, Saint Francis Wood, Noe Valley, and Pacific heights.
#Anonymous on Apr 29, 2015 :
Wealth-gap between top-management(TM) and working-level is too big, this INEQUALITY creates lots of problems in American society suffering generations to come. TM members do not solve problems or create more jobs to strengthen international competitiveness of American industries, they are useless and they are greedy. Theb is power struggle to get huge bonus and severance pay. They are the greedy ones collaps American industries. Ameriaca will collaps if no lesson learned from AIG, GM, Wall Street... American will collaps again and this time will be bigger. Vote for a President who is not greedy.
#Joe on Apr 25, 2015 :
Hey.. I just wanted to know if it's sufficient to start out with a salary of around 75k (base) per year in SF.. Would be based around the Sunnyvale area... Any thoughts?
#SFdude253 on Mar 27, 2015 :
@#jeed I went to SFSU and lived on campus, the towers. It was an experience I won't forget but you can find somewhere cheaper to live, like the villas. I'm in $13,000 in debt for living on campus and I shared a room. To me it wasn't worth the price tag.
#jed on Mar 25, 2015 :
Hi. Im a 20 y.a. thinking of moving to SF for SFSU in the fall. I plan on living the dorms for at least a year on campus, does anyone have tips I'm case I do end up moving there? I've never lived in an urban area in the US, but have in the Philippines so I can kind of guess what it's like, but more help is appreciated.
#bree on Feb 18, 2015 :
im 16 and looking to attend SFSU with free tuition (waved by my dad's disabled vet situation) i can only make about 2k to stay under the waved tuition so basically im screwed unless i can find a small place for about $800 , is that even possible ? i dont care for big things all i need is prety much one room a bathroom and kitchen ...
#gabor on Jan 04, 2015 :
I'm planning to visit SF for around 2-3 weeks. Apart from accomodation how much would it cost to live there for this period of time (say 2.5 weeks)? I'm used to living cheap, but still transportaion/food/little partying/entry to museums/etc, how much would you say? 800$?
#Dennis on Nov 10, 2014 :
How is the crime rate in San Francisco? I'm thinking of moving here next year in June as soon as i get out of the military. Thanks!!!
#Andrew on Jul 30, 2014 :
I live in the bay area and these prices are pretty accurate as of 7/29/14. But you got to remember these are averages. Cheap meals can be found, Beer is $5-6 at a bar and still can be had for $1 at the market.

The big thing here is rent. In sf, depending on the area, 1bd rent usually goes from $1500 in the farthest/worst areas to $5k+. To purchase you are looking at $500 - $1200 per sqft + crazy hoa pricing if it's a condo. After salary is about right. But there are a ton of new wealth here.
#Rainbow on Jul 15, 2014 :
Why is the average salary so high, 4455$ ?? is that true?
If so then people don't have to work hard for money,
but in some websites who often hold quizzes/ contests, the prize is as low as 200$ and many people participate happily and work hard to produce high-quality works, how can it be like that??
#Yanni on Jun 18, 2014 :
Great data, but unfortunately it omits an important factor: the cost of healthcare. It's not a major issue outside the USA, but in the US the prices can easily 10x more than comparable level of care elsewhere. It is the cause of many American bankruptcies (even among those who have some form of insurance) and is the reason some Americans who seek early retirement often consider other countries.
#Juan on Mar 17, 2014 :
Dollar Tacos in the Mission!!!
#jacob on Mar 15, 2014 :
Holly Shit; That's expensive. I can barely survive in government housing, though that is due to attending college as a full time student.