cost of living in usa, San Francisco

How Much Does It Cost To Live In San Francisco

San Francisco, California, has always been a city with substantial national impact. Be it their summer trends or tech-intensive interventions, something uniquely potent about the place.

The Victorian apartments here were recently joined by luxury apartment buildings, taking the cost of accommodations to a whole new level. Overall, the cost of living here is 80 percent higher than the national average. According to Federal Data, the prices here are 17 percent higher than the 2020 national average.

Despite the high average cost of living in San Francisco, there is no shortage of reasons why one should not consider relocating to San Francisco. Its constant economic growth, booming housing market, and leisure activities are pretty distinct.

The opportunities for outdoor adventures and the walkable nature of the serene city make it one of the most popular destinations in the United States.

Numbeo’s cost of living index, which considers groceries, transportation, utilities, and consumers goods prices, scored San Francisco 91.77 out of 100 in July 2020. One should know that this index benchmarks every city against New York, which has a score of 100.

But if you also consider the rents, the score of SF reaches 101.5, which suggests that it is more expensive than New York City.

If you are stuck in a fuzz about moving here, this guide will shed light on the budget for each segment.

Let’s get rolling!

San Francisco Housing Costs

The average cost of living in San Francisco is higher than in many other cities. It is near to the cities like NYC and Los Angeles, so it may be tough to calculate the living costs in San Francisco beforehand.

Despite the daunting nature of this task, one should determine the costs of living in this part of the United States. One of the most crucial things to consider is the rent. The average rent for a single-bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $2,317, and a double-bedroom apartment will cost you $2,681. These prices may be hefty on the pocket, but this is only one part of the story.

During the pandemic, the rent prices in San Francisco noticed a deep dip. Rents increased 0.2 percent in the previous month and 15.6 percent compared to last year. Hence, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is more than two times the national average, but you can lock a great deal before the prices hike again.

But if you want to rent in San Francisco, you should rent with roommates. A report from Zillow says that 38 percent of SF people live with their parents or one roommate.

San Jose is a Silicon Valley City situated about an hour from San Francisco. It has a median price that is lower than a million dollars. The most pocket-friendly part of the region is East Bay, where homes are found for under $80,000 in Oakland and Hayward.

San Francisco Utility Cost

The people in San Francisco save money when it comes to utilities. The mild climate in this city makes central heating and air conditioning barely necessary. This leads to a reduction in electricity and gas bills.

A relatively low monthly cost of $150 can cover the essential utilities. You can add the Internet cost of $70 every month.

Even though you may need to heat your home occasionally, it is not like the cool to freezing temperatures experienced in the North-East region.

As a resident who has recently moved into the city, you may get advantages of discounted rates in some areas. Many service providers offer exclusive discounts for new customers, including reduced rates for bundled cell services and free streaming portals. You should examine the world around you and the options available to make the final choice.

San Francisco Healthcare Costs

Healthcare in San Francisco is 20 percent higher than the national average. If you have a family with children or the elderly, you should consider this aspect. Research what is the average cost of living in San Francisco and include the healthcare costs in your budget.

The insurance policy premiums can be pretty expensive, but they depend on several factors, including age, lifestyle, and if you have pre-existing medical conditions. It is essential to note that healthcare costs can be unpredictable. You cannot determine the exact costs of living in San Francisco beforehand.

An average resident in San Francisco spends $2,545 annually on their premiums for their employer-sponsored insurance policy. But a family of four pays $8150 annually.

If you are looking for sponsored healthcare insurance, you can look up to find a plan that aligns with your budget and family requirements. There is also a complimentary San Francisco clinic where you can go for a standard physical exam annually.

Apart from this, don’t forget to report your move to the healthcare insurance authorities. Whether staying in the same state or moving outside, you should provide the documents to avoid a lapse in the coverage.

San Francisco Food Costs

After housing, food consumption is another area where the residents of this city spend the most. the restaurant prices are higher in San Francisco, and there is an additional charge paid to the diners called the “health surcharge.”

This charge is tacked on the restaurant bills to cover healthcare for the employees working there.


The typical monthly grocery in San Francisco consumes $359. This is 22 percent higher than the national average, making the overall cost of living in San Francisco higher than in the entire country.

You can save on groceries by buying from Foods Co or shopping at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. The Numbeo Report states that the average cost of dining at an inexpensive restaurant in San Francisco is $20. If you opt for a three-course meal, you may have to pay $85 plus tax.

San Francisco Transportation Costs

The MIT Living Wage Calculator provides that an average San Francisco citizen spends $4,900 annually on transportation-related expenses. If there is a family of four, including two children, the commute cost will be around $13,317 annually.

These are the expenses for families who own a vehicle. Many others rely on public transport, and their average cost of living in San Francisco is significantly reduced.

You also save by getting a monthly adult pass. This will cost you $98 or $1,176 annually. This is only a tiny fraction of the cost of owning a vehicle.

Residents in San Francisco are never over a quarter-mile from the public transit station. This makes it evident that using public transport is the best way to save on the total cost of living in San Francisco.

The public transport system of San Francisco hosts more than 230 million passengers per year.

Bay Area Rapid Transit offers a subway service at a distance-based rate for transit connection between San Francisco and the Bay Area. BART goes into cities like Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo.

Gas and fuel prices in San Francisco are similar to what you pay in California and other cities. In the past year, the gas prices in San Francisco have fluctuated between  $2.80 and $4.30 per gallon. This is a dollar more than the average cost in the country.

San Francisco Fitness and Entertainment Costs

A single resident in San Francisco spends $1811 on recreation, and a family of four spends around $4,200. These costs may change according to the interests of the people.

However, one should include them in their living budget in San Francisco as the prices may accumulate over a period. Some economical options to opt for include checking out a sports event. You can go to the popular bars in the city to enjoy a game but check the prices beforehand. This will help you to determine if you can afford this entertainment.

If you are a gym rat who has recently moved into San Francisco, we have a piece of good news for you. Many fitness centres offer discounts for new customers, so don’t hesitate to check them out.

San Francisco Childcare Expenses

It makes sense if you want to know the average cost of living in San Francisco, California if you have children in your family. Childcare is an expense that can override the budget in some plans. But the parents need to pay at least $20000 annually to afford childcare in the city. Earning enough salary right after your move could be problematic in San Francisco. However, you should pre-plan and learn about the costs incurred when living here.

Living in this part of the United States of America is a dream of many. If you get a chance to move here to study or work, you should think twice before letting it go. Even though it will be daunting to afford a decent lifestyle, the struggle is worth all your effort. You can also check out the East Bay or other cities if you believe living here could be financially burdening for your family.

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