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18 Dollars an Hour Is How Much a Year: Can You Live Off of It?

18 Dollars an Hour Is How Much a Year: Can You Live Off of It?

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Perhaps you’re wondering, “How much is 18 dollars an hour, and can you live off it yearly?” This post will go into full depth regarding how much 18 dollars an hour is and whether you can live on it. Knowing how much you make per year will help you keep track of your finances. You can live within your means and save for a rainy day. 

According to the US Department of Labor, the federal minimum wage rose to $15 per hour in January 2022. Earning 18 dollars per hour is just slightly above the minimum wage, so you should consider whether it’s feasible to live off it. Keep reading to know how much you can expect to earn per year if you make $18 per hour. You’ll also see jobs that pay $18 per hour.

How Much Is $18 an Hour?

An $18-an-hour job ad might leave you asking how much money you’ll make each month. When you work an hourly job, your monthly wage depends on how many hours you work in a day. 

If you work 20 hours a week at $18 an hour, you’ll earn more money than if you worked 10 hours a week. You will have to work at least 40 hours a week for most full-time jobs. In other words, 8 hours a day for five days. 

  • So in a week, you’ll earn $720;
  • Your monthly income will be $3120;
  • In one year, you’ll make $37440. 

*This will be your gross income (before taxes)

Is 18 Dollars an Hour Good Money?

woman budgeting for 18 dollars an hour

Earning $18 an hour puts you above the federal minimum of $15 an hour. Whether it’s good money for you depends on several factors. How much tax do you pay in your state, and what’s your current living situation? As a rule, you should not spend more than 30% of your gross monthly income on rent. 

When earning a monthly wage of $3120, that will be $936. After rent and taxes, you’ll have less than $2184. If you don’t have dependents or aren’t the primary breadwinner in your household, 

How Can I Make 18 Dollars?

You can do a quick job search on Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. Apply for remote jobs based on your preferences, such as data entry, customer assistance, or freelancing work. You can also search within your zip code to discover a job near you. To maximize your chances of getting a decent job, you should upload your CV on several websites.

Can You Get Paid 18 Dollars an Hour?

Most jobs paying at least $18 an hour require at least a high school diploma. These are both part-time and entry-level positions. If you’re a recent college graduate, you can confidently ask for a $30,000 annual salary. I’ve listed a few jobs that pay $18 per hour later in this post.

18 Dollars an Hour Is How Much a Year?

A full-time employee would most probably work for 40 hours a week. Since there are 52 weeks a year, that would translate to 2080 working hours per year. 

Let’s Break It Down:

  • 52 weeks x 40 hours = 2080 hours
  • 2080 hours x $18 = $37440

Working 2080 hours per year at $18 per hour will amount to $37440. Note that $37440 is the taxable/gross income

How Much Is 18 Dollars an Hour After Taxes?

To get your take-home, you will calculate how much tax you pay in your state and deduct it from your income. The tax-deductible will depend on the state you live in. States like Alaska, Texas, Tennessee, Nevada, and Washington do not charge state income tax. However, every U.S. citizen pays federal tax. 

For an annual income of $37440, the federal tax rate will be 995 (10% of 9950) + 12% of 27490. This totals to $4293. After subtracting $4293 from your annual gross income, your take-home will be $33147.

  • Federal tax: $4293 (995 + [12% of 27490])
  • $37440 – $4293 = $33147

How Much Is $18 an Hour Per Day?

If you work for 8 hours per day at a rate of $18 per hour, you will earn $144.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Daily Earnings : $144 ($18 x 8 hours)

How Much Is $18 an Hour Per Week?

Earning $18 per hour equals $720 per week before taxes. Divide your annual income of $37440 by the number of weeks in a year. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Weekly: $37440 ÷ 52 = $720

How Much Is 18 Dollars an Hour Bi-Weekly?

In two weeks, $18 an hour would be $1440. Here’s how. Divide your annual income of $37440 by 26 weeks, the number of bi-weekly payments you would receive in a year.

  • Bi-weekly: $1440 ($37440 ÷ 26)

How Much Is 18 Dollars Per Month?

Working a job that pays $18 an hour would give you a monthly income of $3120. You get that by dividing the annual salary of $37440 by the 12 months of the year.

  • Monthly income: $3120 ($37440  ÷ 12)

Is 18 Dollars an Hour a Decent Wage?

