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$15 an Hour is How Much a Year? Can I Live on it?

Inside: Learn what 15 an hour is how much a year, month, and day. Plus tips to budget your money. Don’t miss the ways to increase your income.

You’re probably wondering if I made $15 a year, how much do I truly make? What will that add up to over the course of the year? Is $15 a living wage?

Is this wage something that I can actually live on? Or do I need to find ways that I can increase my hourly wage?

In this post, we’re going to detail exactly what $15 an hour is how much a year. Also, we are going to break it down to know how much is made per month, bi-weekly, per week, and daily.

That will help you immensely with how you spend your money. Because too many times the hard-earned cash is brought home, but there is no actual plan for how to spend that money.

By taking a step ahead and making a plan for the money, you are better able to decide how you want to live, make sure that you put your money goals first, and not just living paycheck to paycheck struggling to survive.

The ultimate goal with money success is to be wise with how you spend your money.

If that is something you want to do, then keep reading. You are in the right place.

This is important money management skills to know. Learn what 15 an hour is how much a year, month, and day. Plus tips on how to live on it!

$15 an Hour is How Much a Year?

When we ran all of our numbers to figure out how much is $15 per hour is as an annual salary, we used the average working day of 40 hours a week.

40 hours x 52 weeks x $15 = $31,200

$31,200 is the gross annual salary with a $15 per hour wage.

As of June 2023, the average hourly wage is $33.58 (source).

Let’s breakdown how that number is calculated.

Typically, the average work week is 40 hours and you can work 52 weeks a year. Take 40 hours times 52 weeks and that equals 2,080 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $15 times 2,080 working hours and the result is $31,200.

That number is the gross income before taxes, insurance, 401K or anything else is taken out. Net income is how much you deposit into your bank account.

That is just above the $30000 salary, which is a lower starter salary, but well below where you want to start about a $35000 salary.

Work Part Time?

But you may think, oh wait, I’m only working part time. So if you’re working part time, the assumption is working 20 hours a week at $15 an hour.

Only 20 hours per week. Then, take 20 hours times 52 weeks and that equals 1,040 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $15 times 1,040 working hours and the result is $15,600.

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How Much is $15 Per Month?

On average, the monthly amount would average $2,600.

Annual Amount of $31,200 ÷ 12 months = $2,600 per month

Since some months have more days and fewer days like February, you can expect months with more days to have a bigger paycheck. Also, this can be heavily influenced by how often you are paid on and on which days you get paid.

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the monthly amount would average $1,300.

How Much is $15 per Hour Per Week

This is a great number to know! How much do I make each week? When I roll out of bed and do my job, what can I expect to make at the end of the week?

Once again, the assumption is 40 hours worked.

40 hours x $15 = $600 per week.

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the weekly amount would be $300.

How Much is $15 per Hour Bi-Weekly

For this calculation, take the average weekly pay of $600 and double it.

$600 per week x 2 = $1,200

Also, the other way to calculate this is:

40 hours x 2 weeks x $15 an hour = $1,200.

Work Part Time?

Only 20 hours per week. Then, the bi-weekly amount would be $600.

How Much is $15 Per Hour Per Day

This depends on how many hours you work in a day. For this example, we are going to use an eight hour work day.

8 hours x $15 per hour = $120 per day.

If you work 10 hours a day for four days, then you would make $150 per day. (10 hours x $15 per hour)

Work Part Time?

Only 4 hours per day. Then, the daily amount would be $60.

$15 Per Hour is…

$15 per Hour – Full Time Total Income
Yearly Salary (52 weeks)$31,200
Yearly Salary (50 weeks)$30,000
Monthly Wage (173 hours)$2,600
Weekly Wage (40 Hours)$600
Bi-Weekly Wage (80 Hours)$1,200
Daily Wage (8 Hours)$120
Net Estimated Monthly Income$1,985
**These are assumptions based off simple scenarios.

Paid Time Off Earning 15 Dollars an Hour

Picture counting money of How Much Is $15 Per hour per Year?

Does your employer offer paid time off?

As an hourly employee, you may or may not get paid time off.

So, here are the scenarios for both cases.

For general purposes, we are going to assume you work 40 hours per week over the course of the year.

Case # 1 – With Paid Time Off

Most hourly employees get two weeks of paid time off which is equivalent to 2 weeks of paid time off.

