California - How Much Does it Cost to Live in California?

How Much Does It Cost to Live in California?

What is the average cost of living in California? 

 

The average cost of living in California is $3,736.79 per month.

California is one of the largest states in the United States. Lots of people dream of living in California, however, the reality is that the most populous U.S. state is also one of the most expensive.

The most expensive city in California is San Francisco, where the cost of living is 38% higher than in the rest of the United States. The most affordable major city in California is Bakersfield, where the cost of living is 25% below the state average and 4% higher than the national average. 

Although California has a relatively strong job market, living a luxurious life in California is not easy. The median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles’ city center is $2442.52 per month.

If you are interested in moving to California, keep reading to learn what the California cost of living looks like! 

(*Numbeo, Sofi & Rentcafe)

Cost of living in California - 2022

Housing cost in California

California has a crazy housing market. It is difficult to rent or buy a place for less than $1000 a month in California. Even though the state has over 14 million housing units, the average price of a home is 250% higher than the U.S. average. 

Below is the list of the housing costs and rent of some famous cities in California:

CITY

STUDIO

1 BEDROOM

2 BEDROOM

3 BEDROOM

4 BEDROOM

LOS ANGELES

$1,695

$2,355

$3,200

$4,295

$5,500

SAN FRANCISCO

$2,100

$2,995

$2,997

$4,695

$5,725

RIVERSIDE

$1,751

$1,785

$2,341

$2,797

$3,212

SAN DIEGO

$1,949

$2,325

$2,895

$2,442

$2,922

BAKERSFIELD

$925

$1,095

$1,350

$1,900

$2,500

Below is the list of the housing costs to buy an apartment in some famous cities in California.

APARTMENT

PRICE PER SQUARE METER

Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Center

$847.01

Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Center

$538.33

CITY

MEDIAN COST 

LOS ANGELES

$846,526

SAN FRANCISCO

$1,341,085

RIVERSIDE

$518,349

SAN DIEGO

$809,206

BAKERSFIELD

$300,675

*Since California is a vast state, the home prices may vary greatly depending on the location. 

(*Numbeo, Sofi, Bungalow,Zumper)

What is the average rent cost for a 1-bedroom apartment in California ?

The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city in California is $2,442.52 per month.

Utility cost in California: Internet, electricity & water

Whether you own a house or pay rent, you must cover the utility cost. Notably, the utility cost in California is less than in the rest of the United States. According to the March 2022 Save on Energy Electricity Bill Report, Californians consume an average of 572 kWh per month.

The average basic utility package that includes heating, electricity, water, and garbage in California is as follows:

UTILITIES

COST PER MONTH IN DIFFERENT CITIES OF CALIFORNIA

 

LOS ANGELES

SAN FRANCISCO

RIVERSIDE

SAN DIEGO

BAKERSFIELD

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment

$135.03

$218.28

$193.25

$171.33

$246.88

Internet (60 Mbps or more, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

$68.27

$64.54

$77.50

$73.54

$77.75

(*Numbeo, Smart Asset & Sofi)

What is the average cost of utilities in California?

 

The average cost of utilities (internet, electricity & water) in California is $493.00 per month.

Grocery cost in California

The grocery cost in California is relatively affordable, and the grocery is generally not taxed. The prices of everyday food products such as eggs, milk, and bread are similar to what you find in the rest of the United States.

GROCERY

COST PER MONTH IN DIFFERENT CITIES OF CALIFORNIA

 

LOS ANGELES

SAN FRANCISCO

RIVERSIDE

SAN DIEGO

BAKERSFIELD

Milk (regular), (1 gallon)

$4.25

$5.58

$3.59

$4.02

$3.44

Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb)

$3.41

$3.88

$2.60

$3.51

$2.71

Rice (white), (1 lb)

$2.67

$2.24

$1.86

$2.13

$3.00

Eggs (regular) (12)

$3.62

$4.48

$3.16

$3.53

$4.56

Local Cheese (1 lb) 

$5.70

$8.45

$5.83

$5.59

$4.95

Chicken Filets (1 lb)

$5.65

$6.66

$4.62

$5.59

$10.33

Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)

$7.25

$8.11

$5.60

$7.27

$13.67

Apples (1 lb)

$1.87

$3.06

$1.81

$1.91

$3.26

Banana (1 lb)

$0.86

$1.43

$0.70

$0.88

$1.04

Oranges (1 lb)

$1.64

$2.44

$1.74

$1.50

$2.00

Tomato (1 lb)

$1.76

$3.25

$1.32

$1.62

$1.32

Potato (1 lb)

$1.22

$1.81

$2.01

$1.36

$0.99

Onion (1 lb)

$0.96

$1.60

$1.02

$1.14

$2.66

Lettuce (1 head)

$1.79

$2.36

$1.58

$1.72

$2.21

Water (1.5-liter bottle)

$2.01

$2.27

$2.50

$1.96

$3.17

Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)

$12.00

$15.00

$12.00

$12.00

$15.00

Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)

$2.97

$3.19

$4.28

$3.37

$3.90

Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle)

$3.58

$3.88

$4.16

$2.80

$4.75

   *However, the food costs may vary depending on your area. 

