Cost of Living Santa Cruz:
I Googled cost of living here in Santa Cruz, and there are these numbers, national average numbers, and they take all these numbers, and they distill them and pop 'em out and they do not take the area into consideration. So I thought I would go over just a few items such as cost of gas, cost of groceries, shopping here, an overview and discuss that this area gives back a bit too. There are work arounds to these expenses.
First a bag of groceries, full disclosure, I buy groceries at a very expensive store. Why? Well, because I really love their produce and their meats. They're very good. I believe them to be good quality, but you know, expensive. I think their bag of groceries and even trader Joe's, which we have two of have come in comparable at about $70 a bag. With no alcohol or expensive meats. I have watched the price go up and I'm buying a little bit less. I do want to give a counterpoint to expensive groceries.
You can grow your own food here. We have a teeny yard. We don't have a big farming lot. You know, we don't have any cattle grazing, or chicken. We have a couple little planters, and we grow strawberries, blueberries, potatoes, and green beans. We've just put in tomatoes, peas, zucchini, they all thrive. We even grow our own asparagus. And, you know, if you can afford the cost of a fishing trip, you could catch your own fish here. (Maybe not a savings but cool)
Transportation at Costco, it's about $5.95 cents for a gallon of gas. I noticed around town, it is getting to about $6.49 a gallon, but you don't have to drive. There are other ways to get around. We have a good bus service. It's $2 for one trip and then it's $6 for a day pass. And then they have full month passes. They have many ways that you can buy that pass. So that's also an alternative. You don't have to have a car. You can bike ride, scooter, walk, skateboard, or roller-skate. You could be downtown still in about 15 minutes, especially from the upper west side, it is all downhill.
Energy costs. We don't have really cold winters here. You can bundle yourself up just a little bit. Maybe use your heater just at night for the really cold nights. But during the day you generally do not need a heater. During the summer, we have a few, hot days, it is true but then we have the fog that comes in and cools us off. Just a couple fans and then opening the house up at night and closing it up during the day should do it. We have had a few very intensely hot days but after 3-4 days it does cool down.
A lot of our houses don't have air conditioning because we have a natural cooling system, the ocean.
Housing, the median income is about $112,000 to afford to live here, I'm not really sure if that's really based in reality that is national average kind of generalized onto our little area. I can tell you the median home price here is being registered at $1.27, but on the west side of Santa Cruz, it's more like a 1.4 million. The housing costs are definitely going to eat into your budget. I am not going touch on daycare. I didn't research that and t.hat wasn't in the charts that I looked at.
What you can do about expenses. We have some wonderful nurseries here that have flowers and they have vegetables that do well for our area, and they have plenty of knowledgeable people that will help you, figure out what's great for your yard. The transportation, you don't have to have a car, of course, going across town, you might need something more like an e-bike, which by the way, I did research those start as low as $2,000. And sky's the limit on the end price on that. I'm looking into one because I'd like to get across town a little quicker, because traffic is so bad, and it is fun to ride around. I'm really selling Santa Cruz here, right? I do want to touch on shopping and that's for overall items, like clothes and household items. We just don't have a lot of stores here. We have some wonderful local businesses. We have a couple of Targets, A Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's, which is super teeny and Kohl's, but to buy products here, kind of scorched earth, it's always been like that really. There just hasn't been a whole lot. We had the mall that had more stores in it that does now because they are supposed to be putting in a new mall. But shopping here is a bit rough. You're going to get more selection in Santa Clara valley or, on Amazon.
Healthcare. I believe are just the same here. I think we're really very close to the national average in terms of cost, but we also have a holistic community that can help you if that's not the direction that you want to go in. And we also have more and more healthcare providers coming to Santa Cruz, just going, you know what? I really believe in a healthy lifestyle. I realize that the local health providers aren't going to pay me what I would get paid in another area, but I want to live here and I want to live healthier here. We've just been getting many, trained, qualified health providers here. That is something that has really changed in my lifetime here in Santa Cruz.
We have a real issue with our internet providers. Honestly, I don't think any of them are very good. So you'd have to shop around on that, but you're looking at about $75 to $100 a month on that. Reliable opinionated Santa Cruz information! Reach out to me, if you have some more questions about living in Santa Cruz that I can help you with, or if you're just ready to go live somewhere with a lower national average cost, I'm happy to help you with that too. Thanks.
Posted by Michele Replogle on