How to Lower the Cost of Living in San Jose?

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How to Lower the Cost of Living in San Jose?

San Jose is located in the middle of Silicon Valley, with the Santa Cruz Mountains as a backdrop.  It boasts a fascinating history, exciting entertainment, and a pleasant environment.

If you’re thinking about moving to San Jose, the costs listed below can help you decide how to cut your moving and living costs in this inventive city.

San Jose Moving and Shipping Costs

Sample container shipping prices to San Jose from other major cities are listed below. Just bear in mind that they only reflect the shipping element of the bill, not the entire moving bill.

  • New York City – $525+
  • Los Angeles – $155+
  • Canada (Vancouver) – $565+ 
  • UK (London) – $1,508+ 
  • Australia (Sydney) – $1,156+ 
  • Ireland (Dublin) – $1,742+
  • $1,823+ in New Zealand (Auckland)
  • $1,195+ in Hong Kong
  • $3,030+ in Dubai
  • $2,003+ in Singapore 

Housing Costs in San Jose 

The median price of a home in San Jose was over $1 million in August 2016. The cost of living is high, but so are the wages.

Rental Prices in San Jose Every Month 

  • One-bedroom apartment in the city center: $2,200+
  • One-bedroom apartment outside the city center: $1,750+
  • Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: $3,400+ 
  • Three-bedroom apartment outside the city center: $2,900+ 

Purchase Prices in San Jose 

  • In the City Centre, the price per square meter (10.7 square feet) is $5,400. 
  • Outside of the city, the price per square meter (10.7 square feet) is $4,700. 

Comparing Housing Prices in San Jose 

This graph shows how San Jose’s rentals compare to those in other cities worldwide.

  • London is 16.47 percent less expensive
  • New York is 19.89% higher. 
  • Los Angeles is 19.65% less expensive. 
  • Toronto is 52.29 percent less expensive than New York. 
  • Sydney is 20.65% less expensive. 
  • Paris is 48.41% less expensive. 
  • Dubai is 12.43 percent less expensive. 

How to Save Money on Housing?

Share an Apartment or a House

San Jose is an expensive city, but sharing a house or apartment can help you save money. Many young professionals are on the lookout for housemates. You’ll most likely have to share a bathroom, but you’ll save money in the long run. Sharing a room is a less expensive choice. Easyroommate, Roommates, Kangaroom, For Rent, and Yelp are some sites to check out if you’re looking for a room or flatmate.

Prices Vary Depending on the Location 

Upmarket zones, like all cities, attract high prices, and San Jose has a lot of them. Try to reside slightly outside the city, where rental and purchase rates are typically lower. Living and working in San Jose’s downtown allows you to save money on transportation, and it is close to several tech companies, retailers, and entertainment venues. High-rise flats, Victorian homes, and Californian-style homes are all found here. The cheapest areas in San Jose are Edenvale, Almaden Valley, Rose Garden, Burbank, and King and Story.

Food, Grocery, and Restaurant Prices in San Jose 

San Jose has a wide range of eateries and grocery stores, reflecting a particular regional influence. India, Korea, Japan, Mexico, and Italy are among the countries represented in the city.

  • Low-cost restaurant: $12–$20 
  • $3.75 – $5.00 for takeout coffee 
  • Coke bottle: $1.00 – $3.00 
  • 1 liter of milk costs $0.79 to $1.32. 
  • Loaf of Bread: $2.20 – $4.41
  • 12 Eggs: $2.80 – $6.00 
  • 1 kg of chicken: $6.61 – $13.23 
  • 1 kg of beef: $8.82 – $17.64 
  • 1kg Apples: $2.65 – $6.61
  • 1kg White Rice: $2.20 – $6.60 

This Is How the Pricing of Restaurants and Meals Compare to Those in Other Major Cities Throughout the World 

  • Restaurants in London are 8.28 percent more expensive, and groceries are 28.50 percent less expensive than San Jose. In contrast, restaurants in New York are 21.00 percent more expensive, and groceries are 20.69 percent more expensive.
  • Restaurants in Los Angeles are 0.92 percent less expensive, while groceries are 8.95 percent less expensive than San Jose. 
  • Restaurants in Toronto are 20.09 percent less expensive, while groceries are 23.85 percent less expensive than San Jose.
  • In comparison to San Jose, Sydney restaurants are 9.52 percent cheaper, and groceries are 2.72 percent cheaper.
  •  Compared to San Jose, Paris restaurants are 0.67 percent cheaper, and groceries are 7.42 percent cheaper. 
  • Restaurants in Dubai are 22.34 percent less expensive, while groceries are 30.23 percent less expensive than San Jose.

