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Career > Money

What I Spend In A Week As A Student In San Francisco 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at San Francisco chapter.

I live in San Francisco, a place where ​​studies have found that individuals need an average of $120,000 to survive, so being a student is not an easy task. I work two jobs, I have a remote internship, and I take care of pets on Rover. I am fortunate that my mother helps me with large expenses like rent, while I am responsible for utilities, groceries, and living expenses. I usually work around 10 hours a week but the week I focused on was when I was staying overnight on a Rover booking. During this week I made around $600 between my two jobs.

My goal going into the future is to learn more about finance and how to invest, and to make my savings grow. When I graduate in Fall 2024, I am hoping to come out of college with a healthy savings account and the ability to relocate for a job. I focused on the week of September 14 to September 21 to give an idea of what I spend in a week. 


I had class during the afternoon but since I had been up since 7am I decided to get my weekly coffee from Peet’s. After class I took a Lime Scooter home since I needed to pack for my five day stay at my Rover booking and felt like I was running out of time. When I got home I realized I needed to purchase a book for one of my classes and purchased that off of Amazon. I finished off the night by buying a Trader Joe’s meal for one because I couldn’t be bothered to cook.

Total: $26.87


I did not have class but I did have work for my internship. After our weekly meeting I went to Chipotle to get some lunch. Afterwards I met up with friends and went rock climbing at the student wellness center. After climbing I went grocery shopping for the upcoming week ahead.

Total: $51.80


I went to look for a new apartment with my family during the day. It was a long and emotionally heavy day but for dinner we all went out so I did not have to pay for dinner.

Total: $0


I went apartment hunting on my own and I found a place and fell in love. I had to put down a deposit and because I saved since I was planning on moving I could do that with ease. 

Total: $253


I had class and since I was still doing my Rover booking I had to take two buses. I reloaded my clipper card so that I could take the bus. I went to classes, and rock climbing on Monday keeping my total low.

Total: $10


After class, my boyfriend and I decided to meet up for dinner. We went to In-n-Out but I needed gas so after I filled up and went to the wrong one. He had already paid by the time I got there.

Total: $12

Wednesday and Thursday 

I was done with my Rover booking and needed to catch up on homework, and my work that I have for my internship so I was spending most of my days in the library. Since I packed lunch and coffee for myself I was able to continue to live off of the groceries I had bought the week before. 

Total: $0


I was done with dog sitting and no longer needed my car or the bus to commute to school so I was able to save money by walking. I did however run out of groceries and so did another Trader Joe’s grocery haul.

Total $42.33

Monthly expenses adjusted for a weekly rate

I spend $18.75 on Utilities like water, electricity, and heat; $2.25 on the internet since I split it with my other nine roommates; I have an AMC Movies subscription which per week is $6.24. 

In total I spent $170.24 a week while living in San Francisco. Some weekends I end up spending more, but for the most part I would say that spending around $200 a week is average for me. I do this by picking activities that cost little to nothing to do. In a city where everything feels expensive sometimes for peace of mind the cheapest option is the way to go.

Jessica Sheppard

San Francisco '24

I am originally from Sacramento and am earning my bachelors and masters degree at San Francisco State and pursuing both degrees in communications. In addition to being assistant editor on SF State's HerCampus I am the president of the rock climbing club on campus. I enjoy writing culture, life, and experiences articles. My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-sheppard-sfsu/