You got a job offer that you’re excited about, but 30k a year is how much an hour? Can you even live on that? Let’s find out…
It’s becoming more and more difficult to make ends meet. The cost of living is rising, but wages aren’t keeping up. So when looking for a new job it’s important to consider every aspect of your salary.
Your dream job only pays $30,000 a year, is it still worth it? You may think that a 30k salary isn’t enough to live on, but it can actually go a long way with careful budgeting.
Let’s break down what $30,000 a year is how much an hour, a day, a week, and a month so you can make a well-informed decision about a potential job offer.
With careful budgeting, you can make ends meet and even have some money left over for savings and fun on a smaller salary.
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- You got a job offer that you’re excited about, but 30k a year is how much an hour? Can you even live on that? Let’s find out…
- $30,000 a year is how much an hour (short answer)
- IF YOU MAKE $30,000 A YEAR HOW MUCH IS THAT AFTER STATE AND FEDERAL TAXES?
- WHAT ABOUT RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS?
- HOW MUCH DOES INSURANCE TAKE FROM MY $30,000 ANNUAL SALARY?
- How to live on $30k a year annual income
- How should I budget a 30k salary?
- Can you live off of $30k a year?
- JOBS THAT MAKE $30,000 A YEAR
- What skills do I need to make $30k a year?
- WHAT IS A SALARIED JOB?
- WHAT IS AN HOURLY JOB?
- DO YOU KNOW YOUR REAL HOURLY WAGE?
- $35,000 a year is how much an hour?
- AT THE END OF THE DAY
$30,000 a year is how much an hour (short answer)
- Let’s say you work the traditional 40 hr workweek:
- $30,000 / 52 weeks a year = $576.92 a week / 40 hours = $14.42 an hour
- $30,000 / 52 weeks a year = $576.92 a week / 40 hours = $14.42 an hour
- If you work 50 hrs a week (which would be more typical for a salaried worker)
- $30,000 / 52 weeks a year = $576.92 a week / 50 hrs = $11.54 an hour
How much is $30,000 a year for a monthly salary?
$30,000 / 12 months = $2,500 gross pay
Note: There are on average 20-23 workdays in a month, so we’ll average and say there are 21.5 working days a month and use it for all calculations in this post.
How much is $30,000 a year in bi-weekly pay?
$30,000 / 26 pay periods = $1,153.84 gross pay
How much is $30,000 a year as a weekly salary?
With 52 pay periods with a job that pays a weekly income, it’s $576.92 gross.
$30,000 is how much a day?
If you have a 40 hour work week, then that’s usually 5 days a week = $116 a day when you’re working.
$30k a year is how much an hour?
Remember you are salaried! That means you get paid that same even when you work longer. So at five days a week…
- 8 hour workday: $14.50 an hour
- 10 hour workday: $11.60 an hour
|$30,000 a year salary||Income|
|Bi-Weekly paycheck amount||$1,154|
|Weekly paycheck amount||$577|
|Daily pay (gross)||$116|
|– 8 hours a day hourly wage – 40 hrs wk||$14.50|
|– 10 hours a day hourly wage – 50 hours wk||$11.60|
|Yearly net income (approximate||$22,058|
|Monthly net income (approximate)||$1,838|
|Daily income – 21.5 working days a month (net)||$85|
|– 8 hours a day hourly wage (net)||$10.63|
|– 10 hours a day hourly wage (net)||$8.50|
Now just because you make a $30,000 annual salary, you don’t take that amount home! You still have to pay taxes. Let’s look at how taxes, insurance & retirement contributions impact your take-home (after-tax) pay.
IF YOU MAKE $30,000 A YEAR HOW MUCH IS THAT AFTER STATE AND FEDERAL TAXES?
Figuring out your tax burden is such a vital part of understanding your pay. If you do the math and base your bills on before-tax income, you’re in for a nasty shock! So always consider how much you’ll pay in taxes.
