15 an Hour is How Much a Year? (with Sample Budget)

mother working from home with daughter for 15 dollars an hour

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Earning a wage of $15 an hour has been a hot topic since President Biden started his presidency term in the U.S.

His proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to 15 dollars an hour would be a significant increase for workers that live on minimum wage.

With this proposal on the table, it is common for questions to come up so you know how much money you would make working at this wage.

Keep reading to get an answer to the question, “15 an hour is how much a year,” plus all your other questions answered, including how much your take-home check would be, what jobs pay $15 an hour, and a sample budget to help you make a plan for your hard-earned money.

$15 an hour is how much a year?

Assuming you work a full-time job in a 40 hour per week position for 52 weeks a year (which is 2,080 hours per year,) 15 an hour is a salary of $31,200 per year.

It doesn’t matter if you are working the typical 8 hour day, as long as you are working a total of 40 hours per week and your hourly rate is 15 per hour. Your bottom line yearly salary does not change.

Many companies are offering 4-day workweeks of 10 hours per day to give employees 3 days off every week.

How much is $15 an hour 40 hours a week?

Breaking this down to show you how I arrived at the yearly salary of $31,200 looks like this:

40 = work 40 hours a week

52 = number of weeks in a year

40 x 52 = 2,080 = number of hours worked in a year

2,080 x 15 = 31,200

$31,200 per year

NOTE: This calculated number for your annual salary does not take into consideration federal or state taxes, paid or non-paid time off (vacation or sick days), etc.

For example, many employees work 50 weeks out of the year with 2 weeks off because their employer offers vacation days. This is like getting free time off because you are paid for the days you do not go to work.

$15 an hour is what pay each month?

Assuming you are working a 40 hour week, you would make $2,600 per month (before taxes are deducted.)

If work a different amount of hours per week every week, to calculate your monthly pay, multiply the number of hours you work each week with the hourly wage, then multiply that number with 4 (because there are 4 weeks in one month.)

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$15 an hour is how much a year after taxes?

When taxes are taken out of your check, they reduce your take-home salary even though your hourly salary technically doesn’t change.

After the taxes are deducted, your approximate annual salary will be $24,700 to $26,700 per year.

Even though the actual wage is 15 dollars an hour, your per hour wage drops to approximately $11.90 to $12.90.

Depending on the state where you live taxes can vary.

According to AARP, there are also 9 states that don’t tax their residents, including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

map of 9 states that do not have tax for 15 an hour is how much a year

Can you live on 15 an hour?

It can help to be paid more frequently when you are trying to live on 15 dollars an hour.

This is not always an option and we aren’t talking about getting a paycheck per day.

However, some employers let you choose how frequently you would like to get a paycheck such as weekly or every other week (bimonthly).

The breakdown of your approximate income after taxes are deducted looks like this:

Hourly pay = $11 to $13

Daily pay = $95 to $102

Biweekly pay = $238 to $257

Weekly pay = $474 to $514

Bimonthly pay = $949 to $1028

Monthly pay = $2,059 to $2,224

Annual pay = $24,700 to $26,700

This salary would likely be hard to live on comfortably.

However, there are many things to take into consideration such as your lifestyle, where you live, and the cost of living in your state of residence.

No matter what amount of money adds up to what you make yearly, whether it is $120 per day, $100 a week, or $600 per week, the best way to know the income you need to earn per month or per year is to start with a budget.

Can you buy a house making $15 an hour?

Carpenters framing house for 15 an hour is how much a year

Buying a house is a great goal and shared by many people.

Buying a house while earning a wage of 15 dollars per hour could be pretty tough, and it is not likely to happen.

Why not?

If you are going to finance your home with a mortgage, the lender will look at your income vs. your total monthly expenses. This is called the debt-to-income ratio.

Each lender has its own guidelines, but the typical rule is this number should be less than 45%.

With this in mind, the bigger picture to look at to get an answer is to figure out the dollar amount of your monthly expenses (check your prior budget sheets if you use a budget) such as:

What would your new house payment be?

What would the utility bills cost (electricity, water, sewer, etc.)?

What is the amount are you paying each month for other expenses such as cell phone, internet, satellite or cable tv, insurance, gas, vehicle payment or upkeep, etc?

How many payments, if any, do you have that are debt payments such as credit cards, personal loans, vehicle payments, etc?

Is $15 an hour good for a single person?

According to the US Census Bureau, $35,977 was the average personal income in 2019.

At 15 dollars an hour, which is $31,200 annually, you are several thousand dollars short of making the money that the average worker makes in the United States.

According to the federal government, in 2021, the poverty guideline for a single person was $12,880 in the District of Columbia, and all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

The poverty guideline in Alaska is $16,090 and in Hawaii, it is $14,820.

The amount of money a person needs to live or consider it ‘good’ or ‘bad’ depends on if it is enough to pay your bills with your lifestyle, location, and cost of living.

Jobs that earn 15 an hour

If you want to find a job making 15 an hour there are numerous positions you can consider.

The best place to start is deciding if you will be looking for a part-time or full-time position, then go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to start your job search.

This is the comprehensive database I used with my high school and college students when they were looking for a summer side hustle or a position after they graduated.

