Cost of Living in San Jose, CA, United States

Updated On July 28, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Live In San Jose, CA?

San Jose is a city located in California, located in the northern part of the state in the Bay Area.

It is often known as “The Capital of Silicon Valley”, and is the largest city in the Bay Area and Northern California – and, while we’re at it, the third largest city in the state.

San Jose is less expensive (but not enough to be considered inexpensive) compared to the communities north of it, which are closer to the ‘heart’ of Silicon Valley (Sunnyvale, Mountain View for example).

Cost of Living Index:
* Based on Research & User Data


Eating out is expensive – more expensive than in most American cities.

Luckily, there are a few places that offer happy hours.

You can find all kinds of good cuisines and food places here.

Usually, people that are not well off do not eat in fancy restaurants, since a meal in an inexpensive restaurant here will cost you around 20$.



You have plenty of markets in San Jose that have different offers and prices.

Costco is great and you can save a lot. Walmart also has good prices.

Wholefoods, as expected, has prices that are through the roof, but it has the best vegetables and fish.

Your best bet is probably to head out to one of San Jose’s open farmer’s markets where you’ll find great deals for fresh produce.



The downtown area is compact and easy to get around on foot (to translate, it means saving a lot of money you would otherwise spend on transport).

A public transport day pass is valid on buses and light rail lines all day and costs 6$ for an adult, and 5$ for a child.

If you own a car, count in the parking fees and fuel fees for a car.

A lot depends on how far you need to drive every day.



For utilities, water is not too expensive but gas/electricity and trash services can be a bit more expensive than you expect.

If you add cell phone and broadband wireless (which some consider to be utilities), then add that cost as well.

Still, all in all, utilities in Californian cities like San Jose aren’t too expensive.

Sports and leisure


Practicing sports or going to the gym in San Jose is rather expensive.

A gym or a fitness club membership will cost you around 83$.

There are always the free options of running, jogging, or biking in the perfect Californian sun.

It’s roughly 15$ to go to the movies, depending on which theater and time you choose.

Clothing and shoes


San Jose offers many shopping opportunities, like independent boutiques in the downtown area as well as shopping malls scattered throughout the city.

If you’re set on shopping in San Jose, you should get familiar with the prices right away.

Quality jeans will cost you around 53$, and you won’t find any good running sneakers without cashing out close to 90$.

Rent per month


Rents are through the roof here.

With roommates, you are looking at 2000$ to 2300$ for a one-bedroom apartment.

Without roommates, you will have to pay at least 2500$ and you will have to compete hard for the privilege of paying that much.

You also have to be careful about neighborhoods.

You might find that a really cheap apartment comes with very dangerous neighborhood.

Cost of Living Averages Table for San Jose, CA

*Note: All prices are indicated in USD.
Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)$20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)$8.00
Water (0.33 Liter)$2.44
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter)$1.28
Loaf Bread (500g)$4.89
Eggs (12)$5.73
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket$2.50
Monthly Pass$90.00
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)$269.46
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local$0.23
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)$88.03
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult$83.11
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)$28.93
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release$15.00
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)$53.11
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)$46.17
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)$93.82
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$2658.57
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$2380.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$4794.62

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in San Jose, CA?

Not surprisingly, for a popular city in California where rent is through the roof, the biggest expense of living in San Jose is rent.

Rent takes up close to 50% of all income, and that just goes to show how expensive rent is in this city.

Food is definitely the next biggest expense for anyone living in San Jose – though this is the situation in most countries around the world.

Other significant expenses for the people of San Jose are restaurants and transportation, as in most American cities.

Average Costs Breakdown


San Jose, CA: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

If you have any qualifications related to agriculture, you probably will find a good job, since agriculture is big in California.

There are many new open jobs in San Jose and it’s a city with many opportunities, but also high prices, even for a Californian city.

The usual minimum wage is around 2600$ which is a decent minimum wage that most people can earn for a normal life.

An average monthly salary in San Jose is around 7000$ which is unbelievably high and absolutely enough for a comfortable life in this city and generally, in California as such.

Average Salary$6991.63
Minimum Wage$2600.00
Mortgage Interest Rate6.55%

San Jose Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: San Jose Safety Review

Safety Index:

Cost of Living by City in San Jose, CA

CityCost of Living Index
Albany, NY72.4
Albuquerque, NM72.4
Anchorage, AK72.4
Ann Arbor, MI72.4
Arlington, TX72.4
Asheville, NC72.4
Atlanta, GA72.4
Austin, TX72.4
Bakersfield, CA72.4
Baltimore, MD72.4
Bellevue, WA72.4
Bellingham, WA72.4
Berkeley, CA72.4
Birmingham, AL72.4
Boise, ID72.4
Boston, MA72.4
Boulder, CO72.4
Brooklyn, NY72.4
Buffalo, NY72.4
Burlington, VT72.4
Charleston, SC72.4
Charlotte, NC73.33
Chattanooga, TN72.4
Chicago, IL72.4
Cincinnati, OH72.4
Cleveland, OH72.4
Columbia, SC72.4
Columbus, OH72.4
Dallas, TX72.4
Dayton, OH72.4
Denver, CO72.4
Des Moines, IA72.4
Detroit, MI72.4
El Paso, TX72.4
Eugene, OR72.4
Everett, WA72.4
Fayetteville, AR72.4
Fort Myers, FL72.4
Fort Wayne, IN72.4
Fort Worth, TX72.4
Fresno, CA74.2
Gainesville, FL74.2
Grand Rapids, MI74.2
Greensboro, NC74.2
Hartford, CT74.2
Honolulu, HI74.2
Houston, TX74.2
Huntsville, AL74.2
Indianapolis, IN74.2
Irvine, CA74.2
Jacksonville, FL74.2
Jersey City, NJ74.2
Kansas City, MO74.2
Knoxville, TN74.2
Las Vegas, NV74.2
Lexington, KY74.2
Little Rock, AR74.2
Long Beach, CA74.2
Los Angeles, CA74.2
Louisville, KY74.2
Lubbock, TX74.2
Madison, WI74.2
Memphis, TN74.2
Miami, FL74.2
Milwaukee, WI74.2
Minneapolis, MN74.2
Nashville, TN74.2
New Orleans, LA74.2
New York, NY74.2
Oakland, CA74.2
Oklahoma City, OK74.2
Olympia, WA74.2
Orlando, FL74.2
Peoria, IL72.4
Philadelphia, PA72.4
Phoenix, AZ72.4
Pittsburgh, PA72.4
Portland, ME72.4
Portland, OR72.4
Raleigh, NC72.4
Reno, NV72.4
Richmond, VA74.2
Rochester, NY74.2
Sacramento, CA74.2
Saint Louis, MO74.2
Saint Paul, MN74.2
Saint Petersburg, FL74.2
Salem, OR74.2
Salt Lake City, UT74.2
San Antonio, TX74.2
San Diego, CA74.2
San Francisco, CA74.2
Santa Barbara, CA74.2
Santa Rosa, CA74.2
Seattle, WA74.2
Spokane, WA74.2
Springfield, MO74.2
Syracuse, NY74.2
Tacoma, WA74.2
Tallahassee, FL74.2
Tampa, FL74.2
Toledo, OH74.2
Tucson, AZ74.2
Tulsa, OK74.2
Vancouver, WA74.2
Virginia Beach, VA74.2
Washington, DC74.2
West Palm Beach, FL74.2
Wichita, KS74.2

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