18 Dollars an Hour is How Much a Year: Can You Live On It?

mother working with son on lap to make 18 dollars an hour 1

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Wondering how much money you would make if 18 dollars an hour is how much you are paid?

Calculate your income by starting with the yearly, monthly, and weekly salary to make the determination if you can live on earning this amount.

Be sure to figure the tax both before and after it is deducted for accurate numbers.

Does the idea of earning an $18 hourly wage sound like a dream you want to work toward achieving?

Keep reading for our ultimate guide that breaks down the most-asked questions on this topic with step-by-step details on how much you will earn each week, month, and year both before and after taxes are deducted.

We also put together a sample budget to give you a head start with your own budget! 

Take note, when the numbers slightly vary using different calculations, it is because there are several ways to calculate income. You may see this in our figures as well as the calculations you do on your own.

For example, the average month of income will vary depending on if it is figured using 4 weeks in a month or the total number of days and hours worked in a month.

It also depends on how accurate the tax deduction figures are and if social security and medicare deductions are included.

Would you also like to know how much a year 30 dollars an hour18 dollars an hour, or 15 dollars an hour is? Link to the posts to get the breakdown and a budget with each one!

Let’s dive in!

18 dollars an hour is how much a year before taxes?

$18 an hour is $37,440 per year.

This is how we arrived at the calculation:

Work week = 40 hours

Weeks in a year = 52

Hours worked per year = 2,080

The total of $37,440 is the yearly amount you will earn before tax is deducted from your paycheck.

NOTE: This is considering you are working a 40-hour week for the entire year (which is a total of 52 weeks) and it does not take into consideration unpaid leave days for vacation, sickness, etc., if applicable. The typical job allows for 2 weeks vacation, leaving 50 weeks of workdays per year.

Working full-time

If you live in the United States, full-time employment is considered 30+ hours each week, with the typical work-week being 40 hours for an 8 hour day. Assuming you work the entire year, this would be 52 weeks and 2,080 hours.

The calculations we use are following this common schedule of working 40 hours weekly for the entire year of 52 weeks.

Working part-time

In the United States, if you work less than 30 hours a week it is considered part-time employment. The typical part-time job is 20 hours per week.

This cuts the full-time work hours from 2,080 hours to 1,040 hours.

Therefore, if you are making an hourly rate of 18 dollars and assuming you work 20 hours per week, you will earn $18,720 per year.

Download the Hourly Wage Conversion Chart (it’s free!)

18 dollars an hour: What is the yearly salary after tax is taken out?

illustrated image of tax return for 18 dollars an hour is how much a year

The average tax rate is 15% but keep in mind this number is an estimate based on what state you reside in and other deduction factors, etc.

Tax deductions include federal tax, state tax (if applicable), medicare, and social security.

Your total take-home pay if you work 40 hours per week after taxes are deducted is approximately $31,824.

Your total take-home pay if you work part-time at 20 hours each week after tax is deducted is approximately $15,912 per year.

Is $18.50 a good hourly salary?

The minimum average tax rate is approximately 15% but keep in mind it is an estimate based on what state you reside in and other deduction factors, etc.

This depends on a number of factors, such as where you reside, the type of work you are doing, etc.

Also, there are specific tax brackets that place you in a category, and the more you earn, the higher your tax bracket (so you pay more tax.)

It is an average salary, with an estimate that each person earning an hourly wage of $18.50 earns more than 48% of workers in the United States.

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How much is it … really?

If you really want to break down your budget and prepare accordingly to pay all your expenses on $18 per hour pay, the following scenarios will help you.

Keep in mind, these numbers are before pretax since they will vary from person to person and state to state.

If you want to make the conversion to how much your take-home pay would be after tax is deducted, simply multiply the number with your tax bracket.

Our approximate guess is 15% of your paycheck will be deducted to cover income tax, but this will vary from person to person and state to state.

To get your actual tax bracket, go to the Federal Government tax website.

A sample is included in the first scenario below.

How much is 18 dollars an hour each month?

If you are working a full schedule of 40 hours a week, your earnings are $2,880 per month (before tax is deducted.)

If you are working part-time at 20 hours each week, you are making $1,440 per month (before tax is deducted.)

