"San Francisco is a great place but its so expensive, I could never live there". I cant count how many times people have said that to me.
In terms of rent/housing, its absolutely true. And yet, it is possible to live here and pay reasonable rent. By reasonable I mean 400-500 dollars a month (utilities included). With the minimum wage at $8/hour... thats doable. The problem is you get a very small and simple place for that kind of rent. Thats no problem for me or most of my friends. My best friend G. will be splitting that rent with her partner.
While from a hobopoet perspective thats still a lot of money,... compared to most cities in America its not much more. You'd pay about the same thing to live in downtown Atlanta, for example. The only difference is that in Atlanta you'd get a bigger place for that. But then again, you'd be stuck in Atlanta, surrounded by conservative right wing Republicans (albeit with a few pockets of mild liberalism).
Ive got a smaller place here but the city is so much richer in terms of diversity, thought, tolerance, geography, language, culture, art, music, literature, etc....
I guess my point is this-- we often use money as an excuse for not doing what we want to do or not going where we want to go. But if we are prepared to live simply, we can in fact do most of those things.
Dont let money, or the need for extraneous luxuries, prevent you from living the life you want to live.