Bonus Food, Restaurant, and Grocery Savings Tips

  • Know your supermarkets: San Jose boasts various individually owned grocery stores and ethnic stores in addition to the standard supermarket brands. 
  • There are also numerous farmers’ markets and stores selling health and organic foods. 
  • Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Lucky, and Safeway are popular supermarkets.
  • Find Low-Cost Eats: San Jose has a plethora of restaurants and takeaways where you can get tasty, low-cost food. Take a look at the websites TripAdvisor, Four Square, Zomato, and Serious Eats for some ideas.

The Price of Alcohol in San Jose 

Bars and clubs cater to a wide range of budgets. It is a city with many locations to have a quiet or not-so-silent drink. 

  • Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/bar: $5.00 – $8.00
  • Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $2.00 – $3.50 
  • Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $10.00 – $15.00
  • Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $1.50 – $3.00 

In San Jose, Here’s How to Drink Cheaply

  • Keep an eye out for weekend and holiday specials in the local media and the internet. 
  • San Jose residents are known for working flexibly. Thus there is always a ‘happy hour’ somewhere in the city. Between 3.30 and 6.30 p.m., visit the Britannia Arms for a pint of draught beer for $4 or $5 and $3.75 mojitos (Britannia Arms). E & O Trading’s happy hour is from 3 to 7 p.m., and they have beer for $3 and $4, wine for $5, and cocktails for $5. Other suggestions can be found at Four Square, Total Happy Hour, and Drink Owl.

Transportation Fares in San Jose 

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority manages San Jose’s rail and bus systems. It runs throughout San Jose, although it’s common to have to change buses or trains several times if you live a significant distance from your workplace because of the city’s size. The Caltrain, which travels from San Jose to San Francisco, is a beautiful alternative if you live outside the city.

Here are a few examples of ticket prices:

  • Adult Single – $2.00
  • One-Day Ticket – $6.00
  • Unlimited Monthly Season Ticket – $70 
  • Annual Season Ticket – $770 

What Are Some Ways to Save Money on Public Transportation? 

  • Purchase a Clipper Card to receive the best daily, monthly, and annual discounts.
  • Invest in a bicycle. More bike lanes are being developed in San Jose, so cycling to and from work may be an option depending on where you live and work
  • If you live close to your workplace, consider walking.

Internet Costs in San Jose

Compared to many other countries throughout the world, internet prices in the United States are high.

Here are some examples of broadband internet costs for unlimited downloads from early 2017 based on a 12-month contract: 

  • Xfinity: Starting at $29.99 per month for 10 Mbps. 
  • AT&T: 45 Mbps for $40.00 per month

Clothes, Personal Items, Gym, and Leisure Costs 

The hottest month in San Jose in April, when the average high temperature is 77°F (25°C). The coldest month is January when the average temperature drops to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius)! September is the wettest month, with 9 inches of rain on average (240mm). San Jose has approximately 300 days of sunshine per year.

Here are some garment costs, as well as some other relevant costs:

  • Jeans: $34–$60 
  • Summer Dress: $25–$75
  •  Running Shoes (Trainers): $50–$85
  •  Business Shoes: $60–$130
  •  15-minute doctor’s visit: $94 
  • Deodorant: $3.40 
  • Shampoo: $5.21 
  • Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $3.12 
  • Gym membership: $20-$50 each month 

Car Ownership and Driving Costs in San Jose

In San Jose, many people drive, and traffic is hefty throughout the day. If you’re moving to San Jose from within the United States, you’ll be permitted to keep your driver’s license but need to change your address. As a tourist, you can drive on a foreign license for up to 12 months, after which you must obtain an American license. You can drive on your foreign license for 30 days while working or studying in the United States. You must follow the steps outlined here to exchange your international driver’s license.

Here are some further examples of car ownership and operation costs in San Jose: 

  • 1 liter (14.4 gallons) of gasoline (petrol): $0.76 
  • Volkswagen Golf: $22,000
  • Other fees (if any): State and local taxes, licensing, title, and registration fees cost $665 per year. 

Ways to Save Money While Driving in San Jose

  •  One option to save money is to share a car or carpool. Carpool World, Ridesharing, and rideshare are all excellent options.
  • Taxis can be a more cost-effective choice, especially if you plan on parking for the entire day. 
  • Uber, Uberpool, and Lyft are all excellent options. 

San Jose’s Taxes

San Jose’s sales tax is 8.875 percent, and it is applied to almost all goods and services. In most cases, the price you see does not include sales tax. If you own your home, you’ll have to pay property taxes based on your residence and how big your house is. Property Tax is an excellent place to learn more about property taxes in San Jose. Finally, you’ll have to pay real estate transfer tax if you opt to acquire an apartment or house in San Jose.

San Jose Flight Prices 

If you decide to relocate to San Jose, here’s an estimate of how much flying to other major global cities will cost, based on the lowest one-way flights from Skyscanner as of early 2017:

  • Dubai: $626
  • Sydney: $590
  • Melbourne: $582 
  • Cape Town: $942 
  • Hong Kong: $389 
  • London: $346 
  • Los Angeles: $59 
  • New York: $125
  • Toronto: $163

Other Relocation Suggestions for San Jose 

The costs and pricing shown above should give you a decent indication of how much it costs to live in San Jose, but the following advice may help your transition more quickly. 

