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In the spirit of openness...

Rent: I live on Nob Hill in SF. I pay $1950 for a big, nice one bedroom with a little office and a small private yard. (100sq feet.) When I signed the lease I was making good money so it didn't seem expensive. Since then I've decided to focus on my start-up full time, so now it does seem slightly pricey. (I only pay 50% though -- I'm coupled.) I've lived in New York and Seattle, and SF is nowhere near as expensive as New York and nowhere near as affordable as Seattle (in terms of renting, not buying).

Beyond rent, things are very affordable.

Transportation: cheap, cars are optional (I don't need one; I hate mechanics and oil changes and parking...). I get my groceries delivered and use ZipCar when I have to drive. This is a huge savings and a good reason to live in the heart of the city. Instead of a gym, I just walk up the hill everyday.

Healthcare: I'm on Cobra right now, but will qualify for SF City HealthCare for free soon, as I'll be making little money. This is a big reason to live in SF and not the peninsula. http://www.healthysanfrancisco.org

Entertainment: The most expensive thing I do is eat out with friends semi-regularly. However, I've found that for geeks, there are a ton of meet ups and other social events that are 100% free -- and they're usually the best way to have fun.

Other threads are noting the cost of rent in SF, but for me, the city health care coverage and not needing a car (or insurance, or gas, or parking) more than makes up for it.

$1950 per month for sure. For comparison, a similar Manhattan (NYC) one-bedroom (no yard, though) would be around $3000 (rents have fallen some since the peak). Decent source : StreetEasy.com

San Fran cheaper than New York? Brooklyn is I think fairly affordable. I live in Brooklyn and pay $1,100 a month for a pretty decent sized studio apartment.

For transport, I buy the unlimited Metro card, which means I pay $90 a month and can then travel as much as I want on both the subway and the bus. I think that is a reasonably good deal - $3 a day for unlimited travel anywhere in the city.

"I've lived in New York and Seattle, and SF is nowhere near as expensive as New York and nowhere near as affordable as Seattle"

Whoa really? With SF I have generally paid more for food, more for public transit (BART doesn't have an unlimited option plus MUNI and BART are two seperate entities while the MTA is one), and about the same in rent.

Granted, I live(d) in Brooklyn so the rent is definitely more affordable than Manhattan but the accessibility of public transit makes it far easier to live on the outskirts than my experience so far in SF.

You can get a muni fast pass (but you have to use a clipper card). That gives you free muni rides and Bart rides within the city.

True, but much more limited. The city limits of SF are tiny; an MTA-pass equivalent should at least let you go to, say, Oakland (a 10-minute metro ride).

I can second this. I lived in the Tendernob (not as nice as Nob Hill, not as crazy as the Tenderloin) a couple of years back and paid 1290/mo for a studio.

Though a studio, it was still a decent size and I was right up the road from a grocery store, used public transportation/bike and feel that besides rent, it wasn't too pricey.

I had moved from Austin, TX and when I added everything up (accommodations, car-related expenses, etc), SF was only a little more expensive.

(just a stupid question: 1950$ per month or per year?)

Hah, that reminds me of when I applied for my first job. I told them my salary expectations, and they asked if that was per month, or per year!

per month, for sure

thank you. It's a bit less than I pay for a small room in Saint-Petersburg per year

Might I ask what your typical monthly expenses are in St. Petersburg? I'm seriously looking into living there for a few months, товарищ.

St Pete is FL or St Pete in Russia? I would be amazed if you got a single room for 2000$ a year in St Pete FL.

I am about 15 miles from St. Pete, FL, 75 yards from the Gulf of Mexico, in a nice sized one bedroom apartment with parking and small fenced yard: $700/mo. Gorgeous sunsets through the big west facing front windows, and 20 miles of sandy beach to get AFK and clear my head, throw a disc, walk, swim, or fish.

But I could trade it for a couch and a subway pass in a city with good subways and international impact. (SF, NYC, CHI, BOS ;)

You can definitely get a decent room in a 2-3 person apartment in Astoria (Queens) for $700/month. It's not Chelsea but it's not quite the middle of nowhere either.

I think many people outside of New York wouldn't ever consider an apartment share, but it's pretty common here. I live near Times Square in Manhattan and I'm paying $900 for a room in a (small) two bedroom apartment.

Russia :-)

I was wondering the same :D

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