A Week in San Francisco on a $75,000 Salary

Welcome to Spending Notes, where we do a weekly deep dive into how our readers spend their cash.

Today: a real estate broker who makes $75,000

Occupation: broker

Age: 53

Location: San Francisco, CA

Salary: $75,000 (approx. $2,885 per pay period)

Day One

A Week in San Francisco


As a real estate broker here in San Francisco, I get the chance to meet all sorts of individuals in the area, from real estate agents and industry experts like Marc de Longeville to homeowners of all sorts. Today, for instance, I’m taking a client to see one of Marc’s listings. They fell in love with the MLS photos and who knows? This could certainly be their beautiful new home. After meeting with my buyers, I go to a local restaurant for dinner.

Total: $57

Day Two

A Week in San Francisco


This morning, I’m tackling a task that’s not always thought of when people imagine real estate transactions: hotel reservations. International realty is a very real genre, and today’s project revolves around just that. I have some clients flying in from central Europe, and they’ll need a place to stay while they’re here! Fortunately, there are plenty of gorgeous San Francisco hotels to choose from. Over lunch at a nearby eatery, I give my assistant a few options and check back in before I leave for the day—she’s got them set up with a room that’s sure to please!

Total: $32

Day Three

A Week in San Francisco

My day is made up of meetings, for the most part, today, so it’s not anything especially glorious. Still, it’s an important part of the job! Afterward, I browse some of the newest real estate listings to see the latest properties put on the market. Like most people in the real estate industry, I like to stay on top of these things so I know my clients are getting the best shot at finding their dream home. Then, I stop by the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions, then grab a bite to eat and head home.

Total: $40

Day Four

A Week in San Francisco


My Thursday goals are, first and foremost, to respond to messages and emails. Of course, any professional realtor has plenty of communications to get through each week! Mostly, these are pretty standard, but I did get a call from what I believe is my first-ever client based in Wyoming, which is a neat addition to my day. After work, I enjoy dinner at my favorite sushi place.

Total: $27.50

Day Five

A Week in San Francisco


I have a date tonight, and I’ve got to say—after all these years, my least favorite part is still explaining the differences between real estate professionals! “Broker” tends to sound especially fancy, but we really aren’t all that different from other realtors or real estate agents—the credentials are just a bit different. This gentleman seemed nice enough, but I’m not sure it could be called a love connection, explanation of the real estate market notwithstanding. In any case, I insisted on paying for both of our meals—it’s the least I could do after lecturing him.

Total: $112

Day Six


I’m spending my weekend with a friend in Los Angeles, so my day starts off with a trip to the gas station. After some snacks and a full tank, I continue on to meet my friend. We head to a museum, then back to his place for an evening filled with movies and even more snacks. What can I say? It’s a snack-filled Saturday!

Total: $67

Day Seven

travel for a Week


After a hefty diner breakfast with my friend, I’m making my way back home again for some laundry and other chores around the house—including my mortgage payment for the month. Then, I let myself head to bed a bit early. I’ve got another busy week ahead and would like to make sure I’m well-rested.

Total: $2,150

Total for the week: $2,485.50

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