How To Move To San Francisco With No Money


If you are thinking of moving to San Francisco, you may be wondering how you can afford it.

The cost of living in San Francisco is one of the highest in the country, and it can be challenging to find a job that pays enough to cover your expenses.

However, there are ways to move to San Francisco without spending a lot of money or having a job.

Here are some tips on how to make it happen.

How To Move To San Francisco With No Money

Reasons To Move To San Francisco Without Money

how to move to san francisco with no money

While thousands of people move every year, the majority of them plan a move in an already preferable financial situation.

Moving to the Bay Area probably wouldn’t be your first choice if you were low on funds.

However, you might find yourself needing to move to San Francisco on a whim because of the following situations.

  • You’re eager to explore a new city with so many young professionals and start over.
  • An unhealthy relationship puts you in a place where you need to relocate quickly.
  • You need to move to help a family member with failing health.

Why Is San Francisco A Desirable Place To Live?

The San Francisco cost of living is higher than other places in the country, but many people want to move there for specific reasons.

For starters, the San Francisco neighborhoods are some of the most prominent and renowned places to live on the west coast. 

There are plenty of popular and expensive neighborhoods in San Francisco, like Nob Hill and Pacific Heights.

However, if you’re on a budget, there are still many beautiful places to live.

The Mission District is an especially great option for those who want to be nearby public transportation and enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere.

No matter where you live, it’s a diverse city with plenty to offer for people of all ages.

We can’t discuss the San Francisco bay area without mentioning some of the most well-known attractions across the country.

But, of course, it all starts with popular attractions, including its Golden Gate Bridge, beautiful city streets, and stunning city parks.

San Francisco’s history is also quite interesting, with well-known tourist attractions like Alcatraz or exploring beautiful masterpieces at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

So if you’re looking for a San Francisco museum, you won’t be disappointed. There are 44 of them!

Of course, we can’t forget about all the delicious San Francisco food.

There are plenty of charming sidewalk cafes with tasty places to stop by and enjoy a good bite to eat.

The Bay area has a population of over seven million people and grows annually.

With more and more jobs becoming available in the tech industry, especially in Silicon Valley, you’ll find more younger people looking to move to the San Francisco neighborhoods within the next decade.

San Franciscans are a friendly group of people as well.

San Francisco’s population continues to grow with the opportunities it provides.

What To Consider Before Moving To San Francisco County

If you’re set on moving to San Francisco without much money, you should do a few things before making the big move.

First, it’s essential to save up as much money as possible.

This will help you cover the cost of a deposit on an apartment and other moving expenses.

You should also research the best neighborhoods for your budget and make sure you have a solid plan for finding a job.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to visit the city before you move, so you know what to expect.

For example, San Francisco is often considered “Southern California,” but it’s in the southern part of Northern California on the map.

Cost Of Living In San Francisco

san francisco cost of living

Housing costs are always something to consider whenever you move, and even more important if you’re going to San Fran.

If you’ve never lived in a big city before, you might be surprised how much living expenses differ.

Ideally, you’ll have a job lined up before you actually move to your new city, but that’s not always the case.

Housing costs are some of the highest in the nation here, with the median price of a home coming in at $1.5 million.

It is because of this many people opt instead for an apartment.

The national average for rent is higher in San Francisco, so you’ll have to complete some due diligence when researching for somewhere to live.

Even starting with a one bedroom apartment needs to be carefully planned when you’re moving to San Francisco.

Consider Moving Costs In The Bay Area

Before you move to the Bay area, sit down and think about the costs of moving.

First, there are expenses you’ll need for a moving truck, which will differ in price depending on how many items you have to move.

You’ll also need to have enough money to cover other expenses, such as moving supplies, gasoline, and or possibly needing to rent a hotel or Airbnb in San Francisco for a few days.

Here are a few other costs to consider before moving into a San Francisco home.

  • Security deposit for an apartment and proof of any recent previous income
  • Money to buy clothes for job interviews
  • City expenses for parking, tolls, parking permits, etc.
  • Buying necessary items at the grocery stores (food, toiletries, etc.)

Remember finding a well paying job is something that might take some time.

