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$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? Can You Live On It?

$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? Can You Live On It?

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A job that pays $50,000 a year could afford you a decent living. You, however, want to know if a 50K job is solid enough to live on after taxes. 

If you look at the U.S. Census Bureau, you will notice that the Current Population for 2021 income ranges between  $40,000 to $150,000, factoring in the various cities. So average $50,000 broken down in an hour rate would be between $24-$26 per hour.

$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? Can You Live On It?

Is $50,000 a Year a Good Salary?

Woman at computer

The short answer is Yes, $50,000 yearly is a great salary in most states and cities that offer lower living costs. But in cities such as Los Angeles, it may not be the ideal yearly income as living in a city with high expenses, such as Los Angeles, might make it difficult to get ahead with only $50,000 a year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual earnings of wage and salary workers was $57,200 in the second quarter of 2023.

Many households in the United States survive on $50,000 or less annually. If you’re budget conscious and prioritize your basic needs, you can live on $50,000.

How Much Is $50,000 a Month?

So, $50,000 equals $4,167 per month. Keep in mind this is pre-taxed.

Here’s the math: $50,000 / 12 months = $4166.67

How Much Is $50,000 a Year Per Week?

Let’s suppose you’re working 40 hours a week, right? Since we already have a monthly figure of $4,167, let’s split it by four weeks. 

Calculation: $4,167 / 4 weeks = $1041.75 per week.

How Much Is 50K a Year Biweekly?

The biweekly amount translates to this: 

Biweekly salary: $1041.75 per week × 2= = $2083.50 gross pay 

$50,000 Is How Much a Day?

Most salaried individuals work five days a week. Assuming there’s no overtime or bonuses, and you don’t clock in during the weekend, here’s how much you’ll earn daily:


Daily income: $1041.75 per week / 5 days = $208.35 per day.

$50,000 a Year Is How Much an Hour?

Assuming you work 40 hours a week, that’s 8 hours daily. Let’s use the weekly gross pay to arrive at the hourly figure:


Daily Income: $1041.75 per week / 40 hours = $26.04 per hour


While this figure looks fair enough, remember it’s a pre-tax hourly pay. Hence, you might have to supplement your income with a side hustle if you reside in an expensive city.

Can You Live Off of $50K a Year? -$50,000 a Year is How Much an Hour

On the face of it, an average U.S citizen can live off $50K a year. However, while it’s humanly possible to live on $50K a year, it all depends on your living standards and whether you’ve got a family depending on you.


Your area, state and federal taxes, lifestyle, debts, and daily expenses determine whether a $50,000 job is sustainable.

How Much Does Insurance Take From My $50,000 Annual Salary?

Your insurance type, health status, and coverage are key considerations when determining how much insurance takes from your annual salary.


However, you can typically expect to part with anywhere between 5% and 10% of your income for health insurance. In most instances, insurance takes about 10% of your income, but this depends on the health plan.


For instance, a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) attracts a monthly premium of about $200.


It’s worth noting that the 10% average includes a 2%, equivalent to $750, covering out-of-pocket health expenses. About 3% ($1,500) of your income goes towards health insurance premiums, while 6% ($3,000) in state and federal taxes goes to support health programs.


Someone earning $50,000 a year should consider a minimum of $500,000 in life insurance coverage. However, this may be subject to adjustments if you have other financial responsibilities like debts.


You could use a health insurance calculator to know exactly how much you’ll part with if you’re earning $50K per year.

If You Make $50,000 a Year, How Much Is That After State and Federal Taxes?

State and federal taxes should be in mind before factoring in your living expenses. Let’s assume you live in California, are a single filer, and file your taxes as the head of your household.


