As a Bay Area resident I would like to chime in here, and forgive me if someone else has done a similar breakdown. Here’s what I found in about 5 minutes of perusing Craigslist (aka less time it takes than to create a “food meme”):
- Yes, housing is expensive. But a quick search found this and other rooms in Daly City for ~700 a month. Daly City is a relatively safe, quiet town, and is also DIRECTLY ADJACENT to the city of San Francisco. This particular listing boasted a 5 minute walk to BART, and its about a 15 minute train ride to her office downtown. Not only would she save about $5 per day in train fare, but based on where she is coming from now she would also save at least an hour of commute time daily, which would come in handy for…
- Part time work. Looking at the Part Time Jobs section of CL you see tons of postings for Luxe, which is an on-demand valet service in the city. Like Uber/Lyft, you can earn 15–20 an hour downtown while creating your own schedule, but unlike ridesharing you do not need your own functioning vehicle. Let’s say that conservatively, she earns $12 per hour and she does not receive any tips. Working just 10 hours per week will yield another 350 a month after taxes, and that’s assuming Uncle Sam takes a whole 30%. To top things off, she is already shaving ~5 hours a week off her commute by moving to Daly City, so the net result is 5 extra hours of her time. If parking other people’s cars isn’t her thing, she can tutor (one of the few things she has experience in), or the proximity to the city opens up a bevy of food/retail options as well.
So to sum up, she would save $500 a month by sharing an apartment with 3 other young adults, ~100 a month on her commute expenses, and could earn at least $350 post-tax parking cars or tutoring kids spending 5 net new hours per week. I won’t get into how you could get replaced by a witty 15 year-old at your dream job at any given time, but if you want to chase your dream so be it. Just don’t piss away the stepping stone for your dream (that also happens to provide food and great benefits) without doing some thinking first.