New to Seattle Budget

Microsoft JVAA35
May 28, 2018 39 Comments

Hi!

I’ll be starting soon as a new grad at Microsoft and I’m trying to figure out what I can actually afford when it comes to rent/car/etc. It’s quite confusing going from ramen noodles and walking everywhere to having to get groceries and get a car. My base is 108K and I was wondering what a traditional budget would look like? I’d like to live in a 1BR in Seattle (maybe around Lower Queen Anne) and ideally lease a decent car if that helps!

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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TOP 39 Comments
  • Amazon roder
    Keep eating the ramen and buy the cheapest car your can. Live in the cheapest place you can rent.

    Save money until you have enough of a down payment to buy a home.

    Really you were happy living in student housing you can tough it out a few more years and it'll make A HUGE difference to your long term wealth.

    You'll see lots of your coworkers rolling in their 100k luxury cars and paying stupid rent. Don't.

    Bank it. Buy a house. Pay the house off fast. And do all that while maxing 401k.

    Your future self will thank you.
    May 28, 2018 13
    • Microsoft Reserved
      I agree 100% for me its not waiting till retirement, that’s the whole point of grinding hard now and when i’m in my mid 30’s be set. I am in my late 20’s now. Financial management does not mean being cheap, at least not to me. It just means be principled and understanding what drives certain financial behavior and knowing how to manage those behaviors
      May 28, 2018
    • Facebook Unu
      @Reserved, I thought you said you love everything op said which was about living cheap (ramen, cheapest car and lowest rent) and save every cent
      May 28, 2018
    • TI IOlOl0
      How much money used per year is considered as fairly frugal? Is 35k/year in Bay Area considered frugal including rent/car/food/entertainment?
      May 28, 2018
    • New / Eng rNvT32
      Rent alone can be 35k/yr in bay area
      May 28, 2018
    • Amazon roder
      The stuff you will regret not doing in 20 years isn't big spender stuff. You're not going to look back and savor the memory of the car you drove or whatever. That's bullshit. And you're not going to look back and think, "so glad I paid add extra 1500 a month to get an extra bedroom in my place".

      You'll remember the time you spent with friends or the girls you dated or how you met your wife or whatever.

      Don't cheap out on that stuff. Go out with your friend, go on dates, that's your life. And be generous. Live. We're probably talking once or twice a week spending time be with people you like.

      But when you're at home eating dinner by yourself put that Ramen on the stove or cook whatever instead of dropping $40 on UberEats just because you were too lazy to cook. And really nobody gives a fuck whether you drive a 10 year old Corolla or a current year Tesla.

      Think this way: are you buying a memory you will still likely have in ten years? Then do it.

      But you're not going to remember in ten years whether you got a Latte today on your way to work unless you happened to get it with a friend and enjoyed a conversation in the cafe over it.
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng ok bro
      Agreed except the ramen. If you're using it as a metaphor for eating cheap, sure. At last eat healthfully and cook your own food, easy when you're single to prep and have leftovers, etc. Your future self will thank you. Lol
      May 29, 2018
    • TI IOlOl0
      The car portion I think is debatable depending on how much you like cars. I live with roommates in South Bay(4 bedroom 3.5 bath) and have a $950+util/cable/internet for rent and my monthly car payment is 880/m (3 year 30k loan)+ car insurance. I think it’s okay to spend ~2050/m on car + living but I enjoy my car.

      I do agree about not cheapening our on experiences or not traveling with friends at all or with a loved one because you’re trying to buy a house asap.
      May 29, 2018
    • Facebook Unu
      What are you taking about?!!! There is definitely a big difference between driving a 10 years old Corolla and a bmw m4! And eating microwave ramen is not the same as making a steak. You can live in a basement and pay 1000 per month, or go to a decent apartment and pay 2000 and enjoy all the amenities.
      May 29, 2018
    • Amazon roder
      You will own a home a lot sooner if you drive the Corolla and only rest steak with friends, ie, creating memories.
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft Reserved
      @unu i said i loveeee, i did not say I love everything... where did you see that? I love the spirit of the message. OP is engineering it how he wants to so kudos to him.

      I execute based on what my goals are.

