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Cheap living in San Francisco

Monday 23rd May 2011

While you’re looking for a job in San Francisco, and even in the first few months of having one, you’re going to need to get by cheaply. Experiencing the city on a few dollars is possible though – you just need our money-saving advice.

The San Francisco weather means you can enjoy the good life while you’re writing your applications. Hang out in Golden Gate Park – an incredible oasis in the middle of the city – and take the local papers with you to scour the jobs pages. From here it’s just a 3-mile walk to the Golden Gate Bridge – that should keep you busy while you’re planning your next move. You’ll also need somewhere to stay while you’re searching; there are lots of hostels in San Francisco to choose from.

If the job replies are scarcer than expected take solace in the fact you can enjoy free Wednesday at the San Francisco Zoo. Nearby Ocean Beach is also a great day’s entertainment for free, as is North Beach. Ask around for any vacancies while you’re there as there are loads of Italian restaurants, charming cafes and hectic nightclubs.

While you’re out and about enjoying all the free activities the city has to offer, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Take notice of shop and restaurant windows and notice boards, and let anyone you talk to know you’re looking for work.

Searching for a job is a great excuse to check out the San Francisco shopping. Shops mean jobs, so take a wander up Fisherman’s Wharf. You should also try Union Street, it’s filled with chic shops and restaurants, but don’t get distracted by the buzzing San Francisco nightlife. Castro Street is an interesting run of outlets popular with the gay and lesbian community. There’s an amazing old movie palace called the Castro Theatre – keep an eye on the bargain matinee listings for a cheap screening.

Become a member of the San Francisco Public Library and you can use the computers for free to search for jobs. And while you’re waiting for ’that’ call, go for a stroll along the Haight Ashbury District. You’ll be distracted by the architecture and history – it was the nerve centre of 1968’s Summer of Love. You could also take an afternoon to wander around the Japan Centre. The 5-acre complex houses a collection of spas, restaurants, teahouses, shops, and theatres honouring Japanese culture.