What's "good enough" for the bay area

Nov 9 47 Comments

Looking at some numbers running here it is quite incredible to see how significantly higher the compensation package are in the bay area vs. let's say Midwest (where I am located). I know that many things are also much more expensive in the bay area, but lately I've been thinking about doing some research and perhaps show interest in finding a job there. How much would you say should a married couple be making for it to be "good enough" lifestyle?
I know that term differentiate between different individuals, yet you get my drift. Do you think got example you would do fine with "only" $250k? $300k? What would be the number that would help you make the call?

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TOP 47 Comments
  • Dropbox / Eng dedes
    My household makes around 600k per year. We still feel like everyone and their dog has more money(we came 5 years ago with $0). We can't afford nice house in neighborhoods with good schools and commute without decent amount of risk. I honestly don't think that you'll ever feel like in Midwest here working as an engineer.
    Nov 9 19
    • Facebook / Eng pashmam!
      I agree with dedes. As soon as you start your married life and have kids, every $ you earn is already accounted for! And God forbids when an unexpected accident happens like dealing with contractors for fixing something at your home.. then you may even feel poor! We are earning a lot but truth be told, we are middle class and since middle class population is now bigger than 30 years ago, the quality of life has gone down because of short supply and higher demand in everything
      Nov 9
    • Facebook public2
      Highly recommend just making a lot more money so you don't have to think about it.
      Nov 9
    • Apple LC->TC
      End of day it’s about income - expense
      Nov 9
    • eBay / HR hfindbkcjd
      End of the day it's about happiness. I'm happy with my below average TC.
      Nov 10
    • Facebook / Eng pashmam!
      eBay, are you a girl?
      Nov 10
  • Adobe Zxcvbasdfg
    I used to make 200k-ish at Adobe. My spouse was the same anf I thought we lived above average and so blessed. We traveled twice a year, have a beautiful home, and didn’t hurt for money.

    2 years ago, I joined BLIND and since then both of us switched jobs and bumped our TC to 750K.

    Honestly, our quality of life is not any better. We both gain weight because we both have no time for self care. Out twice a year vacation now became one. Not because of money but because we simply didn’t have the time for it :(.

    Personally, at some point, the extra money doesn’t bring extra enjoyment. If you make 200k and not planning to buy a home, you will be fine. What matter is how you spend your time. Do you live a good quality of life? There is no point of making that TC if you can’t be present with your life and enjoy mundane happy things (including self care).
    Nov 9 3
    • eBay / HR hfindbkcjd
      Well you can stop working after 5 yrs and go on world tour with the kinda money ur making.
      Nov 9
    • Adobe Zxcvbasdfg
      Assuming you stay healthy. A lot can happen in 5 years. All those stresses can take a toll on your body. I do hope I can tough it up and yes, retire sooner. A friend of mine just passed, 5 months after she got the cancer diagnosis. I do believe that the money to happiness ratio is diminishing after certain point. It’s more important to maintain perspective in life than chasjng the TC/joining the rat race.
      Nov 10
    • Apple tim_c00k
      So you mean you bumped your household TC to 750k right? Or did you each manage to land a $750k job?
      Nov 10
  • McKinsey alphabro
    Depends.. no kids, you can get away with 100k+ if you’re frugal, with kids, prolly 250k+
    Nov 9 0
  • Google lQUu76
    I moved to Bay Area from Midwest for $100,000 in 2004 with about 4 years of experience. It was comfortable. Adjusting for inflation and cost of living increases over 15 years I’d say $125,000 would be a reasonable floor. That roughly coincides with entry level salaries I’ve seen here. $250,000 is very comfortable for a single person.
    Nov 10 2
    • New / Strategy
      NonCodeSW1

      New Strategy

      BIO
      program manager
      NonCodeSW1more
      Salary or TC
      Nov 22
    • Google lQUu76
      At a startup like I joined way back when, effectively salary=TC. No bonus, no liquid stock.
      Nov 22
  • Pandora / Eng joystick
    Cost of living in the Bay Area varies and depends on two things mostly: 1) ease of commute, 2) quality of the school district. Now, if you want both #1 and #2 to be great, $250k will not be enough. If you are happy with just one or none of those, 250 is plenty.
    Nov 9 2
    • Proofpoint
      kallu

      Proofpoint

      PRE
      Symantec
      kallumore
      250 is less
      Nov 9
    • eBay / HR hfindbkcjd
      250 is enough
      Nov 10
  • Cadence Mariposa
    Do a "Bay area" search on blind. I am seeing the same Question phrased differently literally every single day!
    Nov 9 0
  • SAP DVOw73
    350k, 3 kids in SF, single earner, 750k NW, kids in private school, living the life with multiple trips per year to Europe and yada yada all in VTSAX. I can do it, you can do it, don't be scared!
    Nov 11 4
  • New / R&D OK👻mer
    Are you cool with renting and in home day care. If yes, the salary change will allow you to save way more.
    Nov 9 0
  • Facebook
    fb2019

    Facebook

    PRE
    Google, Oracle
    fb2019more
    200k is enough.
    Nov 9 0
  • SAP tiipo
    Depends...if it's in SF, ..how much is it worth to YOU not stepping over poop and used needles on your way to work ?
    Nov 9 4
    • SAP DVOw73
      Do you happen to live here? I live in SF and don't experience these things regularly. Depends on your neighborhood I guess. Love SF!
      Nov 11
    • SAP tiipo
      not living in SF. went to interview there for couple of times and a lot of hobos were in and around the HQ of those company. Took half a mile walk from hotel to the company hq and it was gross.
      Nov 11
    • SAP DVOw73
      Where are you hailing from? Sorry for your experience. To be fair, I once walked through downtown Houston at night and felt I was in a set of the walking dead.
      Nov 11
    • SAP tiipo
      Seattle area....I know we are not that far behind.
      Nov 11
  • Microsoft hd6ej8
    Do you have kids? If so, moving to the bay will be tough. You need to make a LOT, or accept some major sacrifices, like hour+ commute each way, or bad schools.

    If you don't have kids, 100k is doable, 150 is comfortable and gives you some extra to save as well.

    It's really easy to get a job paying 150+ in the bay. Actually many new grads probably make that much. If you're experienced, all of your offers will probably come in North of 200.
    Nov 10 0
  • Juniper JunWarrior
    Depends on your family size and the spending habits of your girlfriend
    Nov 9 0
  • New iFGV87
    We’re going through the exact same situation—coming from Chicago.

    Our sense is it depends on what you want. If you want a house with a yard, then it seems like you’ll need to be able to afford at least $1.5m. If not, it seems doable.

    We have 2 kids and live in a 1300 sq. ft. 2bd/2ba condo in Chicago. It seems there are plenty of places to rent less than $4k/month in decent areas with decent commutes. Nothing fancy but not worse than our standard of living in Chicago.
    Nov 9 0

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