For example, let’s assume you’re a single filer with one exemption and filing for 2021 tax year:
- If you live in CA, which has a high state income tax rate…
- You’ll pay $2,295 in FICA taxes (roughly)
- Federal taxes: $1,895
- State taxes: $467
- You’ll take home $25,343 (where 15.52% of your paycheck goes to taxes)
- If you live in FL, which doesn’t have a state income tax, then…
- You’ll pay $2,295 in FICA
- Federal taxes: $1,895
- State taxes: $0
- You’ll take home $25,810 (where 13.97% of your paycheck goes to taxes)
You can go here to give you a rough idea of how much you’ll pay. Remember, this is just a reasonable rough estimate, not a guarantee!
Or, if you want a super quick calculation, taking 30% off your gross is a good and safe general estimate, this would also include your insurance and retirement contributions. But let’s detail those out below so we can understand the process.
WHAT ABOUT RETIREMENT CONTRIBUTIONS?
I am so glad you asked! Putting money into your employer-sponsored retirement plan is one of the smartest things that you do for long-term financial planning! So yes, you absolutely want to do this!
Companies usually match a specific amount (as a percentage) of the pay that you put in. So if you put in 5% of your gross income into a traditional 401k, they will also match that 5%. Usually, companies have a max amount that they will contribute; 5% is a good general figure.
So, if you make $30,000 a year and get paid monthly, that means your gross pay is $2,500 a paycheck; you then contribute 5% of that to a traditional 401k, which is $125. You then get taxed on the remainder, which is $2,375.
Essentially, you’re losing $1,500 from your annual pay, but it’s well worth it as now you have contributed approximately $3,000 into your tax-advantaged retirement account with the employer match!
HOW MUCH DOES INSURANCE TAKE FROM MY $30,000 ANNUAL SALARY?
Sorry to say that we’re not done with your paycheck deductions. According to the US Bureau of Labor, “Health care is typically one of the most expensive benefits for employers to provide, constituting 8.2 percent of total compensation for civilian workers in March 2020.”
It’s important to note the precedence of what get’s taken out of your paycheck and when. Here’s the order according to the US Office of Human Resources…
- Retirement contributions come out first, followed by
- Social Security tax
- Medicare tax
- Federal income tax
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- State income tax
- Local income tax
- Collections to the US government (if applicable)
- Collections to Court ordered rulings (if applicable)
- *Everything below here is optional*
- Health Care/Limited-Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
- Health Savings Account
- Optional Life Insurance Premiums
- Long-Term Care Insurance Programs
- Dependent-Care Flexible Spending Accounts
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
Did your jaw just drop? Mine too; that’s a lot of deductions. Let’s focus on the medical deductions (the 2nd half of the above list) and what that does to your paycheck.
Same scenario as above, a single filer with one deduction, living in California…
- $30,000 –>
- Minus 5% in retirement contributions $1500
- Minus FICA, federal & state taxes: $4,417
- Totals $24,083 a year leftover
- Minus 8.2% average medical insurance costs
- That takes out $1,975, leaving you with $22,108
- Minus misc small deduction averaging $50 a month (a total guess)
- Net income $22,058 annually
- Monthly net income of $1,838 (26.48% less than your gross pay)
How to live on $30k a year annual income
When you get a big income jump, people often warn about lifestyle creep. This can mean that you start spending more money, sometimes without realizing it.
To stick to a monthly budget of $1,838 a month, you need to be careful about your spending habits and ensure that all your expenses are accounted for. Here’s how to do it…
- Make a realistic monthly budget; here are the popular budgeting methods
- Live within your means (you have to say no to yourself sometimes).
- Save up for big expenses (use sinking funds)
- Dump your debt ASAP (paying interest is eating away at your bank account, do it this way)
- Evaluate, Tweak & Adjust, and reanalyzed (everyone needs to adjust, no one is perfect at budgeting)
How should I budget a 30k salary?
Okay, let’s take the figures from above and figure out your monthly budget. So we’re using a take-home pay of $1,838 and giving figures for two popular budgeting methods.
