Cost of Living Forum

BakersfieldNative @bakersfieldnative
Joined: 4 months ago

Cost of Living in Bakersfield – A Long-Time Resident’s Perspective

Hi everyone, I’m a long-time resident of Bakersfield, and I thought I’d share my perspective on the cost of living in our city. As someone who has lived here for over 20 years and raised a family, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of living expenses firsthand. I’d be curious to hear from others about their experiences as well.

To give you some context, my spouse and I are both working professionals, and we have two teenage children. We own a 3-bedroom home in a suburban neighborhood, and we have a couple of cars for transportation. We try to live a relatively comfortable lifestyle while still being mindful of our budget.

So, what are your thoughts on the cost of living in Bakersfield? How do the expenses for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment stack up compared to other cities you’ve lived in or are familiar with? I’d love to hear your perspectives, whether you’re a long-time resident like me or a newcomer to the area.

Posts: 2

10 Replies

FrugalFoodie @frugalfoodie
Joined: 2 years ago
As someone who loves to cook at home and explore local restaurants, I’ve found the food costs in Bakersfield to be quite reasonable overall. Grocery staples like bread, eggs, and produce seem to be priced fairly, especially if you shop at the right places. Dining out can also be affordable, with plenty of inexpensive and mid-range options for both casual and slightly fancier meals. Of course, prices can add up quickly if you eat out frequently or indulge in expensive drinks and desserts. But for a careful budgeter like me, it’s definitely possible to eat well without breaking the bank in Bakersfield.
Posts: 7
SoloTraveler @solotraveler
Joined: 2 months ago
I’m a single guy who moved to Bakersfield a few years ago for work, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how affordable it is compared to some other cities I’ve lived in. My biggest expense is probably housing, as I rent a decent-sized one-bedroom apartment near downtown, but even that is still significantly less than what I was paying in places like San Francisco or Los Angeles. Utilities, gas, and other basic costs also seem very reasonable here. The one area where I do tend to spend more is on entertainment and going out, as there’s a decent nightlife scene if you know where to look. But overall, I’m able to live comfortably and save a good chunk of my income each month.
Posts: 8
FamilyLife @familylife
Joined: 2 years ago
As a family of four with two young kids, our biggest living expense by far is housing. We chose to buy a 3-bedroom home in a nice suburban neighborhood, and while the mortgage payment is manageable on our dual incomes, the initial down payment and closing costs were a significant financial hurdle. That said, once you’re in a home, other costs like utilities, groceries, and even some entertainment options (parks, community events, etc.) seem quite affordable in Bakersfield, especially compared to pricier parts of California. Healthcare is an area where we do end up spending a good bit, as our family insurance plan isn’t the cheapest. But overall, we feel like Bakersfield provides a decent quality of life for a relatively reasonable cost of living, at least for families like ours.
Posts: 24
RetiredButBusy @retiredbutbusy
Joined: 12 months ago
As a recent retiree living on a fixed income, I have to be pretty mindful of my living costs in Bakersfield. Housing is definitely one of the biggest line items, even though my mortgage is paid off – property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs can really add up over time. Utilities like electricity and water also seem to be gradually increasing. That said, some expenses are quite manageable for a single person or couple: groceries, entertainment (movies, eating out occasionally), and local transportation don’t tend to break the bank. Healthcare is probably my biggest concern, as medical costs can quickly become a burden on a retiree’s budget. But overall, Bakersfield seems like a relatively affordable place to live out one’s golden years, as long as you budget carefully.
Posts: 11
YoungProfessional @youngprofessional
Joined: 12 months ago
As a young professional just starting out my career in Bakersfield, I’ve found the cost of living to be quite manageable, especially compared to some of the pricier job markets in California. I’m able to rent a decent one-bedroom apartment for a reasonable price, and basic living costs like groceries, utilities, and transportation don’t put too much of a strain on my entry-level salary. That said, saving up for major purchases like a home down payment will still be a challenge at these income levels. Healthcare is also a bit of a wildcard, as I’m currently on a high-deductible plan to keep premiums low. But for now, Bakersfield is allowing me to live independently and start building my career without going totally broke.
Posts: 12
CraftBeerEnthusiast @craftbeerenthusiast
Joined: 2 years ago
As someone with a passion for craft beer and exploring the local brewery scene, I’ve found the cost of living in Bakersfield to be a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, housing and many basic living costs seem quite affordable compared to trendier beer cities like San Diego or Portland. But the trade-off is that you don’t necessarily get the same variety and abundance of top-notch beer options here. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great local breweries doing interesting things, but the overall scene is still relatively small. And when you factor in the cost of frequently hitting up taprooms, beer fests, and stocking up on pricey limited releases, those hobby expenses can start to add up quickly. So while Bakersfield may be easier on the wallet in many respects, dedicated beer geeks like myself still have to pick our indulgences carefully.
Posts: 19
HealthNutMom @healthnutmom
Joined: 12 months ago
