San Diego is expensive, but it doesn't have to be.
I'm born, and raised in the Chicago area, and had most of my career while living in the Washington, DC area. San Diego does take some getting used to. Where you live here is important, but hey! it's that way anywhere you live. San Diego a very sleepy town, and while it has almost 2 million people, it's only by virtue of a really big county area. SD is very beach/surfing oriented. It does have really beautiful beaches. The water runs roughly ~ 5 degrees cooler than the east coast, but it's blue, not green, and you won't get bit by a shark (12 attacks so far in the last month on the east coast). The part about SD not having to be so expensive is: you need to watch your use of resources, like energy, and water. We have about the highest water and utility costs in the country. If you like to leave your lights on, take long showers, you had better have a good paying job. But, I've heard of people in many other parts of the country having to pay really high energy bills in the winter trying to avoid freezing to death, or burning up in the summer heat. A lot of people nearer to the coast don't use heat in the winter, and have no ac in their homes. As a father of three kids, I will definitely say, you really need to have/keep your values/morals here. Many go off the path with year around beautiful weather, generally friendly people, and a lot of drugs both legal, and illegal. The legal ones come out of the medicine cabinets, and find their way into schools, and the illegal ones come up from the border. But, it's pretty much like that anywhere.
Mark | San Diego, CA