The trouble is that with this increase in cost, many families and young professionals are finding themselves priced out. The good news is that making small adjustments to everyday expenses can mean the difference between living in and outside of the city.
(PRWEB) June 27, 2014
Across America’s most popular cities, the cost of living has skyrocketed. This includes San Francisco, which is ranked as the third most expensive city to live in according to a Kiplinger report. With housing costs at nearly three times the national average and increasing prices on goods and services, many residents are finding themselves priced out of the city. National financial education nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has released five essential money tips to help San Francisco residents combat rising costs.
“As the economy has rebounded, so too have many of America’s cities, including San Francisco,” stated Steven Trumble, President and CEO of ACCC. “The trouble is that with this increase in cost, many families and young professionals are finding themselves priced out. The good news is that making small adjustments to everyday expenses can mean the difference between living in and outside of the city.”
San Francisco’s living expenses have been rising at a higher rate than the rest of the nation. According to an April 2014 report by the US Department of Labor, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for San Francisco rose 1.2 percent since February and the CPI for Urban Consumers rose 2.8 percent since last year. The price of food has gone up almost one percent from February to April, and energy increased by 2.6 percent due to the higher price of gasoline. As the rise in prices for food and housing increases at a high percentage, the average wage for workers has stalled, only increasing by 1.1 percent from February to April.
American Consumer Credit Counseling has developed five tips to save money while still living in the San Francisco area:
- Conserve Energy – Electricity and gas prices have been a critical component of the high cost of living in the Bay Area. Consumers can easily cut costs on energy by turning off the lights when leaving a room, and turning off the TV or radio when not in use. Also unplug devices when you aren’t using them -- even if the device is not on, it will still consume energy when plugged into the wall. These simple steps can save you money on utility bills.
- Public Transportation – San Francisco’s gas prices are some of the highest in the country, surpassing New York City, Honolulu, and Los Angeles. However, San Francisco has several public transit system options that could save you money on your daily commute. Consider biking as an alternative transportation, or carpooling with a friend.
- Plan Grocery Trips – Ever go into a grocery store hungry and wonder why you bought food that was not on your grocery list? Stop overspending by not going grocery shopping when you are hungry and sticking to a strict grocery list. Also, buying in-season vegetables and fruit is much cheaper.
- Budget – Budgeting each month helps you avoid errant costs that can lead to bigger financial burdens in the future. Make a budgeting sheet with your monthly income and your expected monthly costs including food, utilities, transportation, and bills. ACCC has great budgeting templates to help you stick to a plan. Also, make sure to look closely at bills and credit card statements to see if there are extra charges.
- Homemade – With the average restaurant mark-up of 300 percent, eating at home is significantly cheaper than eating out, especially if you drink alcohol. The best plan for sticking to homemade meals is to create a plan on Sundays before you go grocery shopping, commit to only buying foods on sale and cook in bulk so that the same recipe can be incorporated into meals throughout the week. If you have a smart plan, you are less likely to go out to eat impulsively.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
For credit counseling locally call or 415-655-6731 or 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.