# 1000 US Dollars in San Diego

Gold Member
No, it is not a thread questioning if someone has found the money I lost.

Maybe I'll go to UCSD to join a Ph.D. program. Surely, in the first year I'll earn approximately 1000 $s or 1200$s per month, having to pay approximately 400$for housing per month. The question is (be sincere, please): do you think I'll be able to survive with such a salary? I mean if I could feel I don't have enough money to live a "normal-student" life without many excesses. If you have some experience in being a graduate research and you had the same question before get enrolled in it, I'll be very glad to hear about what has happened with you and how have you lived so far. ## Answers and Replies Related General Discussion News on Phys.org Integral Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I am not real familiar with the cost of living in San Diego, but I'll bet you could squeek by on that. Good luck! We would nearly be neighbors! Only ~2000 km With no major bodies of water in between! Monique Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Clausius2 said: Maybe I'll go to UCSD to join a Ph.D. program. Surely, in the first year I'll earn approximately 1000$s or 1200$s per month, having to pay approximately 400$ for housing per month.
I think you should be fine, but forget about having a car. Make some friends and share a car with them!

I just looked up what I was supposed to have earned for some odd 8 past months, a pittyful €275 a month.. take 30% off of that to go to the taxman. And the interesting part is that they don't want to give me any of that money due to some stupid formality :yuck: sick

If you only have to pay 400/mo for housing, and assuming it is within walking distance, or on, your campus, then I would say you will have no problem living.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
First, keep in mind they take all sorts of taxes out of that money (though, I haven't kept up on what taxes are taken out on grad stipends anymore...the rules keep changing). Universities are now required to provide health benefits to graduate students, so you will be covered if you get sick (minus a small deductible), which would be the biggest "emergency" expense you'd want to worry about being able to cover.

Housing is expensive in San Diego, so that will be the biggest challenge, finding a place that fits your budget. You'd probably have to accept fairly minimal living arrangements with a few roommates (find roommates who are also grad students so everyone understands the need for quiet study time etc).

If you are frugal, you should be able to live on the rest. You have to be very cautious with your spending if you're limited to a grad student stipend. If you need new clothes, you'll shop at the thrift shop or discount stores, not the trendy department stores. Eating out isn't something you'll be able to afford, plan to have to pack your own lunches every day. You probably won't be able to have a car, but you won't need one in San Diego, you can walk or bike most places, and there is a public transportation system if you really do need to go someplace out of biking distance. So, you're not going to live a lavish lifestyle, but you can survive on it. Besides, you'll be so busy with classes and lab work that you won't have time to go spending money anyway.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Clausius2 said:
No, it is not a thread questioning if someone has found the money I lost.

Maybe I'll go to UCSD to join a Ph.D. program. Surely, in the first year I'll earn approximately 1000 $s or 1200$s per month, having to pay approximately 400$for housing per month. The question is (be sincere, please): do you think I'll be able to survive with such a salary? I mean if I could feel I don't have enough money to live a "normal-student" life without many excesses. If you have some experience in being a graduate research and you had the same question before get enrolled in it, I'll be very glad to hear about what has happened with you and how have you lived so far. Where did you get this$1000 - $1200 estimate from ? When I got accepted by UCSD (about 5 yrs ago), they were paying grad students a little more than that, and 5 years later, I would expect it to be a lot more. Living in San Diego on only$1200 (before taxes) a month will be extremely difficult. Moreover, I suspect housing will run you more than $400 a month unless you share with 3 others - we are talking about La Jolla, right ? Rent =$400 (say, for now)
Food = $200 (absolute minimum) Utilities (Gas, electric, cable, phone) =$100
Health insurance, car insurance, car payments, entertainment, travel, books, etc. can easily add up to anywhere from $150 (assuming no car) per month to$500 per month

Taking away about 20% for taxes, you see what the situation is.