We’ll also assume that you have no deductions or credits. Based on that assumption, here are the calculations:

Federal Income Tax:

  • The first $9,950 is taxed at 10% = $9,950 * 10% = $995
  • The next $30,525 ($50,000 – $9,950) is taxed at 12% = $30,525 * 12% = $3,663

California State Income Tax:

  • The first $8,932 is taxed at 1% = $8,932 * 1% = $89.32
  • The next $23,158 ($50,000 – $8,932) is taxed at 2% = $23,158 * 2% = $463.16

Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA):

  • Social Security Tax: 6.2% on the first $142,800 (subject to the Social Security wage base) = $50,000 * 6.2% = $3,100
  • Medicare Tax: 1.45% on the entire income = $50,000 * 1.45% = $725


Total Taxes:

  • Federal Income Tax: $995 + $3,663 = $4,658
  • California State Income Tax: $89.32 + $463.16 = $552.48
  • Social Security and Medicare Taxes (FICA): $3,100 + $725 = $3,825
  • Total Taxes Paid: $4,658 + $552.48 + $3,825 = $9,035.48


So, this will be your take-home pay: $50,000 – $9,035.48 = $40,964.52

While calculating your state and federal taxes, consider that a state may change its tax laws, which could impact your take-home pay. You may need to consult a tax professional for more accurate calculations.

How to Live on $50K a Year

man on computer

Living on $50K a year is doable if you set your priorities straight. Here are a few tips on making the most of your income and affording a decent life:

Set Up a Budget

Tracking your spending is one of the most practical ways to make a $50K salary work for you. You get to know where your money goes the most and point out where you can cut back. 

Using a budgeting app or simply writing down all your recurring expenses in a notebook always works. Once you get insights into where each penny goes, you can create a feasible budget that covers all your needs and wants. 

Capture all the essential expenses, including utilities, transportation, food, debts, and housing. Also, while being frugal could help live on a $50K salary, don’t be too hard. 

Instead, include a bit of discretionary spending on your budget, such as personal care and entertainment. Again, assuming your take-home income is $40,000 a year, you want to start by listing all your fixed expenses. 

If you have a mortgage or car loan, it should be at the top of the budget list.

Create an Emergency Fund & Savings for the Future

Start building an emergency fund and breed a saving culture right from the early stages of your career. An emergency fund is a financial security covering expenses you didn’t anticipate.

Facing a job loss or medical emergency can be tough. Having to deal with car repairs could also dent your pockets if you don’t have an emergency fund set aside. Financial experts recommend saving at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If you can save more, even better.

For instance, if your monthly expenses amount to $3,000, consider saving at least $9,000 to $18,000. If possible, set up automatic transfers to a separate savings account.

This helps ensure consistent contributions toward your emergency fund. It’s also a prudent idea to save for the future. Regardless of how small your contributions are, you could use the savings for retirement, a down payment for a house, or a child’s education. 

In terms of having a retirement plan, you could opt to save for it through your employer or open an individual retirement account (IRA).

Pick Up an Additional Side Hustle if $20 an Hour Isn’t Enough

If you have a family or live in an expensive city, earning $50,000 a year might not be enough. You might have to consider adding an extra side hustle to supplement your income. 

Driving for Uber or Lyft, delivering for DoorDash, or starting a freelance business are viable side hustles. A side hustle could also help towards building your emergency fund. 

The gig economy is the perfect starting point, especially if you earn $50K a year and have the energy to spare during extra hours. If, for instance, you have solid graphic design skills, you could render your services on freelancing platforms. 

You can charge anywhere between $20-$30 per hour, even more depending on your experience level.

Cut Down on Unnecessary Expenses

Suppose you need to save more towards your emergency fund or have some debts that are due for repayment. Be keen on your spending habits and tame them or minimize non-essential expenses that don’t match your priorities.

Some common discretionary expenses you may consider cutting down include eating out, shopping for luxury brands, and subscriptions. You may also want to scout for exclusive deals, such as affordable car insurance or internet service.

How to Budget a $50K Salary

Assuming your take-home pay is $40,964.52, your budget should be pegged on this figure. The monthly income will be around $3,413.71. Your budget should include expenses such as rent, utilities, food, entertainment, and more.

Review and adjust your budget accordingly since you may need to identify areas of improvement. Resist the urge for lifestyle creep and allocate extra income to savings and your financial goals.

You also want to take into account your debt-to-income ratio. In other words, your debt payments should not exceed 35% of your gross income. Your budget should also set aside at least 10% of your income for retirement in accounts like 401(k)s or IRAs.


