Living in Silicon Valley May Drive You Deep Into Debt

Living in Silicon Valley may actually drive you deep into debt.

Magnify Money recently took a look at which U.S. cities are becoming too expensive, even for those with salaries of $100,000 per year. Its study examined average expenses for a family of three, and incorporated everything from taxes and 401k expenses to student loans and child-care costs.

Though Magnify Money says it “created a hypothetical, but fairly typical, couple with one child who earns a combined gross income of $100,000 (or $8,333 monthly),” its base student loan debt is $222 across the board. This appears to assume one earner in the household; if your family has two salaries, expect some of the noted expenses to compound.

San Jose, California – the epicenter of Silicon Valley – is the worst offender on this list. The study says your six-figure salary would leave you $454 in the hole, monthly.

It doesn’t get much better in San Francisco, either. Though it’s fashionable for many tech pros to live in the city and commute to Silicon Valley, you’d still be behind $160 every month. Washington D.C., Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts leave you in debt $360, $98, and $31 per month, respectively.

It’s not all bad news, though. If you like commuting, we suggest finding a job in Los Angeles and commuting from Oxnard, where you’ll be left with $138 monthly after expenses. Love Connecticut? Hartford leaves six-figure earners with $479 left over each month. If the buzz of a big city is your thing, New York will have your bank account $505 better every 30 days.

Even Honolulu, Hawaii gives you $140 pocket change each month.

When we compare Magnify Money’s findings versus the Dice Salary Survey, things start looking up for your average tech professional. Silicon Valley’s average salary is $114,654 for tech pros, which leaves you with some funds left over if you stick to Magnify Money’s expense breakdown. The only place the two top-ten lists converge negatively is Washington D.C.; tech pros there earn just shy of six figures, which exacerbates the potential negative balance on your credit cards.

We advocate for avoiding Silicon Valley, mostly due to studies suggesting a skewed cost of living. While it’s still the epicenter of tech, studies show jobs at most of the area’s tech companies last less than two years; so the headache and cost of relocation might just not be worth it.

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One Response to “Living in Silicon Valley May Drive You Deep Into Debt”

  1. Kerwin Kassulker

    What about Austin, TX? i.e. since it is now essentially a clone of Silicon Valley with the majority of the same chip mfg and tech companies… it would be nice to see the comparison?