EXAMPLE: Calculate your annual wage after the tax is deducted

Total monthly salary = $2880

Tax deductions = 15% (.15)

2880 x .15 = 432

2880 – 432 = 2448

OR

2880 x .85 = 2448

Your approximate net pay (take-home pay) is $2,448.

How much is it bi-monthly?

Bi-monthly means you get paid twice per month, or every 2 weeks.

If you are working full-time at 40 hours each week, your income is $1,440 every 2 weeks (before taxes are deducted.)

Assuming you are working part-time at 20 hours a week, you’re making $720 (before taxes are deducted.)

How much is $18 an hour per week?

If you are working a full schedule of 40 hours a week, your earnings are $720 per week (before taxes are deducted.)

Assuming you are working part-time at 20 hours a week, $360 is how much you will earn (before taxes are deducted.)

How much is $18 an hour bi-weekly?

A biweekly salary means you get paid 2 times each week.

The total calculation comes out the same whether you are paid the amount per hour, per day, per year, etc., it just depends on how your employer processes payroll. The bottom line equals the total hours worked.

If you have a personal preference, you can request to be paid a specific way to see if it is an option.

If you are working full-time at 40 hours per week, your income is $360 bi-weekly (before taxes are deducted.)

If you are working part-time at 20 hours week, $180 bi-weekly is how much you will make (before taxes are deducted.)

How much is $18 an hour per day?

If you are work 40 hours a week, your daily salary equals $144 (before taxes are deducted.)

If you are working part-time at 20 hours a week,  you will get paid $72 per day (before taxes are deducted.)

Calculate your personal income

Can you live on $18 an hour?

In 2019 the median annual income was just under $36,000 according to the US Census Bureau.

This means if you are making at least $37,440 per year then you are making more than the average U.S. citizen in comparison to others’ annual incomes.

A big determining factor in whether or not you can survive on any specified amount no matter how high or low it seems to be, is where you live and your personal expenses.

Think about what your living costs might be. Make a list of them.

Think about where your priorities are. Make a list of the things you are not willing to give up (as long as you can afford it on your annual pay with your hourly wage.)

Will how much you make a year support your necessary costs as well as the lifestyle you want to enjoy?

However, if you refer to Go Banking Rates, it is not possible to fully support yourself on this hourly rate over the course of a year.

They recently completed a survey that concluded with the rising cost of housing and basic living costs you need a minimum of $58,000 a year (with variations depending on where you live) and for some places (like Hawaii) you need to make a yearly salary over $136,000.

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Can you buy a house on 18 per hour?

This is a tough question that cannot be answered with a precise ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

It depends on a number of factors, such as where you reside, the type of home you are looking to buy, your credit score, how much savings you have built up for a down payment, and many other things.

With a salary of $18 an hour before taxes, it would be difficult to save enough to purchase a house right away if you are starting from scratch.

However, it may be impossible with proper planning and patience.

It is also likely you will need some other financial backing for sufficient down-payment or rental history showing you can make a payment on time.

If you do want to buy a house making this amount, the following steps could help:

Save Money

If you want to buy a house saving must be a top priority.

Here are some ways to start saving more:

  1. Get a side gig working on weekends or nights.
  2. Cut back on your outgoing costs so you can put the extra salary away for savings and/or investment opportunities.
  3. Invest in basic assets, like stocks and bonds (your brokerage account will help you here.)
  4. Get a second job that allows you to earn tips.
  • The average worker that earns tips makes approximately $300 a week in extra money.

Other things that can help you buy a house with an hourly wage of $18:

  • Grow a savings account as quickly as possible
  • Manage your finances with a strict budget
  • Keep your cost of living low
  • Monitor your debt and keep your debt-to-income ratio less than 45%

If you can do these things, you can buy a home on 18 per hour which is an annual income of $37,400.

On the other hand, if you:

  • Don’t follow a budget and you are not willing to
  • Reside where the cost of living is high
  • Have a debt-to-income ratio higher than 45%
  • Don’t have a stable employment history or only work part-time
  • Have little or no savings

If this is more reflective of your lifestyle, you will not be able to buy a house with this wage.

Tips to living on $18 per hour

It’s not easy to live on $18 an hour, but with a solid plan, you can make ends meet if this is how much you are paid.

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.

With proper budgeting and planning, you can live on $18 an hour.

