The TRUTH ABOUT STARTUP LIFE: Do It Before You Have A Family And Mortgage

Noodle diet

Photo: kcryder

With all the talk about funding rounds, exits, and acquisitions, everyone assumes entrepreneurs are riding around in fancy cars and flying off in their private jets. But that’s not the case.

They usually are working from when they get up, to when they go to sleep.

Many entrepreneurs are underpaid, hoping that their labour will pay off.

And, due to the high cost of living in San Francisco, their quality of life isn’t that good.

Jason Johnson, co-founder of BlueSprig, said that he needs about $12,000 a month to survive in San Francisco. To save on business costs, 90 per cent of his team is in China, including his co-founder Hugo Dong. 

Unlike them, Johnson is based in San Francisco and must deal with the high cost of living here. He broke down his monthly cash expense of living a moderate lifestyle, balanced with a mortgage, nanny, groceries, dining, and travel. 

Here’s how much he spends, broken down by area:

  • Housing: $6,500
  • Household: $2,000
  • Childcare: $1,500
  • Groceries & Dining: $1,500
  • Travel (monthly distribution): $800
  • Auto maintenance; insurance: $500
  • Other: $1200
  • Total: $14,000

That’s $168,000 a year.

His previous startup,, was based in Texas. He said his employees had a much better quality of life there. “Texans have big beautiful homes,” Johnson said. 

“If you hang out with entrepreneurs in other parts of the country, they are more forthcoming about their personal financial struggles.  Unfortunately, here in California, we seem to have a culture where people feel more self-conscience about sharing their struggles,” he said.

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