Earning $18 an hour is a decent wage if you can keep your monthly expenses pretty low. Overall, it all depends on your financial obligations. If your student loans or credit card debt is too high, living off $18 an hour is impossible. 

Unfortunately, living off this hourly wage in a state with high rent prices is impractical. You might need to consider having a roommate or supplementing your income with a side hustle. It’s best to prioritize essential bills like rent, food, and utilities, so you don’t experience financial uncertainties in the future. 

Can You Buy a House if You Make 18 Dollars an Hour?

You can buy a house with enough savings to make a down payment. Lenders will also check your credit score and expenses. The less debt you have, the better your chances of investing in a house. When prequalifying for a mortgage plan, they will check your other debt payments, like car and student loan payments. 

The lender will approve the loan based on your debt to income ratio. As a rule, you should not spend more than 28% of your gross income on housing expenses and 36% on total debt repayments. Using this information, you can calculate how much house you’ll afford. Mortgage plans are favorable, with some asking for as little as a 3% downpayment for a house.

Can You Live Off 18 Dollars an Hour?

Maybe. A better question is, “how much am I spending monthly?” The answer is probably no if you live in an expensive city like New York or California. Living in an expensive city means you’ll spend a lot on taxes, rent, and day-to-day expenses. As a result, you will have little or no money for savings and investments.

It’s best to make sure your expenses don’t exceed your income. Consider moving to a less expensive state and creating a budget. As your expenses rise, looking for a side job to supplement your primary income is a good idea.

Is 18 Dollars an Hour Suitable for a Teenager?

18 dollars an hour is a good starting salary for an entry-level or after-school job. According to Ziprecruiter, the average pay for a teenager in the United States is $18.5 an hour. As a teenager, there are some factors to consider. 

Maybe accepting a job that pays $18 per hour will give you the work experience you need for better pay or a chance to network with people in the industry. If this is the case, then you should take it. 

When living in your parent’s house, you probably spend so little every month. With no bills to pay, $33147 is a good disposable income. If you live elsewhere, finding a roommate and splitting costs with friends will help you spend less and save more.

Tips to Live Off of $18

18 Dollars an Hour


It is possible to earn $18 an hour and live a comfortable life. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Create a Budget

Having a budget will help you spend your income in the best way. Start by identifying your recurring and non-recurring expenses. Recurring expenses are costs you incur every month, like rent, subscriptions, mortgage, and phone bills. Non-recurring expenses fluctuate each month. 

Everyday non-recurring items include clothes, groceries, and entertainment. To allocate the money to each expense, you can use budget percentages. Allocate 50% of your income to needs, 30% to wants, and 20% to savings and debt. Once you’ve set up a budget, track your spending habits to ensure you stick to it.

  • Pay Off Debt

Create a debt repayment plan. Making more than the minimum payment is an excellent strategy to get out of debt quickly. In the long run, you’ll save money on interest. Living debt-free benefits your mental health and lets you focus on savings and investments.

  • Pick Up an Additional Side Hustle if $18 Isn’t Enough

With high expenses, you risk living paycheck to paycheck on this wage. Sometimes downgrading your lifestyle is not always the solution. Instead, you can pick up a side job to get extra income. 

From my blogging side hustle, I was able to pay off over $30k of debt and turn it into a profitable full-time business. Other profitable side hustles you can pick up include: e-commerce, affiliate marketing, and tutoring.

  • Cut Down on Unnecessary Expenses

A survey by Hloom indicates that Americans waste a lot of money on unnecessary items. Top money wasters on the list are streaming services, eating out, alcohol, credit card interest, and uneaten/ expired food. Budgeting and buying only what you need is the best way to avoid this. 

Clothing and household items also take up big chunks of money. Selling household items and clothes you no longer use could put an extra buck in your pocket. You can do so through legit consignment stores online and near you.

Where Can I Make at Least $18 an Hour?

You can make $18 an hour at a traditional job or from home. When applying for these jobs, you need to have specific qualifications. In your resume, highlight any relevant skills the employer has requested. Here are a few positions paying at least $18 an hour.

Jobs That Pay $18 an Hour

1. Customer Service Rep

A customer service representative talks to clients about a company’s product or service. They communicate with customers over the phone, through email, or in person. To become a CSR, you must demonstrate great interpersonal skills. Some companies also require prior experience in a similar role.