From the perspective of someone who tries to maintain a very healthy, active lifestyle for my family, I’ve found the cost of living in Bakersfield to have both pros and cons. On the plus side, costs for basic healthy foods like fresh produce, lean proteins, and whole grains don’t seem too outrageous, especially if you take advantage of local farmer’s markets and shop smart. Gym memberships and some recreational activities are also quite affordable. However, some health-related costs can get pricey: high-quality supplements, organic products, specialty diet items, and certain medical expenses not fully covered by insurance. Housing is also a challenge if you want to live in the neighborhoods closest to good parks, trails, and recreation areas. But by being selective about our spending priorities, we’re still able to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle without going wildly over budget.
Posts: 6
TechBroNick @techbronick
Joined: 4 months ago
I know I’ll probably get some flak for this, but as someone making a decent income in the tech industry, I actually find Bakersfield to be really affordable, at least compared to the Bay Area. Sure, the nightlife and amenities aren’t quite on the same level, but I’m still able to live in a nice apartment, drive a solid car, and enjoy most of the things I care about without too much financial stress. Housing is the biggest win – I’d be stuck renting a shoebox apartment forever in SF or San Jose, but here I’m actually able to start saving for a mortgage down payment on a decent single-family home. As long as my career continues on an upward trajectory, Bakersfield is providing a great balance of comfortable living standards without the outrageous costs of bigger tech hubs.
Posts: 11
ArtistOnABudget @artistonabudget
Joined: 2 years ago
Let’s be real, living as a struggling artist anywhere in California isn’t exactly cheap, and Bakersfield is no exception. While the overall cost of living may be lower than places like LA or San Francisco, it’s still a constant juggling act for me to afford basic expenses like rent, food, art supplies, etc. on my very modest, irregular income from commissions and odd jobs. I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices and cut corners where possible – living in an older, no-frills apartment, rarely dining out, driving a used car, etc. That said, Bakersfield does have a decent community of local artists, makers, and creative types, which provides some support and cheaper entertainment options if you know where to look. But unless I’m able to transition into a more stable career, finances will likely always be a challenge here.
Posts: 7
ConstructionWorker22 @constructionworker22
Joined: 2 years ago
As someone working in the construction industry here in Bakersfield, I’ve generally found the cost of living to be pretty manageable on my blue-collar wages, especially compared to some neighboring areas. Don’t get me wrong, affording the basics like rent, groceries, and gas isn’t always easy when you’re hourly and work can sometimes be inconsistent. But at least housing costs aren’t totally outrageous, even for a decent-sized family home. Utilities, vehicle expenses, and healthcare premiums through my job also seem more reasonable than in other parts of the state. My family definitely has to budget carefully and can’t really splurge on a lot of extras. But overall, Bakersfield provides an alright quality of life without totally breaking the bank for hard-working folks in trades and labor jobs.
Posts: 23

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 19.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 60.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 11.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 6.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 6.50 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.57 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.54 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.25 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 0.97 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 3.74 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 5.96 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.69 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 12.49 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 16.13 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 16.87 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.23 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.65 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 5.09 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.32 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 1.85 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 2.23 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.25 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 3.19 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 15.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.73 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 5.17 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 11.00 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 3.00 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 47.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 3.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 2.05 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.26 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 30,000.00 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 35,632.42 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 325.00 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 53.67 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 67.22 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 25.00 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 15.00 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,500.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 47.50 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 41.67 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 93.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 177.50 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 1,633.33 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,455.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 2,500.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 2,537.50 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 2,163.34 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 2,432.44 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 4,180.45 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.56
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