The 50/30/21 budgeting method
This budgeting method is good for people who like flexibility and have leeway for spontaneity. They want general guidelines, but they want options & choices too. So your monthly household budget would look like this…
- 50% Needs: $919 for housing and utilities
- 30% Wants: $551 for wants
- 20% Savings: $368 for saving
Dave Ramsey recommended budget percentages
I am a fan of Dave’s budget percentages, but I realize that it can be too detailed and constraining for some. But for others, that’s the best part, they want to know what to do with each and every dollar to make the most of their $30k yearly wage.
But let’s just see what your money situation comes to using his recommended budget percentages.
- Housing 25%: $460
- Insurance 10 – 25%: $184 – $460
- Food 10-15%: $184 – $276
- Giving 10%: $184
- Saving 10%: $184
- Transportation 10%: $184
- Utilities 5-10%: $92 – $184
- Health 5-10%: $92 – $184
- Recreation 5-10%: $92 – $184
- Personal Spending 5-10%: $92 – $184
- Misc 5-10%: $92 – $184
Can you live off of $30k a year?
Depending on where you live, these figures may not be a suitable living wage. Such as in a high cost of living area. Your housing and food could cost considerably more than the allotted budget category wants, or the opposite in a low cost of living area.
To add in another layer of difficulty, if you made $30K in a metro area, that same skill may only pay only $20K, which can be frustrating if you’re moving.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for May 2020, the average annual wage for a US worker across all occupations is $56,310. So a $30K a year job is less than the average. HOWEVER, where you live plays a significant impact in if it’s considered a livable wage.
For example, the Burea of Labor & Statistics states that in NYC, the average yearly salary is $71,050. While in Idaho, the average salary is $46,800. But remember, for these BLS averages, there are a few people that totally skew the numbers.
A better number is the median wage, that’s the halfway point of the number of people. The BLS site shares info on the national median hourly wage being $20.07. Remember, with a 40 hr work week that makes your $30,000 salary at being $14.40 an hour, so well under the median wage.
Another factor is your household income (as a whole) not just your income. So The US Census says that in 2019 (the most recent data), the median household income is $62,843. So if you make $30,000 and your spouse makes $30,000 then one of you might need to get a part-time job to help pay the bills, to bridge that $2,843 gap.
Is $30,000 a year salary good if you’re single?
If you’re single, then your $30K salary is considered below average. You are well above the federal poverty level, but you may have a hard time paying a mortgage on your own. You’ll probably have to rent an apartment with a friend or share a house payment with a few friends to have enough money to cover it.
Is $30k a good salary for a family?
A $30,000 salary may not be enough for a family, depending on the size of the family and where they live. In a low-cost living area, this salary could cover your essential expenses, but not room for much more.
But in a high cost of living area, this salary won’t be enough to cover everything.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at a few other typical salaries, and see how they’d support your family’s needs.
- $30,000 a year is how much an hour (you’re here)
- $40,000 a year is how much an hour
- $50,000 a year is how much an hour
- $60,000 a year is how much an hour
- $70,000 a year is how much an hour
- $80,000 a year is how much an hour
- $90,000 a year is how much an hour
JOBS THAT MAKE $30,000 A YEAR
There are many jobs that make $30,000 a year; let’s look at Indeed’s list…
- Caregiver – $30,326
- Prep cook – $30,978
- Tire technician – $32,024
- Shuttle driver – $34,370
- Office administrator – $35,184
- Nursing assistant – $35,605
- Housekeeper – $35,774
- Armed security officer – $36,387
- Patient access manager – $38,432
- Utility line locator – $39,816
What skills do I need to make $30k a year?
Looking at the job list above it looks like your skill sets need to be focused on following directions & protocols, and doing physical tasks.
There are many skills that can help you earn a $30k salary. Being able to effectively communicate with supervisors, coworkers, clients, and other stakeholders is essential to success in any profession.
Figuring out the skills that you need to level up your career can be intimidating, but you can get a good brainstorming session jump start with these high-income skills.
WHAT IS A SALARIED JOB?
A salaried employee is generally referred to as an “exempt” employee. Being paid a fixed amount every month is known as being salaried. Unless you take unpaid time off, your pay will always be the same, whether you work many hours or not. “I make $30K per year” is a popular saying among individuals.