Average pay: $18 per hour

2. Warehouse Workers

A warehouse worker is in charge of processing and packing orders. They also check inventory and restock when necessary. Most often, you’ll find them in helmets and protective gear. They transport goods to the loading trucks using forklifts and hand trucks. Most companies prefer candidates with a high school diploma and relevant experience.

 Average pay: $18 per hour

3. Administrative Assistant

An administrative assistant oversees the daily operations of an office. They help administrators in ensuring other employees perform their daily tasks. In some companies, administrative assistants also communicate with clients and maintain records. The minimum credentials for this position are a high school diploma and administrative experience.

Average pay: $18 per hour

4. Delivery Drivers

You can get delivery jobs from apps like DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats. You can make fast cash during downtime, but the rate will depend on your location. Most platforms hiring drivers will require you to have at least one year of driving experience if you’re delivering by car. Uber Eats, for instance, has many incentives that could increase your earning potential.

Average pay: $18.78 per hour

5. Proofreader

Making money as a proofreader is pretty straightforward. Proofreading involves checking written content for grammatical errors, narrative inconsistencies, formatting, punctuation, and more. While some companies hiring proofreaders might require a bachelor’s degree in English, platforms like Fiverr and Upwork have entry-level proofreading gigs. 

If you aren’t sure how to break into the proofreading field, check out this FREE proofreading workshop by Caitlyn Pyle to help get you started. This workshop will give you all the skills needed to start a proofreading business.

Proofread Anywhere Course


Average pay: $19.39 per hour

6. Virtual Assistant

Companies and individuals hire Virtual Assistants (VAs) to manage daily tasks. These may include responding to emails, social media, and scheduling meetings. Belay connects VAs to clients and offers a master class to guide you in your work.

Average pay: $16 per hour

7. Website Developer

Web developers design and maintain websites. As a developer, you have the option of working for a company or working freelance. Web development is a lucrative career path with numerous opportunities. To find your first developer job, use Github and AuthenticJobs.

Average pay: $20.73 per hour

8. Freelance Writer

A freelance writer creates content for blogs, magazines, and brands. Rates might vary depending on the client and job intensity. To get writing gigs, apply on reputable websites like Problogger and Flexjobs.

Average pay: $24.64 per hour

9. Photographer

Photography roles do not rely on educational background. Instead, you should be good at it. You can eventually specialize as a news photographer, portrait photographer, or nature photographer. To supplement your income, you could freelance at events. There are a ton of different niches to pick from. Photographers also sell their best work on Getty Images, Etsy, and Shutterstock.

Average pay: $17.47 per hour

10. Dog Walker

If you’re a pet lover, this might be the job for you. To work as a dog walker, you only need a driver’s license and a smartphone to connect with pet owners. You can apply on Indeed to become part of a pet care team. There are plenty of dog walking vacancies for both day and night shifts.

Average pay: $17 per hour

How to Budget When You Make 18 Dollars an Hour

18 Dollars an Hour

Making a budget is simple when you know how much you get for each paycheck. You can use the calculations in this article for your weekly, biweekly, or monthly wages. With this free template, you can allocate various expenses to each paycheck. 

In this case, we’ll use the 50/30/20 rule to demonstrate how you could split your monthly paycheck (after taxes) and leave some for savings.

Basic expenses (50%)- $1381

Savings and debt repayment (20%)- $552

Tithe/Givings (10%)- $276

Entertainment (20%)- $552

Total: $2761

The printable template lists all living expenses, like groceries, utilities, and more. It also has a section for your financial goals and savings.

Final Thoughts On 18 Dollars Per Year

So, can you survive on 18 dollars an hour? Yes, if you have a side hustle that supplements your income. With an hourly wage of $18, it’s impossible to live comfortably in most states in the United States. You would need to cover living expenses such as rent, health insurance, utilities, food, etc. 

Earning $18 an hour as a teenager living with your parents is a fairly decent wage. If you live in a state where rent is pricey, you might want to consider living with a roommate. At all costs, avoid overspending and keep your debt-to-income ratio low. According to CNBC, approximately 58 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck due to inflation.

Making a budget and finding a side hustle would help keep you out of financial hurdles. Do you think it is feasible to live on $18 per hour? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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