But I get the feeling you are mistaken about the stipend. I would be very surprised if they didn't pay at least $1500. Gokul43201 Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Moonbear said: Universities are now required to provide health benefits to graduate students, so you will be covered if you get sick (minus a small deductible), which would be the biggest "emergency" expense you'd want to worry about being able to cover. Not true. Universities are only required to subsidize health insurance for grad students. At Ohio State, we were paying close to a grand a year on health insurance until two years ago. Now, after fierce negotiations, the university has agreed to raise subsidy up to about 90% or so over the next 4 years (or some such thing) - but right now we pay about 40% I think. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member I suspect his estimate still works out for after taxes. I would hope the stipend in San Diego would be at the higher end of the range to accomodate the higher cost of living there. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Gokul43201 said: Not true. Universities are only required to subsidize health insurance for grad students. At Ohio State, we were paying close to a grand a year on health insurance until two years ago. Now, after fierce negotiations, the university has agreed to raise subsidy up to about 90% or so over the next 4 years (or some such thing) - but right now we pay about 40% I think. Yikes! Wow...hmm...maybe it's just our university rules then?? Every time I submit a grant, they keep telling me I have to include health insurance in the budget for any grad students on it, which makes them pretty darn expensive once you tack on tuition too. Well, it could be NIH rules...they've been doing a lot more to raise up the standard of living for grad students and post-docs. Since I'm always at med schools, I may be confused on this. Usually once NIH sets a standard, med schools implement it across the board so they don't have problems of students complaining they are treated unfairly because of their source of funding. I don't know what an average stipend is in physics, but in med schools, stipends are up around$20,000/year for first year grad students, and I think go upward toward $24,000 or so by the time you're done with classes and into full-time research (which is higher than my post-doc stipends were not that many years ago). I survived on about half that as a grad student, but times were different and you really could find a$400 apartment without roommates then. Stipends really do need to be enough to cover your basic living expenses (no frills). Afterall, the purpose is so you can focus on your research and other degree work without needing to worry about finding another source of income to support yourself.

it has been my experience that no matter how much money I make I barely have enough to get by. but I always get by. when I made 200 a week I was broke before the next paycheck arrived now at about 1000 a week I am broke before the next paycheck arrives.

Gold Member
Integral said:
Good luck! We would nearly be neighbors! Only ~2000 km With no major bodies of water in between!
Maybe visiting you is out of my budget. But if you support me the travel....

Monique said:
I think you should be fine, but forget about having a car. Make some friends and share a car with them
That's a topic I would want to talk about too. I haven't got any driving license (now you'll say OOHH!!), but I'm thinking to get it in summer. The question is if a driving license obtained in USA is valid here and viceversa. Do you know that?. Anyway, if I eventually take a car, I'd rent it.

Moonbear said:
First, keep in mind they take all sorts of taxes out of that money (though, I haven't kept up on what taxes are taken out on grad stipends anymore...the rules keep changing). Universities are now required to provide health benefits to graduate students, so you will be covered if you get sick (minus a small deductible), which would be the biggest "emergency" expense you'd want to worry about being able to cover.

Housing is expensive in San Diego, so that will be the biggest challenge, finding a place that fits your budget. You'd probably have to accept fairly minimal living arrangements with a few roommates (find roommates who are also grad students so everyone understands the need for quiet study time etc).

If you are frugal, you should be able to live on the rest. You have to be very cautious with your spending if you're limited to a grad student stipend. If you need new clothes, you'll shop at the thrift shop or discount stores, not the trendy department stores. Eating out isn't something you'll be able to afford, plan to have to pack your own lunches every day. You probably won't be able to have a car, but you won't need one in San Diego, you can walk or bike most places, and there is a public transportation system if you really do need to go someplace out of biking distance. So, you're not going to live a lavish lifestyle, but you can survive on it. Besides, you'll be so busy with classes and lab work that you won't have time to go spending money anyway.
Thanks for your opinion, Moonbear, very helpful. In Spain there is an adage that says: "Me has dado una de cal y otra de arena". Try to translate it, if you can't I'll do it for you next time. But it represents what you have made. About health insurance, I have another question: what kind of illness does it covers?. I mean, it is not the same thing to go to the hospital with a heart attack or with a headache. So are you charged something for going to an hospital no matter what illness you have?.

BTW: I don't know how to cook, so maybe I am not going to walk so much into the kitchen....does it add a lot of more cost of living?.

Gokul43201 said:
Where did you get this $1000 -$1200 estimate from ? When I got accepted by UCSD (about 5 yrs ago), they were paying grad students a little more than that, and 5 years later, I would expect it to be a lot more. Living in San Diego on only $1200 (before taxes) a month will be extremely difficult. Moreover, I suspect housing will run you more than$400 a month unless you share with 3 others - we are talking about La Jolla, right ?

