Yes, You Can Afford Life in San Francisco as a Musician

Meet Sami Perez: a freelance audio engineer, musician, and student in San Francisco, CA. Born and raised in the Bay Area, Sami is hustling to pursue a creative lifestyle in one of the country’s most expensive cities. Here are Sami’s top tips for making it work:

Plan for the future in baby steps

“The future to me means everything from tomorrow to the day I die. I think the only way to handle the future without getting extremely overwhelmed is to think about it in baby steps—more frequently than long-term. Right now, I’m working on building a good foundation, which really just requires me to build networks for myself and to find new opportunities, which I think I’m doing.”

Recognize your own worth

“The part of me that wants to bring myself down is like, ‘I am not worth any money.’ I think in order to recognize my worth in a studio, I had to go from trainee to trainer, and realize that I can teach others. I do know what I’m doing, and can teach someone how to do it.”

Keep an eye on your money

“I’m keeping a closer eye on my bank account now because I have to. Just like visually seeing my bank account, I’m realizing I need to put more in my savings. I check on my bank account probably every couple of days—I’m not super paranoid about it. But it’s important to know.”

Make financial decisions that make you happy

“Even though it’s a struggle to make money doing what you like in a city that’s nearly impossible to live in, it’s so worth it. If I were anywhere else I think I would be struggling to feel comfortable and liberated creatively. I feel I can really be creative, be myself, and enjoy all the opportunities in San Francisco with my friends and my family—and I wouldn’t leave it.”

Apply for a Varo Bank Account

Bank Account Services provided by The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

The Varo Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).