How Much Does It Cost to Live in Berkeley, California?

Berkeley is a small city located in California with a metropolitan area population of 115,403. A couple could live a moderate lifestyle in Berkeley on a budget of $5,809 per month, or $69,713 per year.

Cost of Living in Berkeley, California

As noted above, the cost of living in Berkeley, California is $5,809 per month for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. This budget consists of $3,784 for housing related costs, $1,008 for food, and $1,017 for other costs, all of which will be broken down below.


  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Berkeley is estimated to cost $3,454
  • Basic utilities including electricity, water, and gas will run about $241
  • High-speed internet averages $89


  • Typical grocery costs of $797 per month include things like bread, eggs, milk, cheese, rice, chicken breast, bottled water, fruits, and vegetables
  • Alcohol including beer and wine for moderate home consumption costs about $104
  • Frequent coffees in a neighborhood café are estimated to be about $108


  • Meals out are estimated to be $548 per month, including 4 meals in mid-range restaurants and 8 in inexpensive restaurants
  • Transportation costs of $231 for public transport passes and occasional taxis
  • Fitness center memberships of $164
  • Cinema tickets of $75 include several outings for international releases

Note that Berkeley, California is a very walkable city with a Walk Score of 99/100, which means you won’t need a car if you are living in the city center and you may even save some money by not using public transportation and taxis very often.


Amount of Money Needed to Retire in Berkeley, California

Many people searching the internet for the cost of living in Berkeley, California are doing so to see if and when they can quit their jobs and retire. A popular and easy way to calculate your retirement number is using the 4% Rule.

The 4% Rule estimates that a person(s) could withdraw 4% of their retirement nest egg and never run out of money. Using this calculation, a couple would need an investment portfolio of $1,742,835 to live a moderate lifestyle in Berkeley, California.

Annual expenses of $69,713 ÷ 4% = $1,742,835 portfolio needed.

Of course, everyone’s financial situation is different, and the above calculation could change based on any other sources of passive income and social security income.


Overall, the cost of living in Berkeley, California is affordable coming in at $5,809 for a couple living a moderate lifestyle. Those seeking to retire could do so comfortably with a retirement portfolio of $1,742,835.