In this case, you would make $31,200 per year.

This is the same as the example above for an annual salary making $15 per hour.

Case #2 – No Paid Time Off

Unfortunately, not all employers offer paid time off to their hourly employees. While that is unfortunate, it is best to plan for less income.

Life happens. There will be times you need to take time off for numerous of reasons – sick time, handling an emergency, or even vacation.

So, let’s assume you take 2 weeks off without paid time off.

That means you would only work 50 weeks of the year instead of all 52 weeks. Take 40 hours times 50 weeks and that equals 2,000 working hours. Then, multiply the hourly salary of $15 times 2,000 working hours and the result is $30,000.

40 hours x 50 weeks x $15 = $30,000

You would average $120 per working day and nothing when you don’t work.

$15 an Hour is How Much a year After Taxes

Picture of $15 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes

Let’s be honest… Taxes can take up a big chunk of your paycheck. Thus, you need to know how taxes can affect your hourly wage.

Also, every single person’s tax situation is different.

On the basic level, let’s assume a 12% federal tax rate and a 4% state rate. Plus a percentage is taken out for Social Security and Medicare (FICA) of 7.65%.

Gross Annual Salary: $31,200

  • Federal Taxes of 12%: $3,744
  • State Taxes of 4%: $1,248
  • Social Security and Medicare of 7.65%: $2,387

$15 an Hour per Year after Taxes: $23,821

This would be your net annual salary after taxes.

To turn that back into an hourly wage, the assumption is working 2,080 hours.

$23,821 ÷ 2,080 hours = $11.45 per hour

After estimated taxes and FICA, you are netting $11.45 an hour. That is $3.55 an hour less than what you planned.

This is a very highlighted example and can vary greatly depending on your personal situation. Therefore, here is a great tool to help you figure out how much your net paycheck would be.

Plus budgeting on a just over $11 an hour wage is much different.

$15 an hour Salary Calculator

Now, you get to figure out how much you make based on your hours worked or if you make a wage between $15.01-15.99.

This is super helpful if you make $15.25 or $15.35.

$15 an Hour Budget – Example

Picture of an example $15 an hour budget

You are probably wondering can I live on my own making 15 dollars an hour? How much rent can you afford on 15 an hour?

Using our Cents Plan Formula, this is the best case scenario on how to budget your $15 per hour paycheck.

When using these percentages, it is best to use net income because taxes must be paid.

In this example, we calculated $15 an hour was $11.45 after taxes. That would average $1,985 per month.

According to the Cents Plan Formula, here is the high level view of a $15 per hour budget:

  • Basic Expenses of 50% = $992.55
  • Save Money of 20% = $397.02
  • Give Money of 10% = $198.51
  • Fun Spending of 20% = $397.02
  • Debt of 0% = $0

Obviously, that is not doable for everyone when living so close to minimum wage. So, you have to be strategic in ways to decrease your basic expenses and debt. Then, it will allow you more money to save and fun money.

To further break down an example budget of $15 per hour, then using the ideal household percentages is extremely helpful.

recommended budget percentages based on $15 per hour wage:

CategoryIdeal PercentagesSample Monthly Budget
Transportation 4-10%$104
Life Insurance1%$13
Recreation / Entertainment3-8%$78
Debts0% – Goal$0
Government Tax (including Income Taxes, Social Security & Medicare)15-25%$615
Total Gross Income$2,600
**In this budget, prioritization was given to basic expenses. Thus, some categories like giving and saving were less.

A great way to lower your transportation costs is to buy a beater car.

Can I Live off $15 Per Hour?

Picture of figuring out can I live off $15 per hour?

Living off close to minimum wage can be a very difficult situation.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

You just have to be wiser (or frugal) with your money and how you spend the hard-earned cash you have been blessed with.

A lot of times when people are making under near the minimum wage mark or slightly above, they feel like they are in this constant cycle that they can never keep up. They are not good enough to make more money. Feeling like they are constantly struggling to keep up with bills and expenses. And things just keep adding on top.

You need to do is change your money mindset.

This is what you say to yourself… Okay, this is my season of life right now. I have aspirations and goals to change how much I make, but for now, I am going to make sure that I am able to live on my 15 dollar per hour. No going into to debt for me.