Here’s a budget sample that could help you budget and track your spending:


Budget Category Budget Amount Percentage of Income 
Essential Expenses    
Rent/Mortgage $700 20.50%
Utilities (Electricity, Water, Gas) $100 2.93%
Groceries $200 5.86%
Transportation $100 2.93%
Health Insurance $150 4.39%
Other Insurance (Car, Home) $50 1.47%
Total Essential Expenses $1,300 $38.08%
Discretionary Spending    
Dining Out $50 1.47%
Entertainment $50 1.47%
Hobbies $30 0.88%
Travel $50 1.47%
Miscellaneous $30 0.88%
Total Discretionary Spending $210 6.17%
Savings and Debt Repayment    
Retirement Savings (10% of Income) $341.37 10.00%
Emergency Fund $100 2.93%
Debt Repayment (Within 35% of Income) $400 11.73%
Total Savings and Debt Repayment  $841.37 24.66%
Remaining Disposable Income  $1,062.34 31.19%
Total $3,413.71 100.00%


The 50/30/20 budget focuses on 50% of your income and puts that into essential expenses such as utilities, groceries, housing, etc. Also, this budget suggests that you should try to put 30% into spending. 

Spending on things like eating out, hobbies, travel, and entertainment shouldn’t exceed 30%. Consider allocating at least 20% of your income to savings, debt repayment, and emergency fund.

Is $50,000 a Year Salary Good if You’re Single?

$50,000 a year is a good salary, but it all depends on your lifestyle, location, and financial obligation. A $50K salary may not go far, especially if you reside in an area with a high cost of living. 


You should also consider whether the figure is sufficient to cover essential expenses such as mortgage, utilities, health insurance, groceries, and transportation. 

Is $50K a Good Salary for a Family?

Family of 4

This will all depend on the size of your family. I would also consider the area in which you live. For example, some places in California might be more expensive than those in Ohio. 

Jobs That Make $50,000 a Year

Most jobs that pay $50,000 are skill-oriented. In some states, employers ask for licenses or academic qualifications in your expertise. Here are some jobs that fall within the $50,000 salary range:

  • Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist works alongside dentists to help patients maintain good oral health. Their role is to offer professional teeth cleaning services like tooth scaling and polishing and advise patients on proper oral hygiene and care. For this role, you’ll need to complete an associate program for dental hygiene.

Average pay: $98,224

  • Retail Store Manager

A retail store manager handles all store operations and allocates duties to staff members. They also deal with customer complaints and inquiries and oversee the inventory. As a store manager, you’ll supervise all department managers, cashiers, customer service representatives, and other employees.

Average pay: $55,412

  • Food Service Manager

Food service managers handle the daily operations of restaurants, bars, cafeterias, and other food and beverage establishments. They ensure excellent customer service by monitoring staff performance and third-party vendors and complying with food and safety regulations.

Average pay: $64,783

  • Property Manager

The primary task of a property manager is to collect rent from tenants on time. They’re also responsible for the building’s maintenance, repairs, and security. Keep in mind that most states require you to have a property management license.

Average pay: $57,306

  • Fitness Manager

A fitness manager’s role is to oversee and manage the operations of a fitness facility or gym. They hire, train, and supervise fitness instructors, personal trainers, and other staff members.

Fitness managers also ensure that all equipment works properly and track the facility’s expenses and revenue. To become a gym manager, you should start as a fitness instructor or trainer.

Average pay: $53,946

  • Hotel Manager

A hotel manager manages staff, budgets, marketing strategies, and compliance with laws and guidelines.

Typically, they can also manage inns, motels, resorts, and other types of accommodation. Most hotel managers get this position by gaining experience in the hotelier industry.

Average pay: $60,561

  • Train Conductor

A train conductor’s responsibilities combine customer service, safety, and operational tasks. They check passengers’ tickets and ensure they’re on the right train.

Before departure, a conductor checks the train equipment and shuts all the windows and doors. They also ensure that safety systems are functioning correctly.

