California, a land that offers everything to its natives ranging from deserts to mountains to beaches, has the third position among states having the highest cost of living. It demands an annual expense of around $46,000 including the rising cost of housing and utilities. This figure is enough to implant the seed of doubt about how do people afford to live in California.
It is surprising to know that Californians easily bear these expenses and manage to live a luxurious life. Due to this reason, most people discuss this topic to unveil the secret of their comfortable and successful life.
Keep reading this article to understand the hidden facts and ways to make the survival of Californians possible despite its huge living cost.
You can get the answer to this question by reading the following methods adopted by the residents of this state:
1. Maintaining a Distance from Big Cities
Realizing that California is too expensive to live in, people tend to shift their focus from big cities and search for areas where they can save an extra buck. California has some popular big cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Diego. Unfortunately, these large cities are densely populated, making them expensive places to reside.
Los Angeles has even much higher prices due to the presence of celebrities and the movie industry. Owing to these reasons, it is better to look for a location far from these megacities. You can also avoid taking a house in the suburbs around them. Focusing on small cities and towns offering affordable housing and other services is good.
Maybe you now have the question, which is the city where I can afford to live in California? So, the simple answer to it is Bakersfield. It is an incredible place where you can find furnishing homes at a median rate of $345,000. Also, the cost of living is less than those of other famous CA cities.
2. Renting is Much Better than Buying!
Spending dollars on buying a house is not an effective option. Instead, you can rent the home to reduce the cost significantly. However, housing rates are extremely high in major cities of California. For example, you may have to pay around $1.5 million to purchase a home in San Francisco. Further, the median rate for a house in California is approximately $770,000.
It is also better to avoid taking a loan for such a high costing house. Hence, you should decide to rent a house or apartment rather than exhausting savings in the payment of mortgages. In addition, renting eliminates the repairing cost you may have to spend in the future.
After analyzing the data and figures from different sources, it is clear that affording a home in California is not easy, and renting can help the residents to save their hard-earned money.
3. Finding Room Partners
Dealing with the room charges single-handedly is not an ideal option. It is suggested that you should find one or two roommates to live a decent life in California.
Although it destroys the freedom of individuals, it can support their financial situation effectively. This specific factor also resolves the query of how people afford rent in California.
Renting charges in California can range from $1800 to $2000 for a four-bedroom house. So, if you get successful in finding three other room partners, then your cost can come down to the level of $400-$500. For college students, it provides financial support and reduces their overall education costs.
The only challenge associated with this aspect is that finding a roommate with similar interests and qualities is tough. If you are a crazy soul who loves loud music, watching thrillers, and other stuff, you need to find the ones with the same crazy and fun vibes.
4. Exploring Work from Home Opportunities
Doing a desk job demands not only a lot of effort and time but also a vast proportion of your salary. As a result, you need to spend hefty bucks on traveling and other related expenses. If you prefer visiting the office through your car, then the expenditure on gas, parking, and car maintenance may force you to use the savings as well.
Californians search for jobs that can allow them to complete their tasks from home. It helps in saving money and increasing productivity. However, there is a possibility that you cannot find such a good job offering work from home. In that case, you can either begin or join a carpool.
This factor also eliminates the need to spend money on buying food items from the canteen. Further, it serves tax benefits to the residents as you can subtract an additional amount from your total revenue.
5. Delaying Children
Delaying children is an unfortunate way to make a living in California affordable. Some estimates have shown that the cost incurred on raising a child can even exceed the mark of $270,000. This figure excludes the college fee, and increasing tuition fees also forces children to depend on their parents to make the payment. Hence, it gets difficult for parents to bear these expenses.
Delaying children helps prevent a considerable expenditure involved in the proper growth of a child. Parents must pay for their clothes, food, doctor visits, school supplies, smartphones, etc.
The final figure obtained is not suitable for the pockets of every Californian and may exceed their planned budget. Therefore, most couples prefer to delay bringing a new member to their house.
6. Fitness is the Key!
If you have a question about how to survive in California, achieving the proper fitness can be the perfect answer. How is it related? So, fitness helps people prevent health problems and save several dollars annually.
Californians remain engaged in outdoor activities due to its climate that furnishes more sunny days and minimal rain. It enables them to maintain a good weight for their entire life.
The median healthcare cost of a Californian is $7640 a year. However, this amount can change as per a person’s age and health situation. Staying fit can eliminate the need to visit the doctor often, take medications frequently, or undergo surgery.
This factor also increases the benefits that people can get after retirement in California. The money saved in adulthood due to proper health can allow them to explore beautiful and affordable places in the country and other corners of the world without financial assistance.