Rent = $400 (say, for now) Food =$200 (absolute minimum)
Utilities (Gas, electric, cable, phone) = $100 Health insurance, car insurance, car payments, entertainment, travel, books, etc. can easily add up to anywhere from$150 (assuming no car) per month to $500 per month Taking away about 20% for taxes, you see what the situation is. But I get the feeling you are mistaken about the stipend. I would be very surprised if they didn't pay at least$1500.
The total stipend is about $1400 (per month), but it results in$1200 (or so) out of taxes. It covers the health insurance, academic fees..etc. And yes, the UCSD is at la Jolla, and so the housing, which could be shared with roomates (anyway it costs $400 as minimum). The fact is you haven't lived me up so much with your statistics. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Clausius2 said: About health insurance, I have another question: what kind of illness does it covers?. I mean, it is not the same thing to go to the hospital with a heart attack or with a headache. So are you charged something for going to an hospital no matter what illness you have?. Now, that you'll have to look into. Health insurance isn't the same everywhere in the US, so you'd need to ask someone at UCSD what their insurance covers. It should at least cover your regular check-ups and common illnesses and injuries, but best to check with someone there. BTW: I don't know how to cook, so maybe I am not going to walk so much into the kitchen....does it add a lot of more cost of living? Eating out or getting carry-out food does get very expensive. But, if you have roommates, maybe one or more of them will know how to cook and you can make an agreement if they do the cooking, maybe you take care of some other chore they would prefer to get out of doing, like cleaning the bathrooms, as long as you contribute to paying for your share of the groceries eaten. Everyone should make the effort to learn to cook some basic foods anyway. Learn how to make some pasta or to bake some chicken. Even if it's plain, it will keep you from starving. Why not stay in Europe Clausius ??? on what will you be doing your phd ?? If it has something to do with micro-electronics, i know a very good place to do your phd, here in Belgium...In a very international environment and i will start there too....so you'd get to meet dear ol' marlon marlon Last edited: Science Advisor Gold Member marlon said: Why not stay in Europe Clausius ??? on what will you be doing your phd ?? If it has something to do with micro-electronics, i know a very good place to do your phd, here in Belgium...In a very international environment and i will start there too....so you'd get to meet dear ol' marlon marlon I am tired of being over here, man. . I have applied to Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering. The research will have to do with Energy, Combustion and Fluid Mechanics. I know there is a magnific site to do this in Belgium: The Von Karman's Institute of Fluid Mechanics. I have a friend who has gone there. But I (and my professor) have decided to apply UCSD. Moonbear, thanks for the information again. BTW: I haven't been accepted so far, so it is only a provisional thinking. I haven't received any letter, and I have to finish my studies here. Maybe they send me a letter telling me I am too dull for this university... Last edited: You should get a bicycle! Also you can get 10,000 Calories of rice for$3.00.

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Housing is going to be the most more expensive that 400 per month. I have lived in san diego all my life. I currently go to USD, double major chem/physics, and live at home. But I am planning on moving out next semesters, so I have done some research into plays you can stay. The cheapest I have found is 500-600 an month, and that is WITH having a room mate.

I am not sure what uncampus housing cost at Ucsd, althought I have heard that the dorms are fantastic.

BTW if finally stoped raining today, we have gotten more rain in the last few weeks than we have gotten in the last ten years.

Has are wacky weather made national news for those of you non-locial san diegoians.

bjon-07 said:
Housing is going to be the most more expensive that 400 per month. I have lived in san diego all my life. I currently go to USD, double major chem/physics, and live at home. But I am planning on moving out next semesters, so I have done some research into plays you can stay. The cheapest I have found is 500-600 an month, and that is WITH having a room mate.

I am not sure what uncampus housing cost at Ucsd, althought I have heard that the dorms are fantastic.

BTW if finally stoped raining today, we have gotten more rain in the last few weeks than we have gotten in the last ten years.

Has are wacky weather made national news for those of you non-locial san diegoians.
I don't want to be rude but this is amazing. Are you really going to college? I understand everyone makes mistakes, I'm not the best speller in the world, but how can you be smart enough to go for a double major in two difficult fields, yet have so little knowledge in basic (I mean 2nd or 3rd grade basic) grammar.
Is English your second language? if it is, then I apologize, I understand why words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings would be difficult. I didn't highlight all the errors, because I can understand how the others could simply be typos, but plays instead of place, and are instead of our weren't typos. I'm fascinated whenever I see these kinds of mistakes. Usually the words used incorrectly are the to/too or its/it's, so whenever I see this type of heir I like to point it out.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Clausius, since you'll be a graduate student, check Affiliated housing.

