San Luis Obispo cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexSan Luis ObispoCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index152137100
IndexSan Luis ObispoCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index100109100
Groceries index112118100
Health care index106111100
Housing index248189100
Transportation index126130100
Utilities index136112100
The above illustration supplies generalized information for the San Luis Obispo, CA cost of living index. Compared to other cities in California and cities across the country, the cost of living index in San Luis Obispo, CA is 152, which is 12% higher than the California average and 52% higher than that for the entire country. The index is comprised of the following criteria: cost of retail goods and services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), cost of public/private transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). Everyday goods and services, along with housing account for 63 percent of the total cost of living index. Goods and services that are a necessity regardless of location provide an accurate general sense of the cost of living in one city versus another. As seen above, the cost of retail goods and services in San Luis Obispo, CA are 9% lower than the average for California and equal to the rest of the country.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in San Luis Obispo is 12% higher than the California average.
  • The cost of living in San Luis Obispo is 52% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in San Luis Obispo is 148% higher than the national average.
  • California general sales tax is 47% higher than the national average.
  • California state income tax is 55% lower than the national average.

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Compare San Luis Obispo, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
Price difference in compared to
Cost of living index
Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
Utilities index
The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in San Luis Obispo, CA to another city of your choice. The calculator will inform you of what your salary needs to be in any specific city in order for you to maintain your living standard based on what the city’s cost of living is. As an example, if you are seeking to move to a city that has a higher cost of living compared to San Luis Obispo, CA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the San Luis Obispo, CA salary calculator, input the new city’s name and then move the slider to indicate your current income. The salary calculator will now process the numbers and show you whether you need to earn more or less in the chosen city. A comprehensive breakdown of the cost of living will also be shown.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$89,250$7,438$2,082$2,678
Renters$30,798$2,567$719$924
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in San Luis Obispo, CA, all you must look at is the percentage of monthly income that should be spent on housing expenses, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of your total gross income should be spent on your housing expenses and not more than 36 percent of your gross income on total expenses, including debts. In San Luis Obispo, CA, the median monthly income is $89,250 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $2,082 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $30,798, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $719 on monthly rental expenses.

California Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
California7.5%10%

California Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
California1%12.3%
For those who live in San Luis Obispo, CA and want to know what the true cost of living is, they ought to look at both the California income tax rate and the California sales tax rate. By sales tax, we mean the taxes that are included whenever a person is purchasing any goods or services. The amount that is taxed depends upon the particular state, where some states have a sales tax of zero percent while others can have a tax higher than seven percent. In California, the sales tax is 7.5%, while the most you'll pay in surtax is 10%. There is also income tax to consider, which is based upon the amount of money made in a year. Just like sales tax, income tax depends upon the particular state but also depends upon what tax bracket the person is in. Income tax for the state can be higher than nine percent in some states to zero percent in others. For those that live in California, the income tax rate ranges between 1% to 12.3%.

Goods & Services

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
Haircut $14.45$15.567.2%
Beauty Salon $50.00$36.1138.5%
Toothpaste $3.53$2.4742.6%
Shampoo $1.28$0.9632.6%
Movie $8.67$10.1314.4%
Bowling $4.30$4.749.1%

Groceries

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.26$3.987.0%
Fried Chicken $1.38$1.412.2%
Milk $2.26$2.069.3%
Potatoes $3.81$2.9827.6%
Pizza $9.30$9.471.9%
Beer $8.37$8.794.8%

Health Care

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $97.83$101.043.2%
Doctor $116.54$107.448.5%
Dentist $97.28$90.427.6%
Ibuprofen $10.79$9.2816.3%
Lipitor $424.55$426.500.5%

Housing

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
Home Price $519,200.00$175,700.00195.5%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,102.31$1,133.232.7%
Apartment Rent $1,275.00$920.0038.6%

Transportation

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.75$1.9937.9%
Tire Balancing $46.10$45.760.7%

Utilities

ItemSan Luis ObispoNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$261.78$163.8159.8%
Phone $30.00$28.395.7%
Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

Nearby cities with low cost of living

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
San Miguel CDP (San Luis Obispo County), CA2,63811616%
Oceano, CA7,35511717%
Santa Margarita, CA1,23112929%
Grover Beach, CA13,33713535%
Los Osos, CA14,77813636%
San Luis Obispo, CA45,91115252%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Jeffersonville, IN45,86987-13%
Coeur d'Alene, ID45,84898-2%
Altoona, PA45,98782-18%
Palm Springs, CA45,82711919%
Texas City, TX45,80287-13%
San Luis Obispo, CA45,91115252%
Source: The San Luis Obispo, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2016.