Moving to San Jose by Yourself 

Any move may be isolating, but relocating to a new city can be particularly scary. Here are some helpful hints for settling in San Jose. 

  • Meetups: San Jose boasts a plethora of Meetup groups to help you settle into your new city. 
  • From Pilates to gaming, sports, and languages, there are organizations for almost everyone’s hobbies. 
  • Go to local events: There’s always something going on in San Jose, so whether you like the theatre, sports, or simply socializing with like-minded people, you’ll find something to do. 
  • Look through San Jose Events, 10 Best, TripAdvisor, and Things to do to find something fun to do. 

Family Relocating to San Jose 

Families will find plenty of things to do in San Jose. It is located near the mountains and the sea, making it ideal for outdoor-loving families. There are numerous parks, museums, a zoo, and many other attractions.

  • Advice, training, and methods to meet other new parents (or parents-to-be) can be found at PAMF or Thrive.
  • Live in a family-friendly neighborhood: San Jose is known for being a family-friendly city. 
  • The most significant neighborhoods are Willow Glen, Cambrian Park, Blossom Valley, Almaden Valley, and Santa Teresa. Read in-depth descriptions of these topics. 
  • Find activities to do with the kids: There’s much for youngsters to do and see on those bright days in San Jose. 

Relocating to San Jose for a Job 

For those who enjoy all things high-tech, San Jose and Silicon Valley are the ideal places to work. One of the most common reasons people choose to relocate to San Jose is for the job, and many companies treat their staff like kings. While it is feasible to relocate without a job, it is prudent to verify that employment in your industry is available before moving.

Here are some things to think about while relocating for work:

  • Salary: In San Jose, salaries are very high. 
  • The costs we listed above should indicate how much extra you’ll need to spend to justify the relocation. 
  • Where to look for work: If you’re looking for a job before you relocate to San Jose but don’t know where to start, the following websites are ideal: Monster, Indeed, Snagajob, Craigslist, and Career Builder are just a few examples. You might also look up recruiters in your industry on Google, as they can often assist you in landing some early interviews.

Relocating from Australia to San Jose 

Over 60,000 Australians live in California, so you will undoubtedly be able to meet some of them and exchange stories about home. 

Here are a few things to consider if you’re considering migrating from Australia to San Jose:

  • Size comparison: When comparing San Jose’s population to an Australian city, Adelaide comes closest. 
  • Join ex-pat groups: Internations, Meetup, and Aussies Only Club are all places in San Joe where you may meet other Australians. 

Relocating from Canada to San Jose 

California has drawn a significant number of Canadians, so here are some things to think about if you’re thinking about moving there:

  • Size: When comparing the population sizes of the two cities, Edmonton, Alberta, is the smaller of the two. 
  • Expat groups: Getting together with other Canadians can help the transition
  • Meet up on Meet Up and Internations, for example. 

Relocating from the United Kingdom to San Jose 

San Jose is known for attracting computer gurus from the United Kingdom, so here are a few extra pointers: 

  • Population: Birmingham is the nearest city to San Jose in terms of population.
  • Expat groups: Internations and Meetup are great places to meet other ex-pats from the UK enjoying 300 days of sunshine per year. 
  • Hopefully, the preceding suggestions and expenses were helpful. If you want to figure out how much it will cost you to move to San Jose, compare moving estimates here. 

San Jose Quick Facts

  • The population is 1,000,536 people (2017 estimate) 
  • Official Language: English (de facto), with at least 1% of the population speaking Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, and Korean. 
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita: USD 80,028 (2015) 
  • Vietnamese: San Jose has the highest concentration of Vietnamese residents of any city outside of Vietnam. 
  • The US Dollar (US$) is the currency of the United States. 
  • £1 = $1.25, €1 = $1.08, $1 CAD = $0.75, $1 AUD = $0.77 in early 2017. 


You could be startled by the high cost of living in San Jose, California if you’re seeking a cheap apartment. With the most significant percentage of multi-million dollar residences in the country, this city is one of the wealthiest in the country. Many of the city’s prominent technology firms pay significant wages, and the area is home to several billionaires and millionaires. On the other hand, a single-person flat can be the ideal alternative if you’re on a tight budget. Finding a roommate in San Jose is an excellent strategy to reduce your living expenses. You can find roommates by looking at bulletin boards in local grocery stores, schools, coffee shops, etc. Make sure to sign a roommate agreement template before moving in with a new roommate. This will establish your living arrangements as well as safeguard your interests. Posting ads on a bulletin board in your community will help you find roommates. You can also hunt for a roommate on the bulletin boards in your neighborhood. Make sure you sign a roommate agreement template before moving in with your new roommate, so you both know what to expect.

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