I am currently in San Diego for 1 week, and one of my colleauges just moved to a new apartment, so I will find out what he paid in the old/new apartments. Both would require transportation (car, bus, bike) to the UCSD campus.

As bjon-07 mentioned, it's nice and sunny here. Maybe I'll get some beach time on the weekend.

Hey tribdog, it seems you like to provide examples too?
. . . , so whenever I see this type of heir I like to point it out.

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Sorry I guess I should have spelt check my work, I am a little out of right now been studying NMR, GC-MS all day and preparing for a test in calc 3. I don’t think that one linguist abilities have any relationship to ones ability to do science. I have no linguistic skills what so ever, but I did get the highest grade in the class on my last O chem. quiz. Physics and Chemistry have nothing do with the English language.

I know I could not write a decent essay to save my life but I am currently doing research in theoretical chemistry. I am working with one of my professor on why certain subsituents greatly increase the stability of triorganobroxine rings. We have also done some calculations on the resonance energies, in particular Ozone. (Ozone has interesting resonance energies, not would you expect.)

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Yes, it has been nice and "sunny" here lately. The other day I saw a pf picture of a man kayaking down a road in mission valley. We san diegans don’t know how to deal with rain. We are scared of it. I have seen hail once in my life.

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bjon-07 said:
Sorry I guess I should have spelt check my work, I am a little out of right now been studying NMR, GC-MS all day and preparing for a test in calc 3. I don’t think that one linguist abilities have any relationship to ones ability to do science. I have no linguistic skills what so ever, but I did get the highest grade in the class on my last O chem. quiz. Physics and Chemistry have nothing do with the English language.

I know I could not write a decent essay to save my life but I am currently doing research in theoretical chemistry. I am working with one of my professor on why certain subsituents greatly increase the stability of triorganobroxine rings. We have also done some calculations on the resonance energies, in particular Ozone. (Ozone has interesting resonance energies, not would you expect.)
no need to apologize. I'm not trying to be mean to you. I know you are intelligent, your presence here is proof of that. I just find it interesting whenever I see an example of specialization like that. I'll bet you blow everyone away in the science and math categories, when it comes to the arts and grammar is it a case of you don't care about them or is it hard for you?

Astronuc, thank you for pointing out my joke. I assumed everyone would "get it" but perhaps your pointing it out will let the comedically challenged enjoy it as well....you usually seem to catch my jokes what happened this time? was I unfunny or too subtle?

No worries man, I have always had an abusive relationship with the English language.
I did not mean to get made, I have midterms coming up and have been pretty much studying 24/7. Need less to say I have been pretty much out of it.

I have always have had a hard time when it comes to grammar and such. I could not even read untill I was 12 years old. For me I guess it is genetic, I have always had a hard times with words, althought I love to read.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
tribdog said:
was I unfunny or too subtle?
too unsubtle. You can do better.

Integral
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
bjon-07 said:
Yes, it has been nice and "sunny" here lately. The other day I saw a pf picture of a man kayaking down a road in mission valley. We san diegans don’t know how to deal with rain. We are scared of it. I have seen hail once in my life.
Meanwhile, Oregon, which normally gets all the rain you have had this winter is dry as a bone. It seems like most of the good winter storms have slid down the coast missing us entirely but clobber Ca. Ca does not have the soil or vegetation to use this much rain, most of the water simply washes out to sea, (carrying a good chunk of Ca with it) wasted. Here in Or we have a thick layer of sponge like humus covering the mountains this stuff soaks up rain like crazy even the non evergreen trees are usually green with moss this time of year. If all that rain had fallen in Oregon it would be either in the ( currently nonexistent) snow pack or slowly trickling into the ground water. I WANT OUR RAIN BACK!

By the way Bjon, I to am crippled when it comes to the written word, but it is worth your while to be conscious of expressing yourself in writing. Your future employers will need you to communicate your ideas to others. Without reasonable language and communication skills any education you may get is nearly worthless. Learn to communicate and to use English (or what ever your language is) effectively. It is well worth your time to slow down and make an effort to write in clear correct English. (I try, and try, but it is tough, my native spelling skills are non existent and correct punctuation remains a mystery to me. )

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus