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How an SF dad works as a part-time tennis coach but still brings in $255,060 a year

SF Gate logo SF Gate 4/29/2019 Amy Graff
a screenshot of a cell phone: Financial Samurai blogger Sam Dogen outlines his family's $200,000 annual budget for living in San Francisco. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers

Financial Samurai blogger Sam Dogen outlines his family's $200,000 annual budget for living in San Francisco.

A San Francisco couple is living the dream: Sam Dogen works part-time as a high school tennis coach about four months a year, while his wife stays at home full-time with their 2-year-old son. Without spending any hours in traditional full-time jobs, they own a home, take three week's vacation, are saving for retirement and enjoy all the benefits that can go along with a high-paying Bay Area salary.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Financial Samurai blogger Sam Dogen outlines how he brings in more than $200,000 a year through investment income and side gigs. © Provided by Hearst Newspapers

Financial Samurai blogger Sam Dogen outlines how he brings in more than $200,000 a year through investment income and side gigs.

How do they do it?

Sam Dogen has shared all the details of his family's annual income on his Financial Samurai blog (see the chart above for a breakout), and says the key to his budget is investment income and side gigs. He brings in $255,060 and, after taxes, has about $206,000 to spend.

"Although I am just a high school tennis coach, I make enough to take care of my family in expensive San Francisco due to the 20 years I've spent saving and investing the majority of my income," he writes.

ASLO: How making $300,000 in San Francisco can still mean you're living paycheck-to-paycheck

Dogen worked in finance from 1999 to 2012 and living a frugal lifestyle, he saved and invested 50 to 80 percent of his income. For comparison, the U.S. personal savings rate is around 7 percent.

When he started his job in finance in Manhattan, Dogen made $40,000 but shared a tiny studio apartment so he could still save money. "Even though I got in at 5 a.m., I stayed past 7 p.m. every day because there was free cafeteria food." At his last job in finance, Dogen was making about $250,000 plus bonuses.

During this time, Dogen also started his blog that now brings in some revenue from advertising, and used it to spin off the book How to Engineer Your Layoff that continuously feeds his bank account.

Dogen's annual income now draws from a wide array of places, including $36,600 annually from a duplex rental, $14,400 from a Tahoe house, and $50,400 from book proceeds, according to budgets he provided to SFGATE. Coaching tennis, Dogen says he makes makes $10,560 annually.

With this income, Dogen and his wife cover all the important expenses: childcare assistance is $800 a month, food for three is $1,800 a month, mortgage is $3,900 a month and the list goes on. See the entire budget in the gallery above.

When SFGATE spoke with Dogen he had just returned from an hour-long walk with his son, and he said the best part of his situation is the time he gets with him.

"Now that we have our son, this lifestyle is even more valuable than in the past," he says. "I think it's really crystalized the value of financial independence. I do have some very well-off friends who are making tons more money and who are worth so much more but they spend 12 hours a day away from their kids."

He says that by not working the past two years, he and his wife have easily given up $1 million in income. "Our life wouldn't change if we had say another $700,000 after taxes, but I'd feel a lot of regret." he says.

SFGATE wants to share how Bay Area residents are making ends meet in this crazy expensive region of the country

As one of the most expensive places to live in the country, if not the world, San Francisco breeds a culture in which people are obsessed with the expense of everyday life.

We all want to know how the other person is making ends meet in a city where a burrito costs over $10, especially if you add guacamole.

"What do you pay for rent?" "How much do you pay your babysitter?" and "What's your weekly grocery bill?" are all questions that we love to hear answered.

The answers are varied and the people's personal budgets are fascinating because while one person might be paying a mortgage on a $2 million house and another is paying $500 a month for a rent controlled-apartment.

And so SFGATE is setting out to share the budgets of people making it in this city of hustling. Earlier this month, we brought you a potential budget for a family living in the city with an annual household income of $300,000. This week we show you how a family of three spends $200,000, and we'd love to show more examples. We're looking to speak with artists, educators, tech workers, and anyone who's willing to share the ins and outs of making it in this crazy expensive city. Get in touch wtih SFGATE news producer Amy Graff at agraff@sfgate.com.

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