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Old 11-30-2011, 12:56 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,130 times
Reputation: 11

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I am moving to San Francisco from Ohio and need to know if $75k is a reasonable salary. My husband and I have a toddler and a baby on the way. I will not be working so I am wondering if $75k is enough to live on out there. We currently have a car (paying $420 per month including insurance) but are not opposed to selling it. Our cost of living here in Ohio is about $2900 per month including rent, car payment, groceries and all bills (Electricity and Heat cost around $300 per month total in the winter). Our combined salary right now is $46k. I noticed that in some areas (Brisbane, Burlingame and Millbrae) that we can rent for around $1800 per month and commute to San Fran using BART or CalTrain. My Husband will be working in 94103 zip code. I am really clueless how to make all this work. Here are my questions.

Is $75k enough?
Do we need a car?
Are there grocery stores within walking distance?
Do you have to drive a car to get to BART or CalTrain?
Are utilities expensive?
Is daycare expensive if I needed to get a job?

Any info would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to blindly move out there without a plan. I noticed that payroll tax is around 9% so bring home for someone making $75k is actually only $4600 per month. Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
3,966 posts, read 8,165,600 times
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Well, let me put it this way. We struggled back in the mid 90's on 80k and two kids.

It's a reasonable salary, but not for one of the priciest cities in the world. There are however, a lot of great options for commuting into the City from the East Bay.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,095 posts, read 32,172,401 times
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That sounds pretty tight.

Sample Monthly Budget --
Rent $1800 (you will sacrifice space/location for this budget)
Car payment: $350
Insurance $200 (car insurance will likely be more than you are paying today)
Gas: $200
Food: $400
Phone/Cable/Internet/Cell Phone: $200
Household Sundries: $200
Health Insurance: $200
Electricity: $80 (I have electric heat, stove and I live in a studio apartment. My winter electricity bill is $70, summer/spring is $25)

Total: $3630
Take home pay at $75k: $3950
Leaving you with $320 for fun, saving, vacations, unexpected expenses......

If I had a family of 4, I'd want a household income of $120K, and I'd still realize I'd need to budget carefully.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:32 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,130 times
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Thanks for your reply Clongirl. We are currently struggling in Ohio and miserable. Is the struggling in San Fran at least worth it? I think that once we move there he can get a higher paying job. Most employers don't want to hire someone that lives out of state. Or am I just dreaming?
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:36 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,130 times
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Thanks Jade408. I did a paycheck calculator and ended up with $4600 take home at $75k claiming Married with 3 allowances. That is why I am so worried about moving. Every website states something different. It's pretty frustrating. Thank you for your breakdown. It helps!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: DFW
6,862 posts, read 12,723,341 times
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Despite being one of the priciest cities in the US, a single person can easily survive on less than half of that salary in the city if he ditches his car and rents a room in a shared housing arrangement.

However, even my frugal-savvy self is not gonna have an easy time working with a $75K salary for 4 people. The cost of getting 4 monthly Muni passes vs. owning a car might not be in favor of ditching the car.. also parking is insanely expensive so you'll probably end up going to the suburbs (San Mateo County) for your family outings.

Put it simply, I'd rather make $30k/yr in SF as a single person than $75k/yr supporting a family AND living in the city.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:43 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,130 times
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Thanks ragnarkar. I'm starting to agree with all of you. It's not going to be enough. I don't need to live in the city and I am fine with not having a car but it still seems like it won't work out. Thanks again
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: South Korea
5,242 posts, read 11,981,573 times
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San Francisco (SF) is a small city. Areas outside of San Francisco are not considered to be part of SF, so you'll confuse people if you say San Francisco when you mean the suburbs of the Bay Area. The region as a whole is called the Bay Area, not San Francisco, and then we break it up into areas like the Peninsula, South Bay, East Bay, North Bay etc.

On 75k with 2 kids I would really only consider living in the East Bay because it's a lot cheaper than San Mateo County, somewhere like Walnut Creek or Dublin maybe. Should be able to get a 2 bedroom apartment for something like $1400 or so in the burbs, or a 1 bedroom for around $1000 to $1300.

Frankly if you really want to live here comfortably you'll probably need to do what most people here do, and get a job so you have two incomes. But if you are ok with living in a 2 bedroom or 1 bedroom apartment I think 75k would just about work.

You will definitely want a car if you are living in the suburbs here, they can be very sprawly and not walkable, especially if you have kids and need to get out and do stuff. SF, Berkeley and Oakland are really the only places around here you can get by without a car and they wouldn't really fit your budget.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:47 PM
 
20 posts, read 47,130 times
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Thanks for your response mayorhaggar. I see now why that is confusing. I don't mind getting a job after the baby is born but just like here in Ohio my entire paycheck would go to daycare. Right now it costs $2000 per month for 2 children ($800 for toddler and $1200 per month for infant care). So finding a job where I can work from home would be best. Once the kids start going to school I can get a full time job and we can move into a bigger place. We are fine with renting a two bedroom. That is all we have ever had here in Ohio. Sad I know but that is a big reason for the move to SF. More opportunity.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:19 PM
 
12,824 posts, read 21,486,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm.short View Post
Thanks Jade408. I did a paycheck calculator and ended up with $4600 take home at $75k claiming Married with 3 allowances. That is why I am so worried about moving. Every website states something different. It's pretty frustrating. Thank you for your breakdown. It helps!
You have a good reason to be worried.

For all the hype about "diversity" and quality of life, this area is a brutal place for normal middle class people to live in. Even commuting from the East Bay. That of course would have its own whole set of heartaches.
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