In the next section, we will dig into ways to increase your income, but for now, is it possible to live on $15 an hour?

Yes, you can do it, and as you can see it is possible with the sample budget of $15 per hour.

Living in a higher cost of living area would be more difficult. So, you may have to get a little creative. For example, you might have to have a roommate. Move to a lower cost of living area where rent is cheaper.

Also, you must evaluate your “fun spending” items. Many of those expenses are not mandatory and will break your budget. You can find plenty of free things to do without spending money.

5 Ways to Increase Your Hourly Wage

Picture of simple Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage of $15 per hour

This right here is the most important section of this post.

You need to figure out ways to increase your hourly income because I’m going to tell you…you deserve more. You do a good job and your value is higher than what your employers pay you.

Even an increase of 50 cents to $15.50 will add up over the year. Even better $16 an hour! The goal is $20 an hour or more!

1. Ask for a Raise

The first thing to do is ask for a raise. Walk right in and ask for a raise because you never know what the answer will be until you ask.

If you want the best tips on how specifically to ask for a raise and what the average wage is for somebody doing your job, then check out this book. In this book, the author gives you the exact way to increase your income. The purchase is worth it or go down to the library and check that book out.

2. Look for A New Job

Another way to increase your hourly wage is to look for a new job. Maybe a completely new industry.

It might be a total change for you, but many times, if you want to change your financial situation, then that starts with a career change. Maybe you’re stressed out at work. Making $15 an hour is too much for you and you’re not able to enjoy life, maybe changing jobs and finding another job may increase your pay, but it will also increase your quality of life.

3. Find a New Career

Because of student loans, too many employees feel like they are stuck in the career field they chose. They feel sucked into the job that they don’t like or have the potential they thought it would.

For many years, I was in the same situation until I decided to do a complete career change. I am glad I did. I have the flexibility that I needed in my life to do what I wanted when I needed to do it. Plus I am able to enjoy my entrepreneurial spirit.

4. Find Alternative Ways to Make Money

In today’s society, you need to find ways to make more money. Period.

There is no way to get around it. You need to find additional income outside a traditional nine to five position or typical 40 hour a week job. You will reach a point where you are maxed on what you can make in your current position or title. There may be some advancement to move forward, but in many cases, there just is not much room for growth.

So, you need to find side hustle – another way to make money.

Do something that you enjoy, turn your hobby into a way to make money, turn something that you naturally do, and help others into a service business. In today’s society, the sky is the limit on how you can earn a freelancing income.

There are so many legit ways to make 300 dollars fast today!

5. Earn Passive Income

The last way to increase your hourly wage is to start earning passive income.

This can be from a variety of ways including the stock market, real estate, online courses, book sales, etc. This is where the differentiation between struggling financially and being financially sound happens.

By earning money passively, you are able to do the things that you enjoy doing and not be loaded down, with having a job that you need to work, and a place that you have to go to. And you still make money doing nothing.

Here is an example:

You can start a brokerage account and start trading stocks for $50. You need to learn and take the one and only investing class I recommend. Learn how the market works, watch videos, and practice in a simulator before you start using your own money.

One gentleman started with $5,000 in his trading account and now has well over $36,000 in a year. Just from practice and being consistent, he has learned that passive income is the way for him to increase his income and also not be a slave to his job.

Tips to Live on $15 an Hour

Picture of tips to live on 15 dollars an hour

In this last section, grasp these tips on how to live on $15 an hour. On our site, you can find lots of money saving tips to help stretch your income further.

Here are the most important tips to live on $15 an hour. Highlight these!

1. Spend Less Than You Make

First, you must learn to spend less than you make.

If not you will be caught in the debt cycle and that is not where you want to be. You will be consistently living paycheck to paycheck.

In order to break that dreadful cycle, it means your expenses must be less than your income.

And when I say income, it’s not the $15 an hour. As we talked about earlier in the post, there are taxes. The amount of taxes taken out of your paycheck is called your net income which is $15 an hour minus all the taxes, FICA, Social Security, and Medicare are taken out. That is your net income.

So, your net income has to be less than your gross income.

2. Living Below Your Means

You need to be happy. And living on less can actually make you happier. Studies prove that less is better.

Finding contentment in life is one thing that is a struggle for most.

We are driven to want the new shiny toy, the thing next door, the stuff your friend or family member got. Our society has trained you that you need these things as well.

Have you ever taken a step back and looked at you really need?

Once you are able to find contentment with life, then you are going to be set for the long term with your finances.

Here is our story on owning less stuff. We have been happier since.

3. Make Saving Money Fun

You need to make saving money fun.

  • Save money with the popular 100 envelope challenge.
  • It could be participating in a no spend challenge for the month.
  • Start a billionaire morning routine to build a wealth mindset.
  • Maybe changing your habits and not picking up takeout and planning meals.
  • Whatever it is challenge yourself.

Find new ways of saving money and have fun with it.

Even better, get your family and kids involved in the challenge to save money. Tell them the reason why you are saving money and this is what you are doing.

Here are things to do with no money. Free activities without costing you a dime. That is an amazing resource for you and you will never be bored.

And you will learn a lot of things in life you can do for free. Personally, some of the best ones are getting outside and enjoying some fresh air.

4. Make More Money

If you want if you do not settle for less, then find ways to make more money. If you want more out of life, then increase your income.

You need to be an advocate for yourself.

Find ways to make more money.

It could be a side hustle, a second job, asking for a raise, going to school to change careers, or picking up extra hours.

Whatever path you take, that’s fine. Just find ways to make more money. Period.

5. No State Taxes

Paying taxes is one option to increase what you take home in each paycheck.

These are the states that don’t pay state income taxes on wages:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

It is very interesting if you take into account the amount of state taxes paid compared to a state with income taxes.

Also, if you live in one of the higher taxed states, then you may want to reconsider moving to a lower cost of living area. The higher taxes income tax states include California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Oregon, Minnesota, District of Columbia, New York, Vermont, Iowa, and Wisconsin. These states tax income somewhere between 7.65% – 13.3%.

6. Stick to a Budget

You need to learn how to start a budget. We have tons of budgeting resources for you.

While creating a budget is great, you need to learn how to use one.

You do not have to budget down to every last penny.

You need to make sure your expenses are less than your income and that you are creating sinking funds for those irregular expenses.

Budget Help:

7. Pay Off Debt Quickly

The amount that you pay interest on debt is absolutely absurd.

Unfortunately, that is how many of these companies make their money is from the interest you pay on debt.

If you are paying 5% to even 20-21% or higher, you need to find ways to lower that debt quickly.

Here’s a debt calculator to help you. Figure out your debt free date.

Make that paying off debt fast is your target and main focus. I can tell you from personal experience, that it was not until we paid off our debt that we finally rounded the corner financially. Once our debt was paid off, we could finally be able to save money. Set money aside in separate bank accounts and pay for cash for things.

It took us working hard to pay off debt. We needed persistence and patience while we had setbacks in our debt free journey.

Jobs that Pay $15 an Hour

picture of lady finding jobs that pay $15 an hour

You can find jobs that pay $15 per hour. Polish up that resume, cover letter, and interview skills.

Job Search Hint: Always send a written follow-up thank you note for your interview. That will help you get noticed and remembered.

First, look at the cities that require a minimum wage in their cities. That is the best place to start to find jobs that are going to pay higher than the federal minimum wage rate. Many of the cities are moving towards this model so, target and look for jobs in those areas.

Possible Ideas:

  • Customer service representatives
  • Paraeducators at schools
  • Warehouse workers
  • Retail workers
  • Cashiers
  • Housekeeper
  • Delivery Drivers
  • Overnight Stockers

Companies that pay more than $15 per hour:

  • L.L. Bean
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Panera Bread
  • Torchy Tacos
  • McDonald’s
  • Five Guys
  • Costco
  • Wayfair
  • Amazon
  • Many grocery stores
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Wells Fargo
  • Disney World
  • Disney Land
  • Bank of America
  • JP Morgan
  • Cigna
  • Aetna

Maybe working as a virtual assistant with no experience is right for you??

$15 Per Hour Annual Salary

In this post, we detailed 15 an hour is how much a year. Plus all of the variables that can impact your net income. This is something that you can live off.

How much is 15 dollars an hour annually…


In this post, we highlighted ways to increase your income as well as tips for living off your wage.

Use the sample budget as a starting point with your expenses.

You will have to be savvy and wise with your hard-earned income. But, with a plan, anything is possible!

Now, find low stress jobs that don’t need a degree and pay well!

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

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