The following table will give you an idea of some of the available options to earn 15 an hour:

15 DOLLARS AN HOUR JOBS

Position

Average Hourly Wage

Work Description

Administrative assistant

$15.69

Provide support in a business office

Bus Driver

$16.46

Shuttle passengers between predetermined destinations

Butcher

$15.62

Cut, trim, and package meat

Construction Worker

$16.19

Manual laborer, demolish, rebuild, and remodel structures

Delivery Driver

$16.27

Transport products from one location to another using a personal vehicle

Retail Worder

$15.30

Assist customers, stock shelves, cashier

Administrative Assistant

$15.69

Facilitate office productivity and organization, filing, calendar management, reports

Mail Clerk

$15.68

Assist customers with packages, sort incoming and outgoing mail for distribution

Medical Billing Specialist

$16.50

Track invoices, submit insurance claims, maintain patient records, bill individuals for services rendered

Laboratory Assistant

$15.72

Facilitate a laboratory's operation for scientists, researchers, and medical professionals

Painter


$16.99

Strip, prime, and paint walls and other surfaces

Veterinary Technician

$16.09


Support veterinarians, patients, and animal owners in an animal hospital setting

smart mom hq 15 dollars an hour jobs

Sample budget template

The following budget template is a great place to get started with creating your own budget.

Remember it is only a guideline to get you started with a basic budget.

BASIC BUDGET PERCENTAGE BREAKDOWN

Budget Category

Percentage

Housing

30%

Transportation

15%

Insurance

15%

Utilities

10%

Food

10%

Personal Items

5%

Entertainment

5%

Savings

10%

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$15 an hour budget example

The following sample budget shows how a person making 15 an hour/$2,600 per month (taxes are NOT deducted in this example) can allocate their wages.

When you plug in your own numbers, take the ways to save money into consideration, such as sharing rent with family or friends, carpooling, etc., and you can likely spend less on some categories.

For any categories where money is leftover at the end of the month, it is recommended to add that money into savings.

When you are making your own list, start with each month and move to annual costs. Not all of your bills will happen monthly, as some may be paid quarterly or even one time per year.

SAMPLE BUDGET - 15 DOLLARS AN HOUR

Expense

Amount

Rent/Mortgage

$780

Utilities

$240

Cell Phone/Internet

$165

Transportation

$220

Groceries

$180

Insurance

$200

Gifts

$40

Entertainment

$100

Savings/Retirement

$200

Debt Repayment

$300

Miscellaneous

$175

smart mom hq 15 dollars an hour sample budget

Tips to live on $15 per hour

The following tips will help you stretch your hard-earned money farther, whether you are making 30, 000 per year, 40,000 a year, or more.

If you are making 15 dollars an hour, these tips will be especially helpful.

General money-saving tips:

  • Get rid of debt payments
  • Spend less than you make (often called ‘living below your means’)
  • Follow frugal living habits
  • Create and follow a budget
  • Put money in a savings account every month
  • Know and keep track of your financial situation at all times

Tips to reduce housing costs:

  • Move into more affordable living spaces such as a one-bedroom apartment or even go smaller to a studio.
  • If possible try and find roommates and split the cost in half or three ways.

Tips to reduce other living costs:

  • Buy food from the grocery store so you are limiting spending on eating out.
  • If you live in a place that offers free grocery pickup, opt for this so you are purchasing exactly what you need and not going inside the store.
  • Reduce entertainment costs (skip going to movies, concerts.)
  • Split cable or TV plans with a friend or family member.

Tips to increase your income if you need to make more than $15 an hour

You may need to make more than $15 an hour when you have unexpected expenses, or possibly all the time depending on your personal situation.

The following tips can help you make more money on top of the 8 hours you work at your job:

  • Turn your hobby into a side gig
  • Start a blog
  • Start freelancing
  • Complete surveys for cash
  • Start a side hustle – Amazon delivery, Uber driver, pizza delivery, Grub Hub, dog-walking, etc.
Checklist with coins and wallet with money for 15 an hour is how much a year

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If you are considering a side hustle where you will be driving your personal vehicle, it is recommended to check your insurance policy to ensure you have the proper coverage in the event of an accident while on the job.

Similar wages

Each following scenario is the calculated salary amount before taxes are taken out, NOT your take-home pay.

How much is $10 an hour for a year?

If you make $10 per hour, working 52 weeks a year, your pay per month is $1,600 and your annual pay is $19,200.

$18 an hour is how much a year?

If you make $18 an hour your income for the year would be $34,560.

16.15 an hour is how much a year?

If you make $16.15 per hour and work a 40 hour week, your yearly income would be $31,008.

20.15 an hour is how much a year?

If your hourly wage is $20.15 and you work 40 hours week, your annual income would be $38,688.

$20 an hour is how much a year?

Working 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week at $20 per hour, your income over the course of a year would be $38,400.

$15 an hour final thoughts

Making 15 per hour may work fine for your lifestyle and where you live, or it may not be enough.

Either way, it is important to have a budget so you can track your financial decisions on a daily basis.

If you would like to earn more keep plugging away at building your savings account, fine-tuning your job skills, and searching for the perfect opportunity.

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