Making more money ruined your life

I have a six-figure job in Silicon Valley - and I don't have nearly as much money as you think

"How does it live with earning $ 120,000 to $ 130,000 as a software engineer in Sunnyvale, California, USA?" This question was asked on the Quora online portal. Here is the answer from Danielle Lan, a California technical writer.

The question: I met a guy who told me his life was fucked up and he couldn't save a cent. I suspected he was lying! A software developer with this salary is way above what the average software developer earns. What do you think?

Lan's answer: He's not lying. I live his life, with the exception that I'm a DINK - double income and no children - and it's still terrible.

My husband gets a six-figure salary as a software developer. As a technical writer, I get a five-figure salary. We live in Newark, California and work in Silicon Valley. The work route takes 30 minutes without traffic, but one to two hours with heavy traffic.

I'm paying off student loans - $ 1,600 a month for $ 130,000 in debt. My entire monthly salary and part of his salary are used for this. I don't regret the investment - I made more than my mom right out of school and she has been working for 40 years.

We have mortgages: $ 3,000 a month on a $ 530,000 house, the cheapest we could find that didn't require major repairs. That saved us from the $ 4,000 rent in North San Jose, where we literally burned money because it didn't go towards equity. We live in a bad school district right off the freeway. The only bright spot is the low crime rate.

We also have to finance two cars because with $ 1,000 a month there is no way we can pay for public transportation, insurance, and utility bills. That takes up the largest part of his salary.

We can save maybe $ 300 to $ 500 a month with going out, having fun, and spending. Our savings were on our down payment and home renovations - the kitchen was inoperable. We saved the money over three years, during which we lived rent-free in my parents' house, a luxury not everyone has.

The salary you listed is not above average in this area. It is adequate for seven to ten years of experience working in the competitive software and computer development market. It is above the average for the Midwest.

But when I lived in the Midwest, I only paid $ 900 a month for a two-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse. In comparison, in North San Jose, I pay $ 4,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment that is only a quarter the square footage.

People are always surprised that we can't afford a luxury car and expensive restaurants when they find out our common salary. They think we are making bad investments or spending money on stupid things. The amount of relatives asking me to pay the bill for their belongings is ridiculous.