How much do I need to make to survive in SF?

The last post I made got a great response so hoping that I can get an answer on how much I need to make to live in SF or NYC.

I grew up in the Bay Area and went to get my own place in SF with some friends, but the rents seem crazy high. I hear people saying 30% of your income should go to rent, but that seems impossible. Is this number outdated or do I just need to move to like Walnut Creek and commute or something?

It depends on your privacy preferences, relationship status, etc. If you want to live by yourself in a safe neighborhood, with good transportation options, you should try to earn (as a young single person) between $75K to $85K a year. You can live less expensively if you are willing to have room-mates. If you live in the East Bay and take BART in (Walnut Creek is 35 minutes out on BART from Embarcadero) you can cut costs by half. Use the extra money to pay off student loans ,etc as you grow your career then you can move into the City without debt and at a higher income later.

Got it. So you'd say that if I can't make around more than $75k, SF is a long shot?

I'm okay living with roommates as long as the job is close to my work. I'm realizing that a job takes up so much time and there's an after-hours element to work (like drinks with coworkers and what not). I don't want to be the guy that misses out on those things because I live far but I also don't want to break the bank for work. I guess what I'm asking is how important is it to attend socializing events for work and is it that worth the cost of living nearby the office even if it means paying more?

SF is crazy expensive. When I moved hear I found a cheap room on Craigslist for $800/month. Now they are more but still possible to find. Walnut Creek is pretty far to commute from and I think not that cheap. I would focus on finding a rare but affordable place in SF or looking at Oakland / Berkeley. Hope that helps!

I'll add, it's probably going to be easier and cheaper to find an apartment in SF that's seeking one or two roommates versus trying to get a full apartment with your friends. You might consider looking for open rooms instead. Expect to pay $1300+ for a room in an apartment (although sometimes you can get lucky and find a room in an apartment that has rent control and a cool primary renter who will split the rent-controlled lease vs jacking up rent amount to the current high market rate).