7. Minimizing the Expenses on Utilities
Californians spend a significant proportion of their incomes on utilities like water and electricity. As they are inevitable, it gets necessary to pay the cost of utilities regularly.
You may have to spend a total of $200 on availing of these facilities. In addition, the cost of water can increase in the summer as the supply gets limited due to the drought.
The average monthly cost of gas service is more or less $65. Similarly, cable and internet prices also increase the need to reduce the expenditure on other utilities. The median cost of cable services is around $120.
Californians install solar panels or other renewable energy sources to cut down the cost of utilities. This measure can help them in saving around $100 each month. It is also better to search for other sources of cable. These practices can make living affordable in California.
Multiple factors lead to a significant rise in the cost of living in California. It includes expensive housing, utilities, gas, and groceries. If you are thinking of relocating to California, then it is crucial to understand these things that make this place expensive:
1. Cost of Housing
California has established several progressive regulations to preserve the environment and decrease carbon emissions. These rules affect the land laws for the state and, ultimately, the housing cost. Reduction in residential development is also a part of these rules. All such reasons contribute to a lesser number of homes in big cities.
It is interesting to note that most California cities show signs of development in regions outside their boundaries. As a result, it further drags the value of houses to an upper range. Additionally, most natives search for areas closer to their offices, leading to a rise in house rates.
2. Car Insurance
Californians spend a vast amount of their salaries on car insurance. Estimates show that a person living in California spends an average of $1960 on the insurance of their vehicles. But you can also find some regions that offer less expensive insurance plans.
Being a densely populated state, the risk of road accidents always remains there. Therefore, it increases the demand for car insurance and its premiums.
3. Tax Rates
High tax rates also make California an expensive place to live. The tax rate charged on the salary and direct income is relatively high.
However, if you fall in the bracket of low earners, you must pay only 1% of the salary as income tax. Also, California’s sales tax rate, i.e., 7.25%, is the highest compared to other states.
Finest Places to Reside in California
After understanding all these things and facts, you might have formed a list of places in California where you won’t want to live due to their high living expenses. But it is better to conclude only after analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of living in California.
Here is a list of the best and most affordable places in California where you can get everything that you wish to obtain at a reasonable price. You will also get to know about their specialties that can modify your way of living.
1. San Jose
San Jose, a city in northern California, is one of the most developed places in the Bay Area of California.
It is a big technology hub serving several facilities to the residents. This place offers a perfect job market, stable housing, and beautiful sunny weather.
Located in southern California, Irvine offers a vast job market to potential job seekers and opens the doors for good earnings.
You can also get a secure place and family-friendly atmosphere here, perfect for your children’s growth. Moreover, it has a steady housing market and provides necessary amenities like schools and hospitals.
3. San Diego
San Diego is a popular beach town in California known for its beautiful climate, beaches, and excellent restaurants. Although the cost of living is high in this state, it is worth spending such an amount to live a luxurious life.
San Diego is one of the happiest places in the US. You can consider living in San Diego if you have a stable flow of income.
4. Long Beach
Long Beach is one of the most affordable cities in Los Angeles, offering cheaper rent facilities. It has a fantastic downtown, a district for arts, suburbs, and a beach.
Multiple developments in the area have made it liveable, and you can get a place filled with fun and energy. You can easily move to downtown Los Angeles, which is only 25 miles away.
You require a full wage of $32.70 hourly to get comfortable life in California. Thus, you can get a two-bedroom home in specific cities with this income level. Furthermore, even a few estimates have indicated that California is the second most costly state to reside in after Hawaii.
Hence, all this information shows that it is essential to maintain a certain income level and to make proper planning to get a fantastic experience in this delightful state.
Considering the high cost of living in California, most people begin searching for an answer to where to live in California for cheap. Using specific techniques can help reduce the cost and fulfill your dream of having a house in one of the famous cities of California.
In addition, you can further ask the natives of this state to get a better understanding of their living styles.
FAQs – How to Afford to Living in California
1. Is buying a house in California worth it?
A: Yes, it is a great decision to buy a house in California if you have the proper income sources to bear the high expenses of this state. You can always sell your property in the Golden State and go elsewhere and afford what you want.
2. What is a good salary to live in California?
A: You must have a six-figure annual salary to live a comfortable life in California. Any amount above $110,000 is good to live in California.
3. Is living in California worth it?
A: Most people find this place inappropriate to live because of its high tax rates and housing costs. However, the decision to live further depends on your needs and lifestyle.
4. Can you live in San Francisco on 50K?
A: The simple answer is NO. Living in San Francisco on 50K a year is impossible due to its high housing costs.