Cost of Living in San Francisco

To live in San Francisco is to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. The high cost of living in San Francisco is mostly reflected in housing prices and dining out. It’s not uncommon to spend at least $15 for a lunch. More for dinner. Below is a list of every day item that should give you an idea how much it costs to live here.


Movie tickets – $6 (matinee) – $12 (primetime)
Cell phone membership – $50/month

Food, Groceries, and Coffee

Cup of coffee: $1.65
Cup of cappuccino: $3.50
Dining out: $12 – $20 (dinner)
Sandwiches (from a deli): $7 – $9
A bunch of asparagus: $3
Average grocery for 2 people: $150/week


Hostel bed: $30/night
Shared room: $1000/month
Private room in AirBnb: $60 upwards
1 bedroom apartment: $1800 – $2800/month
Laundry: $2 (washer) + $1.75 (dryer)
Internet: $40/month
House cleaning: $60 (standard 1 bedroom apartment)


Zipcar membership: $50/yr + $10/hr*
Car rental: $40/day (economy)
MUNI: $2/ride
BART: $2-$5 (depends on distance)
Gas price (May 2012): $4.60/gallon
Car insurance: $120/month
Garage Parking: $20 – $30/day
Dedicated parking spot: $150/month

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