Do you want to know how much is $50,000 a year is per hour? Maybe you've been offered a position with this salary, but you're not sure if it will be enough to support you.
Everyone has a different outlook on life and has different goals and ambitions. The question we are posing is if earning 50k a year is good. If you are at the end of your career or just beginning you will have a different perspective.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the median weekly income in the United States is $983. That is just under $25 an hour, and just about $51,000 a year.
That means that a $50,000 a year annual salary is just about the median salary in the US.
Is $50,000 a good salary? That is dependent on a few factors that derive your cost of living. If you live in an expensive city and are living at your parent’s place, that is different from having a large family size and living in rural Arkansas.
It’s called personal finance for a reason. It’s personal.
If you are getting paid monthly then you will have 12 pay periods in a year. That means that to calculate how much 50k a year is per month you will need to divide 50k by 12.
$50,000 / 12 = $4,166.66
That means that every month before tax deductions you will be bringing in $4,166. That’s a fair amount of money. Your after tax income could be between $2,916 - $3,541. Depending on your unique circumstances, you could have a good amount of money to invest each month.
That’s definitely something you need to decide for yourself. If you live in a low-cost living area or you are single your salary will stretch further. Based on the research done above, $50k a year is around the average household income in the United States. Now if that is good money for you, then you shouldn’t worry about what others say.
Yes! I know people making a lot less that live a comfortable life. One key factor is controlling your lifestyle and avoiding lifestyle creep. You probably won’t be saving thousands of dollars a month, but you can still make a solid contribution to your future each and every month with that much money. You will most likely be living a solid middle class life but should be above the poverty line if you aren't living in expensive cities.
Just in case you are worried about what your budget would look like, I figured I could give you a good example.
The important thing to note for this sample budget is that it is based on the high end of the monthly take-home range at $3,541. It also assumes that you are a single adult. If these numbers don’t work for you, feel free to change them up and let me know what you did!
With a fairly easy to live with budget above, there was an excess of $3,541 - $3,178 = $368. That’s a few extra hundred dollars a month you could put towards investments, paying off debts, or living large. The example above was for a single person, but 50k a year works for a family as well. It may be more difficult the more people in your family, but it is entirely possible.
Yes. if you are making $50,000 a year you are making the average salary in the US. If you are living in a low cost of living area you will be able to stretch your dollars even further. You probably won’t be buying a mansion, but the person making $100,000 a year won’t be either.
The most important factor with any salary is to budget, invest and spend within your means. If you avoid bad debt, your dollars will stretch even further and be able to be put to work.
You should save as much as you possibly can. You should save until it hurts, and then back up off the gas a little bit.
In the budget provided above, I showed a sample of saving 20% a month. That seems fairly doable if you are a single person. Now, if you are raising a family that might make things more difficult. I would recommend saving what you think is comfortable right now. Then next month find one area in your life that you can cut back on. Keep repeating that process until you find out what you need, and what you don’t. It will surprise you!
Yes! You can most definitely buy a house on $50,000 a year. There are so many ways to buy a house so nothing should be stopping you. I would recommend not spending more than one-third of your monthly income on housing expenses, which in this case would be $1375.
There is an assortment of loan products currently available to people looking to buy a house. Using an FHA loan for example you can put down as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. Plus there are strategies like house hacking that can help bring your housing expenses down, and some people can make a profit!
Recommended Reading: Overview of Real Estate Investing
If you are making a yearly income of $50k, you will be making around $3,541 a month after taxes. Most people, me included, recommend spending no more than one-third of your income on housing. That would mean that you can afford $3,541 / 3 = $1,375.
Personally, if your life circumstances allow it and you are comfortable with it I would look into buying over renting. Now I know that all the digital nomads and the majority of the Financial Independence community will squawk at this. However, Real Estate is a solid investment strategy that has stood the test of time. According to Andrew Carnegie, “Ninety percent of all millionaires became so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined.”