Even if you land a job relatively quickly, it takes time to process paperwork, get added to the payroll, and get your first paycheck.

In the meantime, you can live frugally by looking for cheap eats in the area and using public transportation if you need to.

Tips To Move To San Francisco Without A Job

tips and tricks

No matter where you’re moving to, whether it’s San Francisco or another city, there are actionable steps you can take to make it much more feasible.

Even without a full time job right off the bat, these tips can be taken care of without spending much money at all.

#1. Save Money To Cover Upfront Costs

In order to live comfortably in San Francisco, it’s an excellent idea to save money prior to your move.

A good rule of thumb is to save roughly six months of your future living expenses.

Consider opening a high-yield savings account with a reasonable interest rate and depositing at least 15-20% of your income every month.

Think of it as a down payment for a vehicle.

You’ll need a sum of money to help with a new place to live.

But it will make your life much easier.

#2. Live In An Affordable Place

With the average rent in the United States higher this year, finding an affordable place to live in the city can seem like a challenge.

One of the first things you can do for a short-term solution is to seek out family members or friends to stay with while you possibly get on your feet.

You could offer to pay part of the rent and help out with any household chores to contribute.

Moving in with a family member or a friend might not be an option for you.

Another choice would be to find short-term rentals in San Francisco or month to month rentals on Airbnb.

Staying somewhere like this for a little while can help you find a job that provides a living wage.

#3. Eliminate Or Reduce Unnecessary Expenses

We all know there are expenses in life we can’t avoid, like where you live, buying food, and transportation.

However, if you want to make it in San Francisco, it’s imperative to have a budget.

Even the smallest sums of money add up over the span of a month.

So carefully examine your bank statements to see where you can make better habits that will produce substantial savings.

Here are some common examples you could ask yourself.

  • Do I need to spend five dollars a day on a cup of coffee?
  • Can I reduce my phone plan?
  • Do I need to have a gym membership I barely use?

These are just a few habits you could change immediately that don’t cost you any money.

Small changes make all the difference when you’re trying to move to a new city.

#4. Find A Job As Soon As Possible

No matter how cheaply you live, you’re going to run out of money in San Francisco if you don’t have a job.

You’ve already racked up a few thousand dollars between your moving costs and security deposit alone.

Remember, the first job you land doesn’t have to be your dream career.

There are plenty of part-time opportunities that will provide you with the income you need until you find what you’re looking for.

In the meantime, make sure you do the necessary work required to polish your resume and prepare yourself for interviews in whatever field interests you.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take action.

Becoming complacent in a city like San Francisco is what could make you move back to wherever you came from very quickly.

#5. Take Care Of Your Debt

Debt is one of those things that many people don’t like to talk about.

But taking the proper steps to get yourself out of debt will make moving to San Francisco more likely.

Start by making sure you understand precisely how much you owe.

If you already have good credit, consider moving any credit card balances to a zero percent interest rate.

Many credit cards offer new members zero or low interest rates ranging anywhere from 12-18 months.

Pay down your smallest balance credit card first, then any others you owe.

If you have substantial debt, it may be wise to consolidate your debts into a single monthly payment.

It would only be wise to move with minimal debt or at least have a plan of attack to take care of it.

Having Fun In San Francisco With No Money

Moving to San Francisco with no money doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything.

On the contrary, there are plenty of free or inexpensive activities you can do that are also quite enjoyable.

  • Take a walk to the beautiful Golden Gate Park, which is completely free in the daytime.
  • Take a ride on the cable cars, which are the unique trolleys that are synonymous with San Francisco, and, of course, episodes of the popular TV show in the 1990s, Full House.
  • Enjoy live music at one of the many popular outdoor venues.
  • Explore the dozens of popular hiking trails at any time of the year.

Like most large cities, there is more entertainment and things to do than you can even imagine.

This is one of the reasons so many people enjoy big city life.

Final Thoughts

If you’re set on moving to San Francisco, you can make it happen even if you don’t have a lot of money.

However, you’ll need to plan ahead and save up as much as you can.

You should also research the best neighborhoods for your budget and make sure you have a solid plan for finding a job.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to visit the city before moving to know what to expect.

You can make your dream of living in San Francisco a reality with some preparation and a little patience. 

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