A Guide on Cost of Living in California

5 minute read
Cost of Living in California

California is the Golden State renowned for its abundance of natural beauty.  Additionally, it provides a high standard of living, frequently characterised by an active, outdoor lifestyle and plenty of employment options.  It’s difficult to make broad generalisations regarding the cost of living in California because it’s one of the biggest states in the US. However, there are some statistics that, when it comes to life in this place, are quite telling. Within California, the cost of living does, of course, vary. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego are California’s most costly cities. The cost of living in these cities is high, as are the costs of food, healthcare, and transportation.

Cost of living Per person 
Total with rent $2495
Rent & Utilities $1647
Food $593
Transportation  $103
Monthly salary after tax $4530
Population 39.5 M

About California’s Average Cost of Living?

Depending on where you reside in California, the cost of living might vary greatly. It is 91 per cent more expensive in expensive San Francisco than the national average, 22 per cent more expensive in Sacramento, and only 4 per cent more expensive in Bakersfield. However, in comparison to many other states in the nation, the cost of living in the Golden State is generally higher.

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Why Study in California?

There are numerous benefits to thinking about studying in California. Here are a few examples:

Universities of international standing: Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and USC are just a few of the top universities in the world that can be found in California. These universities provide a wide range of academic programmes and are renowned for their challenging coursework and cutting-edge research.

Diverse culture: With residents from all over the world, California is a melting pot of civilizations. The food, music, art, and festivals of the state all reflect this diversity. Studying in California is a fantastic chance to get exposed to various cultures and viewpoints.

Beautiful scenery: From the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains to the palm-lined beaches of Southern California, California is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. California is home to numerous national parks and forests that provide countless opportunities for outdoor leisure.

Opportunities for internships and employment: California is a significant economic centre, home to several firms and industries. This indicates that there are several options for students to obtain employment while they are still in school.

Wonderful weather: The Mediterranean climate of California features warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Students can therefore take use of the outdoors all year long.

Cost of Living in California 

The expense of housing is a significant contributor to California’s high cost of living. California has a median rent for a two-bedroom flat of $2,275, which is 50% more expensive than the national average. California has high housing costs as well, with a median home value of $750,000. Transportation, healthcare, and food costs are also higher in California. California has a 15% higher average petrol price per gallon ($5.70) than the rest of the country. California has greater healthcare costs as well, with an average yearly health insurance premium of $6,900.

The cost of living in California is broken down into the following key spending categories:

  • Housing: 37.6% above the average nationally
  • Transportation: 27.3% more expensive than the average nationally
  • Food: 11.7% more expensive than the average in the country.
  • Healthcare: 12.3% more expensive than the norm nationwide
  • Utilities: 10.1% over the average nationally
  • Additional: 9.7% over the national average

Cost of Housing

California housing search is not for the weak of heart. Compared to the rest of the nation, housing costs—whether you’re renting or buying—tend to be much higher here.

Item  Cost 
Monthly Rent  $3,847
Charges of Healting,  Electricity and Gas $188
Internet Mbps per Month  $58
40” flat screen tv $279
Microwave 800/900 watt $109
Laundry detergent $12
Hourly rate for cleaning help $23

Cost of Clothing

Item  Cost 
1 pair of jeans $61
1 summer dress in a high street store $46
1 pair of sports shoes $99

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Cost of Transportation 

Item  Cost 
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas $1.35
Monthly ticket public transport $126
Taxi trip on a business day $16

Cost of Personal Care

Item  Cost 
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) $9 
1 box of antibiotics $16
Hair shampoo $7
4 rolls of toilet paper $5 
Tube of toothpaste $3 
men’s haircut $35 

Cost of Entertainment 

Item  Cost 
Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub $61
2 tickets to the movies $33
2 tickets to the theater $140
Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub $18
1 beer in a neighbourhood pub $8
Ipad wi-fi 128gb $69
1 beer in a neighbourhood pub $527

Tuition Fee In California 

The kind of institution you select will affect the price of college in California. The average tuition for an in-state student at a public two-year college in California in 2019-2020 was $1,270, according to NCES. Tuition at four-year institutions costs, on average, $8,192. In the same year, private four-year institutions charged an average of $37,009. These prices do not account for other charges like the board.

Institution Type Average Fee 
Public 4-year (in-state) $8,192
Public 4-year (out of state) $32,177
Private 4-year $37,009
Public 2-year (in-state) $1,270
Private 2-year (out-of-state) $8,194

Tips for Living in California 

There are a few strategies to reduce your California living expenses.

  • Living in a less costly city or town is one option.
  • Living together as roommates is an additional option. 
  • Additionally, you can save money by using public transit, biking instead of driving, and preparing meals at home rather than eating out.

Must Read: Cost Of Studying In the USA 


Q1. How much money do you need to live comfortably in California?

Ans. The study’s findings examined each city’s cost of living as of 2022. A single person must earn more than $76,000 in California areas like Los Angeles, Berkeley, and San Diego in order to “live comfortably,” according to the research.

Q2. How expensive is living in California?

Ans. Cost of Living in California Compared to the National Average:
Housing (Buy and Ren: 102% higher
Utilities (Monthly): 22% higher
Food: 18% higher
Healthcare: 10% higher
Transportation: 27% higher
Goods & Services: 10% higher

Q3. Is California expensive for international students?

Ans. For overseas students, the cost of living in California is approximately $4000. Rent, food, and travel costs are all included.

This was all about the Cost of living in California, if you are also planning to pursue a course from California reach out to Leverage Edu at 1800 57 2000, our study abroad experts will help you with the same 

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