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Moving to The Bay

Moving to The Bay

Old Mar 20th 2014, 6:56 pm
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Default Moving to The Bay

Hello!

Firstly I wanted to say a huge thank you for this site and the fantastic community, it's been great help to get me started.

So a little about me; I'm a Brit living in the UK and work for a .com in their London office. I've been invited to apply for a similar role in our San Francisco office, based in the financial district. It's a fantastic career move, but I'm worried about the practicalities, and frankly the reality of moving away from friends and family... I figure the latter issue is something only I can deal really, but all opinions welcome to help convince me that this is (or indeed isn't!) a good idea.

In terms of the practicalities, visa-wise, my company has lots of experience of bringing folks in on an L1, and they've said that should be fine in my case. I've found lots of great info on this site regarding finances, particularly in this thread, but I'd appreciate a sanity check of my budget to help me understand if this is even feasible. So I'm single, and currently earn about £65k in the UK. I've put my current monthly budget below, together with an estimate of what would get be liveable in San Francisco


Code:
	              Now	Equivalent	SFO Estimate
Rent	            £850.00	 $1,413.25 	 $3,000.00 
Utilities + Cncl Tax£128.00	 $212.82 	 $300.00 
Phone / B'band / TV  £40.00	 $66.51 	 $80.00 
Mobile Phone	     £34.00	 $56.53 	 $60.00 
TV Licence	     £12.00	 $19.95 	 $-   
Healthcare	      £0.00	 $-      	 $30.00 
Groceries	    £200.00	 $332.53 	 $300.00 
Car Maintenance	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $80.00 
Car Insurance	     £35.00	 $58.19 	 $165.00 
Car Petrol	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $150.00 
Commute to work	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $-   
2 x Flights Home      £0.00	 $-    		 $150.00 
Home / Insurance      £5.00	 $8.31 		 $20.00 
Clothing	    £100.00	 $166.26 	 $150.00 
Day-to-day cash	    £250.00	 $415.66 	 $400.00 
Entertainment	    £450.00	 $748.19 	 $700.00 
Lunch at Work	    £125.00	 $207.83 	 $375.00 
Gifts	            £100.00	 $166.26 	 $150.00 
Holidays            £400.00	 $665.06 	 $200.00 
Emergency Savings   £250.00	 $415.66 	 $400.00 
Total	           £3129.00	 $5,202.41 	 $6,710.00
Couple of random notes - commuting would be free as my company provides a free transit pass. The healthcare figure seems very reasonable and is also taken from our intranet site; I'm fortunate to be very healthy but it comes with a $1500 excess. I've not included the cost of buying a car as I have one here in the UK which I would anticipate selling and then using the funds to buy one in the US. I do recognise that I wouldn't necessarily need one in central San Francisco, but I'm something of a country-kid, and would want to escape the city at weekends.

I recognise that I'm going to end up in a smaller apartment in San Francisco, but I'd hope to find a nice 1 bed place in a reasonable area - I've visited a couple of times and really enjoyed areas such as Haight-Ashbury‎, I'm really not cut out for the districts which my US colleagues referred to as "edgy" such as Mission. Beyond that, I'd hope to broadly maintain my quality of life that I have in the UK - does that seem possible on this budget?

Sorry for writing an essay in my first post, and thanks in advance for any help!


Regards, Chris.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 8:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to The Bay

Not bad, you sound like you've got your head screwed on.
Some thoughts.
Utilities may be more.
$200 for vacation? Perhaps you meant $2000 or more...(Oh that's the monthly budget? Still low though.)

Emergency fund. I suggest having a padding of $10k, at the very least, when you can. No matter who it is, employees get laid off with very little preamble or protection. Everyone is disposable.

Company will be providing a reloc package? Green card process? Tax help first year?

It can be tempting to overthink things.

If you want the experience and they'll pay you $80K-$100K minimum, and do all the admin processing required, you'll do great.

(I came over with Adobe, just for six months experience, but that was 15 years ago and I'm still here.)

Last edited by Hotscot; Mar 20th 2014 at 8:28 pm.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving to The Bay

What is the offer - dollar equivalent of 65,000 GBP?

Healthcare - are you sure you don't have to pay any premiums (I assume $30 is just a copay figure)?

Car estimates look a bit low but you do get the free shuttle.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 8:29 pm
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Thumbs up Re: Moving to The Bay

Originally Posted by MrChris View Post
Hello!

Firstly I wanted to say a huge thank you for this site and the fantastic community, it's been great help to get me started.

So a little about me; I'm a Brit living in the UK and work for a .com in their London office. I've been invited to apply for a similar role in our San Francisco office, based in the financial district. It's a fantastic career move, but I'm worried about the practicalities, and frankly the reality of moving away from friends and family... I figure the latter issue is something only I can deal really, but all opinions welcome to help convince me that this is (or indeed isn't!) a good idea.

