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What is considered "decent" income in N. Cali?

603 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  HeatherB
So I know what DH makes, but I have no idea what is considered a decent income for a family of 4 in N. California. I know it depends on bills etc but what would you consider a decent salary in Northern California for a family of four?
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Northern Cali as in Redding?
Or North Central Cali as in San Fran / Sacramento?
I really think it varies by county. There is a big difference between humboldt county and say trinity county but they are right beside eachother.
But then again I do not know what area of northern cali you are meaning.
60k annually, maybe? To be able to live without being what I consider stretched at all, which is my interpretation of decent. Less is totally doable though. CA has a pretty high cost of living though northern cali isn't so bad. Depends where exactly I'm sure. Here in the midwest I'd feel it was more like 50k.
It really depends on the part of the state.

In the San Francisco area, you're looking for something like 80-100 on up. In SF itself, it's higher. But head north a ways or inland a ways and 40-60 would probably be good - until you hit Sac, and then it's going to go back up to probably about 60-80.

But, we're in the SF area, we fall within that top range, we're a family of 2 with one on the way and some months it's tough. Some days I really question how we're going to make it without me working. But, if we didn't have our debt load (600+/mo), we'd probably be fine on just what DH makes.

Pretty much if you're along the coast from Bodega Bay to Monterey (and beyond), it's going to be higher than if you're inland a ways. Even 30 minutes inland can make a huge difference in cost.
ITA that exactly *where* in Northern CA makes a huge difference! It's a big area that is covered by the "northern" designation and costs of living vary wildly. Plus, what is decent to you might be absurd to someone else- it's really all about perspective, right?
That's an interesting question, and one I'm not sure I know the answer to. We lived in Santa Cruz for 6 months, but DH's company paid for our housing while we were there. Now, he's just returned from an interview with another big company in Silicon Valley, and if he gets the offer, we'll have to assess whether or not it's worth it to us to move. He's in a good position now so makes a good income, but I can't see how we'd possibly survive in the Bay Area without a big jump in income. Even with the housing market decline, home prices are 3x there what they are here (we're near Houston).

So, I'm curious! Even when we lived there, I couldn't figure out how any families made it there without both parents working. Most families were, though, very small, and likely for that and related reasons. It's such a wonderful area, though! I'm very torn about the possibility of going back.
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