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The Cost of Living in SF, Compared with Our Big-City Brethren

City Bucks

Photo by Flickr user giuliana_miranda

For those of us waiting for that dot-com money barrel to spring a leak and trickle down to the masses, the cost of living in San Francisco can be troubling. But compared to some other well-to-do towns, particularly LA and New York, we’re actually doing pretty well.

According to census figures, we spend more on rent than your average New Yorker or Angelino, but we find ways to make up for it. The WhiteFence index says we spend less on utilities than our East Coast and SoCal counterparts, and the Labor Department Statistics’ studies suggest that we often take those savings to the liquor store (apparently San Franciscans prefer Hot Toddies to space heaters). Our private schools and parking tickets are cheaper than LA’s or NYC’s, and you can catch every Giants home game for a little more than half of what it costs to see the Yankees or Dodgers.

  SF LA NYC Average Monthly Rent $1,220 $1,049 $1,146 Parking Ticket (cheapest offense) $50 $60 $65 Private School Year Tuition $25,770 $27,660 $37,100 Bus Fare $2 $1.50 $2.50 Booze (average personal annual spending) $673 $491 $482 Baseball Season Tickets $3,175 $5,670 $5,670 Monthly Utilities (average per household) $250 $222.45 $398.54 Gallon of Gas $4.23 $4.09 $4.01