How bad is the cost of living in San Francisco compared to Los Angeles? Will it be manageable to get by decently on a $50,000 job?
You can definitely get by in San Francisco on a $50,000 salary. That said, it's more expensive than L.A.
Although honestly, as a biased Northern California, I don't even know how to compare L.A. to SF in terms of living costs, because I feel like there are a million different parts of L.A., some super expensive, and some way cheap, and it's all huge and stuff. SF is pretty small and uniformly expensive, but there are parts of it that are cheaper than parts of L.A., I guess.....
The cost of parking is painful, but the good news is that you don't really need a car.