I also know that your primary residence shouldn’t count as an investment, but owning one home makes it much easier to buy another and another and another. Pretty soon your average income from real estate could surpass your annual income this year.
A salary of $50,000 a year, means that your net monthly salary is approximately $3,541. Just like rent, your mortgage payment should be a maximum of one-third of your income. In this case, we are working with $1,375.
Yes! You can invest while making any salary. I would recommend investing at any and every stage of your life. If your dollars aren’t working for you, they are working for someone else.
Start out investing what you feel comfortable with and go from there. Look into all of your investing potentials and do your own research. You will be amazed at how many options are out there to invest in.
You can afford pretty much anything in moderation. You can afford to spend a ton on Amazon each month or have a cool car with a payment that goes along with it, but probably not both. You most definitely can afford to invest each month and it should be one of your highest priorities.
If you are worried about what you can afford, I would look into increasing your income through a side hustle. It’s easier to afford things when you have more money around to use.
Related Side Gig Articles:
There are a ton of places where you can live on a $50k income level and live a comfortable life. Your dollars will stretch much further if you avoid certain parts of the country like most coastal areas of the United States and larger metropolitan areas (San Francisco, New York City, etc).
Here is a list of five cities in the US worth mentioning (in no particular order):
As for places to live outside the US, the world is your oyster. There are dozens of countries where 50K US dollars a year would afford you an amazing lifestyle. Here are a few:
In the end, it depends on what matters most to you. Write down a list and work backward from there. If you want to be close to friends and family, then that helps you narrow down your list of where you want to live. If you want to have lively nightlife, that helps narrow down your search as well.
Roughly, if you make a yearly salary of $50,000 you will need to pay between $8k to $12k in taxes. Let’s be conservative and estimate based on the higher taxes of $12k. We are also going to assume that you get two weeks of paid vacation per year.
($50,000 - $12,000) / 2000 = $24
That means that after taxes you will have an hourly wage of $24, which is above minimum wage. If you know the tax rates for your state and your circumstances you can modify the equation above to determine what your actual hourly wage is after taxes.
That depends on how frequently you get paid, and how much taxes you are liable for. Here are some rough calculations for a few varying cases.
($50,000 - $8,000) / 52 = $807.69
($50,000 - $12,000) / 52 = $730.76
If you get paid weekly, you could get a check for $730 - $807, depending on your tax liabilities. Not a lot of money but certainly a living wage.
Now, what if you get paid biweekly? We can quickly do the math by dividing the total amount paid minus taxes by the number of biweekly pay periods in a year.
($50,000 - $8,000) / 26 = $1,615.38
($50,000 - $12,000) / 26 = $1,461.53
If you get paid biweekly, you could get a check for $1,461 - $1,615, it all depends on how much taxes you owe the government.
Hey, I don’t get paid weekly, or biweekly. I get paid twice a month, now what?
We can also do the math for getting paid twice a month.
($50,000 - $8,000) / 24 = $1,750
($50,000 - $12,000) / 24 = $1,583.33
When you get paid twice a month, you’ll see that you could get a paycheck of anywhere between $1,583 - $1,750. Again this is all dependent upon your tax liabilities.
If you get paid on a biweekly schedule you will have roughly 26 pay periods throughout the year. That means the following equation will help you determine how much $50,000 a year is biweekly.
$50,000 / 26 = $1,923.07
If you are not liable for any taxes your biweekly paycheck would be $1,923.07. However, if you are liable for taxes like the rest of us your check will most likely be $1,461 - $1,615 like we calculated above.
Let’s backtrack a little to find out how we got to this number. A year has 52 weeks, so that means that we can divide $50,000 by 52 to find how much $50k is a week. Now if you are paying taxes it will most likely be closer to $730 - $807.
Making 50k a year is the national median household income in the US. It’s a great salary in a lower cost of living area and is a more difficult salary in higher cost of living areas.
No matter what your salary is, the best way to move forward is to save and invest your money. If every dollar is spent and none of it is invested you could make a million dollars a year, and have a similar net worth to someone making $50k a year.