(*Numbeo, Bungalow & Sofi)

What is the average cost of groceries for 1 person in California?

 

The average cost of groceries for 1 person in California is $302.50 per month.

Public transport in California

California is notorious for its bad traffic. Whether you live in San Diego or Sacramento, be prepared to spend much time in the car. The public transportation system of California is convenient for those who live near transit lines, and many neighborhoods are not accessible by transit. Also, the gas prices in California City are the highest in the country.

Below is the list of public transport cost comparisons between some famous cities in California:

TRANSPORTATION

COST PER MONTH IN DIFFERENT CITIES OF CALIFORNIA

 

LOS ANGELES

SAN FRANCISCO

RIVERSIDE

SAN DIEGO

BAKERSFIELD

MetroCards costs (single ride)

$1.88

$2.95

$3.00

$2.50

$1.75

MetroCards Cost (Per Month)

$99.00

$89.00

$40.00

$75.00

$31.00

Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)

$4.00

$4.00

$5.00

$2.80

$3.00

Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff)

$2.70

$2.76

$2.60

$3.00

$2.75

Gasoline (1 Gallon)

$6.18

$6.19

$6.15

$6.09

$6.10

(*Numbeo, Sofi & US Department of Transportation)

What is the California Metro monthly pass price?

 

The California MetroCard monthly pass price is $70.00 in 2022.

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Entertainment costs in California

California offers its residents a wealth of local activities and unique places to see, such as Theme Parks in Disneyland, beaches, and, of course, a visit to Hollywood. 

ENTERTAINMENT

COSTS IN DIFFERENT CITIES OF CALIFORNIA

 

LOS ANGELES

SAN FRANCISCO

RIVERSIDE

SAN DIEGO

BAKERSFIELD

Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant

$16.00

$20.00

$15.00

$15.00

$15.00

Taxi 1-hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)

$29.91

$33.00

$36.00

$25.00

$27.00

Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat

$15.00

$15.00

$14.00

$19.00

$12.00

(*Numbeo)

What is the average cost of entertainment in California ?

 

The average cost of entertainment in California is $59 per month. 

Healthcare costs in California

Healthcare is an essential expense. We always include healthcare costs in our budget when moving to any place. The healthcare cost in California is expensive; however, the prices vary among the wide selection of health plans. 

The healthcare costs in California are as follows:

HEALTHCARE

COST

Employer-Sponsored Healthcare for one person per month

$653

Employer-Sponsored Healthcare for a family per month

$1,717 

Non-Employer-Sponsored Healthcare for one person

$456 

Non-Employer-Sponsored Healthcare Couple with at least one child

$1,152

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult

$44.25


(*Numbeo, eHealth & CHCF)

What is the average cost of a gym membership in California ?

 

The average cost of a gym membership in California is $44.25 per month.

Sales tax in California

California residents are used to paying a hefty tax bill. State income taxes can go as high as 13.3% for those at the top of the graduated-rate income scale. The minimum sales tax in California is 7.25% which includes a sales tax of 1.25% to pay for county and city funds.

(*Sofi & Smart Asset)

Conclusion

Moving to California is challenging because the cost of living in California is high. Nevertheless, if rightly budgeted, you can live in California in no time. Calculate the average cost of living in California as mentioned in the table below:

Average monthly cost of living in California

Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Category

Description

Cost

Housing

Average rent price for a 1 bedroom apartment (Manhattan) + Employer-Sponsored Healthcare for one person + Average utilities cost

$2,355 + $653 + $133.13

Transportation

Metro Pass (1 month)

$70.00

Food

Daily recommended minimum amount of money for food per person/ Regular grocery basket for one person

$302.50

Internet

Internet (60 MPs or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

$118.00

Entertainment (for 1 time only)

Meal Inexpensive restaurant + Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat + Taxi 1-hour Waiting

$16.00 + $29.91 + $15.00

Health and Fitness

Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult

$44.25

Total

Sum

$3,736.79

Note: The cost mentioned above may vary; for instance, if you are living with someone, your cost will be considerably low. Also, if you have a family, you will need to add the cost of each family member. The cost may also vary depending upon the area you select to live in.

(*Sofi)

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