San Marcos 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 MarcosCaliforniaNational
Cost of living index136135100
IndexSan MarcosCaliforniaNational
Goods & Services index105107100
Groceries index109117100
Health care index111109100
Housing index194189100
Transportation index124125100
Utilities index122116100
A general summary of the cost of living index in San Marcos, CA is shown above. Compared to the state average of California the cost of living index in San Marcos, CA is 136, which is equal to the average in California and compared to the national average it is 36% higher than. The cost of living index is made up of several categories. These are transportation at 9%, utilities at 10%, goods and services at 33%, housing at 30%, groceries at 13%, and health care at 5%. The bulk of the cost of living index comes from the categories of goods and services and housing. If you look at everyday goods and services they can be a good indicator in a certain city of the general costs of goods there. In San Marcos, CA goods and services come in at 1% lower than the average in California and are 5% higher than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in San Marcos is equal to the California average.
  • The cost of living in San Marcos is 36% higher than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in San Marcos is 94% 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 Marcos, CA Cost of living To Other Cities

Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
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Groceries index
Health care index
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The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in San Marcos, 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 Marcos, CA, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the San Marcos, 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$76,055$6,338$1,774$2,282
Renters$39,661$3,305$925$1,190
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in San Marcos, 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 Marcos, CA, the median monthly income is $76,055 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,774 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $39,661, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $925 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%
When assessing the complete cost of living in San Marcos, CA, the California income tax and the California sales tax percentages should unquestionably be taken into consideration. Sales taxes aren't just levies imposed onto sold goods, but they also include taxes that are charged when services are provided for a fee. The rates are different from state to state and can run has high as 7 percent. Some states have no sales tax at all. The California maximum surtax is 10%, and the California sales tax is 7.5%. By contrast, income tax is an unfortunate obligation that is charged by the government against earnings. Just like sales taxes, the rates for income taxes differ from state to state. They also decrease or increase according to the individual's tax bracket. Tax rates can run as high as 9 percent, with a minimum of zero. Income tax rates range from 1% to 12.3% in California.

Goods & Services

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
Haircut $18.53$14.5927.0%
Beauty Salon $57.27$34.6865.1%
Toothpaste $2.74$2.4710.8%
Shampoo $1.11$1.028.6%
Movie $12.40$9.8725.7%
Bowling $5.52$4.3925.7%

Groceries

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.49$4.480.3%
Fried Chicken $1.54$1.465.2%
Milk $2.54$2.367.8%
Potatoes $3.32$3.068.4%
Pizza $8.00$9.2413.4%
Beer $9.38$8.638.7%

Health Care

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $104.65$99.784.9%
Doctor $109.87$105.034.6%
Dentist $109.00$88.7022.9%
Ibuprofen $12.99$9.4138.0%
Lipitor $280.93$298.505.9%

Housing

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
Home Price $378,800.00$175,700.00115.6%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $2,436.52$1,081.03125.4%
Apartment Rent $1,306.00$920.0042.0%

Transportation

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.74$2.0931.0%
Tire Balancing $47.16$45.294.1%

Utilities

ItemSan MarcosNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$214.73$170.8025.7%
Phone $33.30$28.2617.8%
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.
Escondido, CA147,60313030%
Vista, CA96,18113232%
Camp Pendleton North, CA6,43613333%
Oceanside, CA171,40013434%
Camp Pendleton South, CA12,69114040%
San Marcos, CA87,80813636%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Reading, PA88,05190-10%
Greenville, NC87,54694-6%
Chico, CA87,51712929%
Boca Raton, FL88,18712828%
Sunrise, FL88,391100-0%
San Marcos, CA87,80813636%
Source: The San Marcos, CA cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.