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Old 09-08-2007, 03:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,726 times
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Default How cheap can you live?

I'm thinking about moving to the bay area from SC.

What all is going to cost more? I know rent is going to be insane, but what about food, gas, entertainment? Could you give me some examples?

What is the absolute cheapest rent I could get. This is considering ALL options. I'm a minimalist, so I can deal with some very small apartments. I would even consider living in a camper. I may have a roommate coming along as well.. so we could probably share something really small and split the rent.

Also, how are wages any different? From what I've heard from friends living in the area, the hourly wages seem a lot higher than out here.

Thanks in advance for any help!

-Tye
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Old 09-08-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,483 posts, read 3,324,978 times
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I don't know what will cost more as I've never been to South Carolina but .... Gas is $3/gal for the lowest grade at the station closest to me. Movie tickets at the theater down the street are $10.50 (evening hours). A beer at the local bar is $2.50 while a case of Sierra Nevada at the supermarket is $15. Pool games are $0.50. It costs $5 to come into San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge and $3 by the Bay Bridge. My standard buttermilk sandwich bread costs $4.39 a loaf. I could go on but it would be better for you to tell me the types of things that are important to you.

California's minimum wage is $7.50/hr now and goes up to $8 after the first of the year though you're unlikely to take a job that pays so little. Low end office work usually pays around $15-$20/hour.

Craigslist.com is where many people go first to find a place to live and funcheapsf.com is where they go to find fun cheap things to do. Roommates make great sense if you have a low end job and can find the right person(s) to live with. There's a huge range of prices for rentals. It's unlikely you won't be able to find some situation you can afford.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,613 posts, read 26,400,275 times
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FYI... the Bay Bridge (and San Mateo, I believe) is now $4 to cross.

"ImRandy" covered the rest very well, but I'll add a little about rent... around here, your cheapest option is to get a couple of roommates! I've mentioned this in another thread, but I have a nice 3-bedroom house for $2195, which I was sharing with only one person... we recently got a third roommate, so now our rent will be between $600-800 per person (I pay more for the garage and large room). You can also look into sharing an in-law or studio, if you really don't care about space... I'm not sure about the camper/trailer option, but that could be worth looking into as well. Oh, and it helps if you're not picky about the neighborhood, which is how I save money. Go a little "out-of-the-way" or "sketchy", and you'll definitely find some decent deals.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,613 posts, read 26,400,275 times
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Just thought of something else... while our grocery food might be more expensive here, you can also find lots of cheap dining. For instance, you can get a huge slice of New York-style pizza for $1.50, Chinese lunch buffets for $3.50, etc. I know lots of good & cheap restaurants!
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:22 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,483 posts, read 3,324,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
FYI... the Bay Bridge (and San Mateo, I believe) is now $4 to cross.
Good catch. You'd think I'd have that down since I have the $3-$4 discussion with my wife every time we drive over it. Usually preceded by the is the carpool 2 or 3 people and the why can't we get a motorcycle discussions. I guess I just prefer living in the past.
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Old 09-09-2007, 04:19 PM
 
13,117 posts, read 23,405,339 times
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Smile Roommates

Roommates is definitely the most cost effective way to go...

My sister-in-law's brother rents a very nice 4 bedroom house, on one acre, high in the Oakland hills, with a SF view, for $1600 per month. He splits the cost with 2 roommates and they are quite happy to live so inexpensively...

Even using conservative numbers... He would be spending about $4,000 per month if he owned the place...
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:44 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
24,613 posts, read 26,400,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImRandy View Post
Good catch. You'd think I'd have that down since I have the $3-$4 discussion with my wife every time we drive over it. Usually preceded by the is the carpool 2 or 3 people and the why can't we get a motorcycle discussions. I guess I just prefer living in the past.
LOL... I remember when it was $2, so that extra dollar is really killing me! And can you believe GG bridge is FIVE dollars now?? Thankfully I never cross that one, or I'd be really ticked off.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:14 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,483 posts, read 3,324,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo980 View Post
LOL... I remember when it was $2, so that extra dollar is really killing me! And can you believe GG bridge is FIVE dollars now?? Thankfully I never cross that one, or I'd be really ticked off.
Oh I know, back when the Golden Gate was $3 I used to go for drives in the Stinson Beach, Pt. Reyes areas quite frequently. Just relaxing decompression type drives. It was odd when it went up to $5 I just stopped going on those drives all together. It's not like the extra $2 would have broken the bank but it was like a psychological barrier had been put in place. What would really **** me off is if I had to commute over it. The occasional $5 was enough to make me stop going on "Sunday" drives. A $40 per month increase in heavy traffic would have probably made me quit my job.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:40 AM
 
374 posts, read 1,234,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tye7 View Post
I'm thinking about moving to the bay area from SC.

What all is going to cost more? I know rent is going to be insane, but what about food, gas, entertainment? Could you give me some examples?

What is the absolute cheapest rent I could get. This is considering ALL options. I'm a minimalist, so I can deal with some very small apartments. I would even consider living in a camper. I may have a roommate coming along as well.. so we could probably share something really small and split the rent.

Also, how are wages any different? From what I've heard from friends living in the area, the hourly wages seem a lot higher than out here.

Thanks in advance for any help!

-Tye
That's tough to say. I mean compared to Minneapolis (used to live there) it is A LOT more expensive. Compared to Seattle (used to live there) except for rent, it is on par.

I would suggest a visit to see for yourself. Check out craigslist.org to get an idea of what is out there, in terms of housing, and what the prices are for different neighborhoods.

Honestly, it's tough here if you don't make a decit salary. I moved here in 2005 making $42,000 and my credit card balance exploded. Because, my friends were doing things I couldn't do on my salary...things that I wanted to. I made mistakes in not limiting myself. Now, I should make twice as much (with bonus), so I am free to do a lot more things and am paying off my credit card fast. But, it's hard. A dinner at a nice restaurant can easily set you back $100. But, there are good, cheap eats. It's very rare that I go out for a $100 meal, but I found that in general I was going out a lot more here - to dinner, drinks, movies than I did in Minneapolis or Seattle...and it all adds up. Plus, there was no state tax in Seattle, so although my salary was the same, in effect I took a 9.3% paycut to move here. Bottom line - I made bad financial decisions the first 1.5 here and now I'm paying for it. It was really hard for me to say no and sit home on a Saturday night when my friends were all going out. If you can do that (I have another friend who can), you'll do a lot better.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:07 AM
 
1 posts, read 16,924 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Roommates is definitely the most cost effective way to go...

My sister-in-law's brother rents a very nice 4 bedroom house, on one acre, high in the Oakland hills, with a SF view, for $1600 per month....
Would you please ask him how he found such a great place. I 've been looking for a 3 BR house on Craigslist and the rents that landlords are asking are just ridiculous...between $3,000-$5,000.
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