Ways to make more money if $18 an hour isn’t enough

collage of male and female working on computer for 18 dollars an hour
  • Start a side business online that allows you to earn extra (such as selling things on eBay, Amazon, or Etsy.)
  • Sell your used items using the internet, such as selling an old cellphone on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Get a part-time side hustle working at night or on weekends.
  • Find opportunities in your community by volunteering either individually or with groups like churches and schools.
  • Ask your supervisor for a raise
  • Find a side hustle that is flexible so you can do as little or as much as you want such as babysitting, cleaning houses, walking dogs or pet-sitting, become an Uber or food delivery driver, etc.

If you work 50 weeks in your regular position with 2-weeks of vacation, you can also pre-plan ways to earn extra income during your time off.

Budget percentage breakdown

To create your own budget, you can use the following template as a guideline to get started.

BASIC BUDGET PERCENTAGE BREAKDOWN

Budget Category

Percentage

Housing

30%

Transportation

15%

Insurance

15%

Utilities

10%

Food

10%

Personal Items

5%

Entertainment

5%

Savings

10%

smart mom with dollar sign transparent full logo navy

Sample budget on a salary of 18 dollars an hour

The following sample budget shows how a person making 18 an hour/$2,652 per month (take-home pay after taxes in this example) can allocate their wages to live comfortably.

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

This example is following the budgeting guidelines of spending 70% of the income on living expenses, 10% on savings, and 20% on the remaining living costs.

For any categories you can spend less than the guideline percentage, 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.

Many people like to set their budget then use cash because it is impossible to spend more than what you have budgeted with cash.

If you decide not to use cash, the next best choice is a debit card that is directly linked to your checking account.

SAMPLE BUDGET - 18 DOLLARS AN HOUR

Expense

Amount

Rent/Mortgage

$796

Utilities

$265

Transportation

$397

Groceries

$265

Insurance

$398

Personal Items

$133

Entertainment

$133

Savings/Retirement

$265

smart mom hq sample budget 18 an hour

Jobs you can earn 18 an hour salary

There is plenty of work opportunities available for you to earn $18 an hour without a college degree or any type of formal training.

However, you have to be resourceful and you do need a high school diploma in most cases to land one of these jobs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is the best starting place for your employment search (and where the following information in the table is taken from.)

18 DOLLARS AN HOUR JOBS

Position

Average Hourly Wage

Work Description

Automotive Parts, Accessories, and Tire Store Telephone Operator 

$18.05

Answer phones, receive customers, provide information on product availability, schedule appointments

Bill and Account Collector

$18.32

Attempt to recover payment on overdue bills

Building Cleaner

$18.68

Keep various types of buildings clean, orderly, and in good condition

Camera Repair Technician

$18.69

Repair and adjust cameras and photographic equipment, including commercial video and motion picture camera equipment

Dental Office Receptionist

$18.89

Monitor incoming calls, receive visitors, provide information to the public about the business

Electronic and Precision Equipment Repair and Maintenance

$18.77

Install, maintain, and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery

Furniture Store Sales

$18.06

Assist customers to find products and process customers' payments

Metal and Plastic Worker

$18.40

Operate equipment that cuts, shapes, and forms metal and plastic materials or pieces

Security Service Dispatch

$18.40

Answer emergency and nonemergency calls

Telephone Operator

$18.91

Assist people in placing a collect call or credit card call

Truck Transportation Telephone Dispatch

$18.93

Schedule and relay pick-up, transport, and drop off products and packages and small shipments within a local region or urban area

Quality Control Inspector

$18.81

Examine products and materials for defects

smart mom hq 18 dollars an hour jobs

Other potential jobs to consider typically in the $18 an hour salary range:

  • Cashier or sales clerk
  • Cook or chef
  • Bartender or waiter/waitress
  • Medical assistant
  • Office manager
  • Administrative assistant
  • Paralegal or legal assistant
  • Certified nursing assistant

Final thoughts

It is possible to make ends meet on 18 dollars an hour if you spend within your means, which is the total key to making it work.

This salary is above minimum wage and provides you with a solid base to live off of, although there may not be much left over at the end of each month.

The sample budget has included the bills, gas for your car, and food — it covers the basics so if you are careful and follow it if something happens in an emergency situation such as having no heat or getting sick, you will still have some money left over to spend on things like extra food or medicine.

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