      The point is don’t go broke trying to look rich.
      May 29, 2018
  • Microsoft wXrj81
    I’be been playing this game my whole twenties in Seattle. PM me and I will send you my entire pay broken down into a budget with investments included. I agree above. 2k or less for rent. I’ve had a car in Seattle forever and finally am scrapping it as I live downtown and it’s cost + ancillaries are invredible when you factor in paying $250 for parking. I can uber pool to work every day for $6 round trip and my company (not micro anymore) allows me to pay with pre-tax dollars. I save $400(payment)+200(insurance)+250 (parking spot)+maintenance and gas.. I usually have Groceries delivered or if needed hop in a zip car- great for hikes or day trips too. In Queen Anne might make more sense to have a car.
    If you have to go nice car look at inifinitis over Germans.

    Start investing now. Do not be a fucking idiot and don’t think you need to live a baller lifestyle to stunt on your younger friends. I’m guilty of it and regret it completely. Just allocate buckets and include enough fun in there to not resent the budget but also be comfortable earning and still saving for things. Congrats on graduating! There’s lots of good advice on blind read up
    May 28, 2018 3
    • Microsoft Reserved
      Can i PM for that budget breakdown?
      May 28, 2018
    • Microsoft Kerplam
      Sure. I’m still in 20s so it’s a pretty aggressive/risky investment schedule including crypto but you can see it sure.
      May 28, 2018
    • Cummins pecH16
      Hey, sent you a PM. can i have the budget too. moving to seattle
      Aug 25, 2018
  • Twitter / Eng
    TeeCee

    Twitter Eng

    PRE
    Oracle, Facebook
    TeeCeemore
    TC?
    May 28, 2018 5
    • Microsoft JVAA35
      OP
      It’s ~160 but I didn’t know if I should be factoring those kinds of things into a monthly budget...
      May 28, 2018
    • Amazon / Product
      Fbdoehdh

      Amazon Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      Fbdoehdhmore
      I wouldn’t. Especially at the beginning.
      May 28, 2018
    • Microsoft JVAA35
      OP
      Seems logical to me. Thanks!
      May 28, 2018
    • New / Eng
      JillGates

      New Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      JillGatesmore
      160k in your first year? Including sign on?
      May 28, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      TC is base+signing+stock. 160k seems accurate for new grad in Seattle area.
      May 29, 2018
  • Smartsheet dstu472
    The advice I got when just starting out was spend no more then 30% of base salary on rent.
    May 28, 2018 1
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      (After tax base salary)
      May 29, 2018
  • Amazon Inspiredd
    Lower queen Ann is far from redmond. Stay in redmond if you want to save time commuting everyday, at least 2 hours.
    May 28, 2018 2
    • Amazon rtra
      Maybe he wants to optimize a different variable. Redmond is soul crushing to the point of depression for a new grad. Commute isn’t everything and lots of people commute from Seattle to Redmond.
      May 29, 2018
    • Microsoft tByB48
      45 min bus ride if you take the connector.
      May 29, 2018
  • Oracle / Sales
    SafraCash

    Oracle Sales

    PRE
    JPMorgan Chase
    SafraCashmore
    If you want to get ready for Seattle prior to your move do this exercise. Put on a sweater. Jump in a cold shower and tear up 100 dollar bills. If you enjoy this exercise you'll like Seattle
    May 29, 2018 1
    • Google Facebook
      You forgot you get granted an extra 30% of your TC after the exercise (:
      May 29, 2018
  • Google Facebook
    You can easily afford anything under 2k
    May 28, 2018 0
  • Facebook Unu
    If you max 401k and espp, you will have around 55k left after tax. I would try to keep rent(inc. utilities) +car(inc. gas and toll) under 35k.
    May 28, 2018 0
  • TI IOlOl0
    Depends on how much you save. Max out 401k is $18.5k/year, max out HSA is $3400. Not sure if there’s any ESPP that you can buy as well. Is there a goal for how much you want to save a year? If you spend less on housing you can get a slightly nicer car so it depends where you have your priorities
    May 28, 2018 0
  • New / Eng rNvT32
    Which company?
    May 28, 2018 3
    • Microsoft JVAA35
      OP
      Oh! At Microsoft.
      May 28, 2018
    • New / Eng rNvT32
      It's gonna be a bit of drive to Redmond. Sign up a lease for a 1br or decide if you want to stay with a roommate, then as days go by you will get a handle on day to day expenses.
      May 28, 2018
    • Microsoft qbys57
      You should ride the Connector instead of drive if you want to live in Seattle. Traffic is a mess
      May 29, 2018
  • Facebook Facelift
    Live in Capitol Hill instead - more fun and better commute
    May 29, 2018 0

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