Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Best way to fight San Diego steep cost of living?

Living in TJ, living in car – $600/month either way

Photo accompanying USA Today story
Photo accompanying USA Today story

As the holidays near, San Diegans feel the financial crunch more than ever — some are part of a 1.6 million group moving across the border, and others are also part of a growing mobile group living in their cars.

In late October, according to USA Today, San Diego became the most expensive city to live in in the U.S.

America's Finest City topped the U.S. News and World Report’s 2023-2024 list — followed by Los Angeles, Honolulu and then Miami — via multiple metrics. The factors included the price of our gas and the inflation rate. Another factor is annual housing costs, in which San Diego's home prices exceed the national median sale price, $950,000 in October per Zillow, and the tacked-on fees associated with homeownership.

Then there's the median gross rental prices. Numbeo.com estimates that rent in San Diego plus living expenses costs over $4,400 monthly for a single person to live in a one-bedroom apartment.

Roommates and housemates help offset rent, mortgage, and accompanying bills and HOA fees. But some want their privacy. About 1.6 million Americans have reportedly pulled up stakes and relocated to Mexico.

Another photo with the USA Today story


Sponsored
Sponsored

The average cost of living in Mexico is 88 percent less than in the U.S., according to Expatistan. The comparison is "based on 29,642 prices entered by 3,497 different people." Nomadlist.com reported that to live in Tijuana, the cost of living for an expat is $1,417 per month; of that, a one-bedroom studio in the city averages $710 a month.

Many expats living in Baja, California, subscribe to the Talk Baja Facebook page, which has about 107,000 followers. It's a group where expats advise one another on moving into or traveling in Baja. 

Ron Hoff, the Talk Baja group moderator, posted a graphic of the average cost of living expenses in Baja (based on a retired couple aged 60-69) in August. "I am trying to come up with an average cost of living guide for Baja," reads the caption in part, "understanding that it will be somewhat cheaper in some areas and a bit more expensive perhaps in others."

The list read in part: rent: unfurnished two-bedroom home, $800; electricity, $35; water, $30; internet, $25; healthcare (IMSS for a couple aged 60-69), $175; groceries, $400. The total was $2,525 for a month. While many expats said certain expenditures listed were low, others said the opposite.

Jack Smith, a local home painter, is considering moving from his San Diego home to Tijuana. "My friend, who is a U.S. citizen, said I can room with him," Smith explained to me. "He lives with other people in downtown Tijuana and spends $250 for rent and utilities [per month]. He has an EBT card, purchases groceries from here, and then crosses the food in a backpack; he spends about $160 a month on food. He has a storage unit in Chula Vista for $150. So, add on the MTS pass, and that's only about $600 a month.  

Smith considered living out of his car. "I can get a $20 per month gym membership with showers and free WiFi," he estimated. "For groceries purchased at Grocery Outlet, I'd spend about $200 a month and buy as I go. Car maintenance and a put-aside repair fund is about $50 a month. Gas is about $200, and insurance is about $100. Then, I'd spend about $50 monthly for water at Starbucks to hang out in a living room-like area and network [for gigs] on my laptop. Starbucks is as close to a 'homey' feeling as possible." Living out of his car costs about $600 a month.

"It's a toss-up, as both prices are about the same," he concluded. "The risks are about the same. I don't know what's scarier, walking around Tijuana streets at night or parking on San Diego streets and avoiding detection from neighbors, police, and tweakers." 

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Lemon Grove Celebrates Peacock Nails' Expansion

Photo accompanying USA Today story
Photo accompanying USA Today story

As the holidays near, San Diegans feel the financial crunch more than ever — some are part of a 1.6 million group moving across the border, and others are also part of a growing mobile group living in their cars.

In late October, according to USA Today, San Diego became the most expensive city to live in in the U.S.

America's Finest City topped the U.S. News and World Report’s 2023-2024 list — followed by Los Angeles, Honolulu and then Miami — via multiple metrics. The factors included the price of our gas and the inflation rate. Another factor is annual housing costs, in which San Diego's home prices exceed the national median sale price, $950,000 in October per Zillow, and the tacked-on fees associated with homeownership.

Then there's the median gross rental prices. Numbeo.com estimates that rent in San Diego plus living expenses costs over $4,400 monthly for a single person to live in a one-bedroom apartment.

Roommates and housemates help offset rent, mortgage, and accompanying bills and HOA fees. But some want their privacy. About 1.6 million Americans have reportedly pulled up stakes and relocated to Mexico.

Another photo with the USA Today story


Sponsored
Sponsored

The average cost of living in Mexico is 88 percent less than in the U.S., according to Expatistan. The comparison is "based on 29,642 prices entered by 3,497 different people." Nomadlist.com reported that to live in Tijuana, the cost of living for an expat is $1,417 per month; of that, a one-bedroom studio in the city averages $710 a month.

Many expats living in Baja, California, subscribe to the Talk Baja Facebook page, which has about 107,000 followers. It's a group where expats advise one another on moving into or traveling in Baja. 

Ron Hoff, the Talk Baja group moderator, posted a graphic of the average cost of living expenses in Baja (based on a retired couple aged 60-69) in August. "I am trying to come up with an average cost of living guide for Baja," reads the caption in part, "understanding that it will be somewhat cheaper in some areas and a bit more expensive perhaps in others."

The list read in part: rent: unfurnished two-bedroom home, $800; electricity, $35; water, $30; internet, $25; healthcare (IMSS for a couple aged 60-69), $175; groceries, $400. The total was $2,525 for a month. While many expats said certain expenditures listed were low, others said the opposite.

Jack Smith, a local home painter, is considering moving from his San Diego home to Tijuana. "My friend, who is a U.S. citizen, said I can room with him," Smith explained to me. "He lives with other people in downtown Tijuana and spends $250 for rent and utilities [per month]. He has an EBT card, purchases groceries from here, and then crosses the food in a backpack; he spends about $160 a month on food. He has a storage unit in Chula Vista for $150. So, add on the MTS pass, and that's only about $600 a month.  

Smith considered living out of his car. "I can get a $20 per month gym membership with showers and free WiFi," he estimated. "For groceries purchased at Grocery Outlet, I'd spend about $200 a month and buy as I go. Car maintenance and a put-aside repair fund is about $50 a month. Gas is about $200, and insurance is about $100. Then, I'd spend about $50 monthly for water at Starbucks to hang out in a living room-like area and network [for gigs] on my laptop. Starbucks is as close to a 'homey' feeling as possible." Living out of his car costs about $600 a month.

"It's a toss-up, as both prices are about the same," he concluded. "The risks are about the same. I don't know what's scarier, walking around Tijuana streets at night or parking on San Diego streets and avoiding detection from neighbors, police, and tweakers." 

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Writer/illustrator Edward Gorey’s library lands at SDSU

The man behind the Mystery! title sequence amassed 26,000 volumes
Next Article

If God didn’t love pigeons, he wouldn’t have given them wings

Singer Judy Henske meets guy on train, jumps into race from Arizona to Lemon Grove
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.