One thing is pretty clear is you cant work for less money then you will need to keep your head above water. How much will you need to live where you are now. How much sacrifice can you make. One of the things most people never think about is how little they're willing to work for. Sure, all of us defined our "It would be great if I could get...", and we know logically what we're worth, and we have a number that we think we'd settle for if it was offered to us, but do you have an absolute minimum? For example, you might want to get $50,000, but you know you're worth $48,000, but you'd probably settle for $45,000 if they offered it to you. Maybe $44,000, if the place seems like there's a chance for advancement. Stop! Don't let yourself talk like that. Don't go job hunting before defining the absolute minimum you're willing to work for, because potential employers might keep trying to haggle you down to well below what you think you're really worth, or what you really want to accept. So for my example, maybe you're hoping for $50,000, but the absolute least you'll work for is $43,000, so $43,000 would be your bottom line.