Average pay: $51,413

  • Blogger

Blogging involves sharing your thoughts, experiences, knowledge, or expertise on various topics online. There are many ways to make money blogging, like on-site ads, affiliate marketing, or promoting physical and digital products. If you’re looking for a flexible way to make money from home, this is it. I have turned my side hustle into a profitable six-figure business. 

Average pay: $45,111

  • Electrician

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, lighting, and control systems in residential homes or businesses. Most electricians acquire these skills through training programs and internships. 

You can also pursue a diploma in electrical technology or a related field at a community college or technical school.

Average pay: $60,845

What Skills Do I Need to Make $50K a Year?

Earning $50,000 a year is achievable with the right skill set in any discipline you choose. Employers usually ask for a high school diploma or GED equivalent. So, it’s easy to break into any industry without a four-year degree and make a starting salary of $50,000 or more.

Depending on your profession, having specific technical skills is crucial. For example, proficiency in computer programming languages for IT jobs or knowledge of specific technician tools and equipment.

Most careers around this pay scale are vocational jobs, so you may learn the necessary skills in a community college or technical programs at universities. You’ll also gain a lot through an apprenticeship and working under the supervision of experienced professionals.

Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential in many job roles. If your job involves sales or marketing, having skills in persuasion, relationship building, and understanding customer needs can impact your earning potential.

Is $50,000 Middle Class?

In the United States, a $50,000 annual income is considered middle class for a single individual or a small household. However, the concept is not solely determined by income. Other factors like lifestyle, education, job stability, and access to social services contribute to overall financial security.

Living in cheaper states makes you more likely to have enough money for your expenses, emergencies, and savings. Making $50,000 yearly in Georgia, New Jersey, Washington, or Texas qualifies you for middle-class status.

In expensive states such as Hawaii and New York, you’ll probably need a roommate or two to survive on a $50K salary. Your paycheck will barely afford necessities like housing, utilities, and transportation.

How Much House Can I Afford With a Salary of 50k?

Apart from your income, several factors affect how much house you can afford with a $50K salary. Mortgage lenders will check your Debt-To-Income(DTI) ratio, credit score, and down payment.

Ideally, someone making $50K a year qualifies for a home loan of $150,000 to $300,000. Most lenders request a down payment of 3% of the home’s value. It’s advisable to have a higher down payment so your monthly repayments will be lower.

Consider other costs that come with home ownership, such as homeowners insurance, property taxes, and HOA fees. Opt for a home in a low-cost area since they’ll have lower property taxes and maintenance costs.

The only way to know how much house you can afford, on $50,000 a year, is to get pre-approved with a mortgage lender. However, qualifying for a mortgage doesn’t mean you can afford it. Accessing your monthly expenses and mortgage repayment is crucial in making the decision.

What Is the Salary for $25 an Hour?

If you make $25 an hour, your annual salary would be $52,000. Assuming you work for 8 hours every day, your daily pay would be $200.

Since most jobs require you to work for at least 40 hours per week, multiplying your hourly wage ($25) by the number of hours you work per week (40 hours) gives your weekly income ($1,000).

Your biweekly pay would then be $2,000. To get your monthly pay, we’ll divide your annual income ($52,000) by the number of months in a year (12 months). So, the monthly income for an individual earning $25 per hour is $4,333.33.

What Is a Salaried Job?

When you have a salaried job, you will have a fixed pay no matter the number of hours you may work in a week. You will get paid a set amount based on the annual salary, which your employer will agree upon. Typically salary jobs have you working on average 40 hours per week. 


What Is an Hourly Job?

In an hourly job, workers are paid based on the number of hours they complete at work. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) classifies hourly workers as non-exempt. Therefore, they’re entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek.

Final Thoughts on $50,000 a Year

So, can you live on $50,000? Yes, if you’re single and have no dependents. If you live in a cheap state, $50,000 is enough to cater for bills, entertainment, and debt, if any. Living frugally and creating a budget is essential to avoid overspending and living paycheck to paycheck.

If you need to supplement your income, getting a side hustle is the best way. What other strategies would you use to survive on $50K a year? Please let us know in the comment section below.


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