Pros of being salaried
- You can better budget because you know exactly how much you’ll get each paycheck
- You don’t have to punch in/out of a timeclock
- You can work fewer hours and still get paid the same.
- These positions usually come with a better benefits package (i.e., higher retirement contributions, etc.)
- Higher perceived status/position in the company
- Get paid time off (paid vacation, sick leave, etc.)
Cons of being salaried
- No overtime pay, so if you work more hours, it’s not reflected in the pay
- Higher responsibility and more duties to perform
- Might be expected to take work home with you.
Note: According to the US Dept of Labor, “Effective January 1, 2020, employees must earn at least $684 per week ($35,568/year), receive a salary, and perform particular duties (as defined by the FLSA) to be considered exempt from overtime requirements under federal guidelines.”
WHAT IS AN HOURLY JOB?
When you say “hourly job,” most people think of a fixed amount paid per hour and get paid bi-weekly (every two weeks). A person may say, “I make $13.50 per hour.”
Pros of being hourly
- These positions usually have less responsibility.
- There are federal and state laws (as well as company HR policies that protect the company from working hourly employee too much. For example, a company might say, you cannot work over 80 hours in a two-week pay period.
- You get overtime if you work over either 8 hours a day or over 40 hrs a week (see your company policy regarding OT).
- You may get time & 1/2 for working on holidays. So if you normally make $15 an hour; you’d get your full hourly rate, plus an additional half of that, so $7.50. ($15 + $7.50 = $22.50 for holiday pay).
Cons of being hourly
- Your pay is usually lower than salaried
- You typically don’t have a set schedule (i.e., Mon-Fri 9-5 pm).
- In some companies with Unions, you may have to pay union dues whether you like it or not.
- You get a biweekly paycheck, and if your bills aren’t spread out well during the month that could cause a cash flow problem.
If you’re curious, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 (as of May 2022), and you can find your state’s minimum wage here.
Other pay options
You can also be a freelancer or project-based earner, such as a freelance model. Essentially, you are paid for completing a task/project no matter how long it takes to complete. This style of earnings occurs in every industry.
For example, you can be a flipper and make a ton of money! Rob, from flea market flippers, makes well over $50,000 a year, all project-based. You can read about how to make money flipping items.
DO YOU KNOW YOUR REAL HOURLY WAGE?
Okay, so I’ve taken you on a journey of paycheck deductions, but there’s one more thing to think about. It’s your real hourly wage (what you have to spend). Yes, we figured out your take-home pay, but what proportion of that money goes towards working expenses? Things that would not have to be paid or purchased if you didn’t have to go to work.
- You get coffee every day on the way to work at $5 a day (about $108 a month)
- You take the train to get to work, that’s $70 for a monthly pass
- You go out to lunch every day; that’s $10 a day (about $215 a month)
Yes, you’d incur other costs with different jobs, but they might be more expensive or less expensive.
Let’s take the $30,000 a year job with the understanding of a 40 hr work week. That’s $14.40 an hour. We’ll add up the three bullet points above to be $393 a month. Divided by 21.5 average workdays in a month = $18 a day. Since you work 8 hours a day, that’s $2.28 an hour (of your $14.40) spent on work stuff.
So your hourly pay went from $14.40 an hour to effectively $12.12 an hour that you can use for your own spending. That’s your real hourly wage!
$35,000 a year is how much an hour?
- $2,917 a month
- $1,346 bi-weekly
- $673 a week
- $136 a day
- $17 an hour (for 8 hr workday)
all figures are gross (before taxes).
AT THE END OF THE DAY
Getting salaried work may significantly boost your yearly earnings, but be sure you investigate all of the details to ensure that it’s really worthwhile and if you can afford it.
There are a number of deductions from your pay that may not make it so appealing, or the amount of time you put in might be more than your willing to do.
Whatever the case may be, determining your annual salary (i.e., $30,000 a year is how much per hour) can be a useful way to assess the job’s attractiveness. If it’s your perfect fit, that’s fantastic! You’re going to do great!