Re: The Cost of Living in the Bay Area

Seth Golub (
Tue, 30 Jun 1998 20:33:30 -0700 (PDT)

Gregory Alan Bolcer <> writes:

> Greg's magic calculator says you are worth $94.8k with a signing
> bonus of $19k for 1 year and $33.1 for 2 or more years and a $10k
> moving fee sight unseen with good recs.

I've never actually looked for a job in the Bay Area (though I'm at
my second one now), so I can't really speak from experience on this,
but I do want to pipe up to point out that salaries are arbitrary.

Get as much as you can out of them, and that's how much you're worth
to them. You won't find out how much you're worth to anyone else by
doing calculations, only by asking them, or by finding out what people
with similar skills are paid.

I should also point out that Emeryville is not San Francisco. This is
a big area, and while different parts of it may be more like each
other than like anyplace else, they can be pretty different,
especially in terms of living costs. Emeryville is located between
Oakland and Berkeley, and is probably significantly cheaper than SF.

I haven't noticed much difference in costs here compared to
elsewhere except for housing, which is very expensive.

If you want to know how much housing costs, your best bet is to look
at some ads. I'm not familiar with that area, but Yahoo lists The
Oakland Tribune, which is probably a good place to start.
They have their classifieds online, and have a nice search interface.

A quick glance shows one-bedroom apartments in the $700-$900/month
range. If after taxes and rent your proposed salary would leave you
with what you consider to be a reasonable amount of money, you're all

Judging only by my own spending habits, I think you could live here
comfortably on $40k, especially if you're used to the life of an
low-paid academic. Most tech people here make more than that, but not
because they need it to pay the rent.