There’s been a lot of talk lately about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. While there’s no doubt that an increase is necessary for a large number of people to survive, there’s still the question of whether $15 an hour will be enough.
For this guide, we’ll assume you work 40 hours per week. With 52 weeks in the year, that means you work a total of 2,080 hours per year. Therefore a person making $15 an hour would make about $31,200 per year.
Crunching Numbers: What $15 an Hour Looks Like
It may sound like a lot per hour, but many people often ask, “$15 an hour is how much a year?”
Years ago, the idea of making that kind of money seemed like a dream come true for many. Back then, imagining a check with that kind of pay could produce a great sigh of relief, but is it enough to survive in today’s economy?
Formula for Calculating Yearly Salary
$15 per hour x 2,080 hours per year = $31,200 before taxes
This breaks down into the following:
- Monthly: $31,200 / 12 = $2,600
- Biweekly: $31,200 / 26 = $1,200
- Weekly: $31,200 / 52 = $600
- Daily: $600 / 5 = $120
This amount is reduced for those who live in states that charge state income tax. Depending on the state where you reside, your annual income could drop to anywhere from $24,700 to $26,700.
This would translate to $11.88 to $12.84 per hour, which further breaks down into the following:
- Monthly: $2,058.34 to $2,225
- Biweekly: $950.40 to $1,027.20
- Weekly: $475.20 to $513.60
- Daily: $95.04 to $102.72
Good To Know
Most states tax your income. The nine states that don’t are:
- New Hampshire
- South Dakota
Is $15 an Hour a Good Wage?
To answer this, you’ll need to take a look at your entire financial situation and lifestyle.
Consider the Following:
Your life and situation are not the same as everyone else’s. For some people, $15 an hour may be plenty. For others, it might not even scratch the surface.
To determine if it’s good for you, you have to take your situation into account and add all of your obligations up. If it’s not, you can try picking up a second job or try the tips below.
How To Live on $15 an Hour
Here are some pointers to help you maximize your earnings — and this advice is useful at any wage.
- Create a budget. Keep it simple and make sure it’s doable.
- Cut unnecessary expenses. Cut down on drive-thru meals and Starbucks. Cut the cable bill. If you don’t need it, either reduce it or get rid of it.
- Move to another area if you can. Look to live somewhere with a lower cost of living or cheaper rent. You might also think about heading to one of those states that don’t tax your income.
- Consider a side hustle. Instead of working another full-time job, pick up a side job to keep some extra cash in your pocket.
Information is accurate as of Sept. 23, 2022.