In terms of the practicalities, visa-wise, my company has lots of experience of bringing folks in on an L1, and they've said that should be fine in my case. I've found lots of great info on this site regarding finances, particularly in this thread, but I'd appreciate a sanity check of my budget to help me understand if this is even feasible. So I'm single, and currently earn about £65k in the UK. I've put my current monthly budget below, together with an estimate of what would get be liveable in San Francisco


Code:
	              Now	Equivalent	SFO Estimate
Rent	            £850.00	 $1,413.25 	 $3,000.00 
Utilities + Cncl Tax£128.00	 $212.82 	 $300.00 
Phone / B'band / TV  £40.00	 $66.51 	 $80.00 
Mobile Phone	     £34.00	 $56.53 	 $60.00 
TV Licence	     £12.00	 $19.95 	 $-   
Healthcare	      £0.00	 $-      	 $30.00 
Groceries	    £200.00	 $332.53 	 $300.00 
Car Maintenance	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $80.00 
Car Insurance	     £35.00	 $58.19 	 $165.00 
Car Petrol	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $150.00 
Commute to work	     £50.00	 $83.13 	 $-   
2 x Flights Home      £0.00	 $-    		 $150.00 
Home / Insurance      £5.00	 $8.31 		 $20.00 
Clothing	    £100.00	 $166.26 	 $150.00 
Day-to-day cash	    £250.00	 $415.66 	 $400.00 
Entertainment	    £450.00	 $748.19 	 $700.00 
Lunch at Work	    £125.00	 $207.83 	 $375.00 
Gifts	            £100.00	 $166.26 	 $150.00 
Holidays            £400.00	 $665.06 	 $200.00 
Emergency Savings   £250.00	 $415.66 	 $400.00 
Total	           £3129.00	 $5,202.41 	 $6,710.00
Couple of random notes - commuting would be free as my company provides a free transit pass. The healthcare figure seems very reasonable and is also taken from our intranet site; I'm fortunate to be very healthy but it comes with a $1500 excess. I've not included the cost of buying a car as I have one here in the UK which I would anticipate selling and then using the funds to buy one in the US. I do recognise that I wouldn't necessarily need one in central San Francisco, but I'm something of a country-kid, and would want to escape the city at weekends.

I recognise that I'm going to end up in a smaller apartment in San Francisco, but I'd hope to find a nice 1 bed place in a reasonable area - I've visited a couple of times and really enjoyed areas such as Haight-Ashbury‎, I'm really not cut out for the districts which my US colleagues referred to as "edgy" such as Mission. Beyond that, I'd hope to broadly maintain my quality of life that I have in the UK - does that seem possible on this budget?

Sorry for writing an essay in my first post, and thanks in advance for any help!


Regards, Chris.
Looks like you've done a good amount of homework. I can't think of anything you are missing, (other than parking in SF if you intend to use your car around the city on weekends), but a few areas seem a bit light

Phone/BBand/Internet - Need to up by about $40 per month
Cell Phone - Expect to pay around $80 per month
Groceries - Depends how much you intend to cook, but this seems a little light to me
Flights, you won't get 2 flights back to the UK for $1,800

The big area that seems wrong is your healthcare costs. $30 per month seems way off, you need to double check this number.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 9:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to The Bay

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
The big area that seems wrong is your healthcare costs. $30 per month seems way off, you need to double check this number.
It may not be that far off for employee only cover, but I suspect that OP may have mistaken a "per pay period" amount for a "monthly" amount.

My health care costs (for a very good health plan) were, until last year, just under $30 per pay period (ie every 2 weeks). Costs increased to about $35 per pay period this year.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Moving to The Bay

Overall those numbers look fairly reasonable.

Depending on exactly where you end up living in San Francisco and what you want to do on the weekends you may want to carefully consider the pros and cons of car ownership in San Francisco. The major disadvantage is the lack of available parking in many areas, and the cost of parking. Initially, at least, you may want to consider the merits of occasional car rentals on the weekends and/or the use of things like Zipcar.

Also don't underestimate how much you may end up spending on one-time expenses like buying furniture (almost all rentals are unfurnished), TV, kitchen stuff etc. You will also find life much easier if you have a fairly substantial amount of cash available for deposits for utilities and apartment rental. Typical rental agreements want first and last month's rent plus a security deposit so, in your case, you could easily be looking at $7,000 for that alone.

Put it this way - if you have $15,000 available to spend within the first month it won't be too much.
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Old Mar 20th 2014, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Moving to The Bay

Welcome to BE and good luck! Oh and kudos for some solid research!

One thing to factor is lack of credit and driving history, meaning you may end up having to also put down deposits for a lot of the utilities.

Utilities do sound a bit low, but then again, I don't know what the heat/cooling costs are out there.

Phone/cable/internet that's definitely low. You might see a triple play deal stating $80 but then they charge you $15 extra for the set top box and taxes etc and it's then closer to $100-120 a month.

Car maintenance sounds a bit low too...but then the lack of the harsh winters might help in that regard, but oil changes cost loads more here and get done far more regularly.

Cost of parking, can't be cheap and what if you got a place that didn't have parking of it's own? I've no idea what it is like in the bay area, but decent, covered, off street parking that's carded entry is about $650-900 a month down in Boston.
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