In the Bay Area, rent and housing prices are an important topic of discussion since that’s where no small amount of your paycheck goes. I was out recently with friends, when the subject came up, and someone mentioned a person they knew who took an insane commute so they could avoid insane rents. They had few options.
In The Bay Area, there seem to be these weird cutoff points in rental options. Make X amount of money and you can live in this area, but X plus even a few hundred more a month opens up new options. As one gets more and more options, you end up almost being able to save money – because you can, say, afford an expensive apartment on public transport and ditch a car. Or one can live near work and cut commute time – and use that to do a part-time job or run a startup.
It’s not just that you have to spend money to make money. When you have money, sometimes you can save time and money or make more time and money.
A boss of mine once ditched her car, lived in a small studio near public transport in the expensive area of San Francisco – and came out ahead financially. She had all of San Francisco as her playground, a great job, and plenty of options. But ironically, to save that money she needed to make enough to live in a place where she needed less.