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How Do San Franciscans Spend Their Money After Rent?

As we all know, San Francisco is the most expensive city in the country in which to rent, with the median price for a newly rented, one-bedroom hitting $3,620. But how do we stack up on post-rent expenditures like eating out, public transit, and alcohol? A site called DataLensDC has put together nifty charts of spending on various activities using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As CityLab notes, there are some truths to stereotypes found in the data (D.C. is bookish, Miami is vain, San Francisco loves to eat.) San Franciscans spend more than residents of any other city on eating out, although we are second to Dallas in percentage of annual expenditure in the category.

The charts highlight D.C.'s stats, but it's easy to pick out San Francisco as well (we're one of the blue bars in every chart, while D.C. is a standout marigold color). By diving in, we can see that although San Franciscans actually spend a tad more on eating in than we do on eating out, we're near the bottom of the pack for percentage of annual expenditure that goes toward dining at home.

And all those stereotypes about everyone in town wearing hoodies and not caring how they look? They might be true. We're right in the middle of the pack for percentage of annual expenditure on apparel, hygiene, and beauty, where Miami and Los Angeles lead the pack. Washington D.C. is at the back on both of those expenditures, followed closely by Minneapolis-St. Paul.

San Franciscans spend a significantly smaller portion of their money than people in other cities—except New York—on car costs. In fact, in many categories San Franciscans end up spending more dollars than people in other cities, even if we have a smaller overall percentage of expenditure in the category. That's because we spend more in actual dollars than people in other cities do. But in car costs, most other cities top San Francisco's expenditure by thousands of dollars. We sort of make up for it by spending more on public transit, but because those costs are generally smaller than those of a car, we still end up spending less on transportation than residents in many other cities.

We're somewhere in the middle of the pack for spending on alcohol, at the very back for spending on smoking (tobacco), and back in the middle for entertainment and reading. So overall we are a city that likes to eat out, doesn't really care how it looks, and takes public transit rather than driving. Sound about right?

· The Median Rent for an SF Two-Bedroom Hits $5000/Month [Curbed SF]
· How DC Spends [DataLensDC]
· How Americans Spend Their Income (After Paying the Rent) [CityLab]