$15 An Hour Is How Much A Year (Is It Enough?)

Making an hourly wage often comes with some confusion regarding how much money you will end up making on a regular basis.

Knowing exactly 15 an hour is how much a year is very important if you want to follow a budget or decide whether you need to ask for a raise or find a new job.

That is why, whenever you get offered a job with an hourly wage, take some time to do some calculations and figure out if you will be making enough to sustain yourself and/or your family. 

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$15 an Hour is How Much a Year?

To establish this, let’s assume some basic things:

  • Your job requires you to work 8 hours a day, like a typical 9-5 job.
  • Your employer wants you to work 5 days a week, bringing your weekly hours to 40.
  • You will be working for 52 weeks a year, for a total of 2080 hours.

If that is the case with your 15 dollars an hour job, then you can expect to make $31,200 per year. Most of the time though, it’s not very easy to compile a budget for the whole year as there are many expenses that you can’t foresee.

That is why it is crucial to break the annual salary down into smaller chunks to see what your paycheck may look like. 

In case your employer pays you every month, then a 15/hr salary will give you $2,600 per month.

If you get a bi-weekly paycheck, then you will earn $1,200 every two weeks. And if you work at a job where you get a weekly payment, you will make $600 each week. 

While these breakdowns will give you a better understanding of your regular income, they’re not exactly accurate.


Because they don’t take into account the fact that you have to pay taxes. 

$15 an Hour is How Much a Year After Taxes?

Knowing $15.00 an hour is how much a year is not enough if you don’t factor in taxes.

Depending on which state you’re residing in, these taxes will vary.

On average though, you will be earning anywhere between $11.88 and $12.84 per hour at a 15/hr salary.

That is quite a big difference and that is exactly why you need to always check how much taxes you’re going to have to pay.

With these taxes factored in, your $15 per hour annual salary will look more like $24,700-$26,700 instead of $31,200. And your paychecks will look like this:

  • Monthly: $2,058 – $2,225
  • Bi-Weekly: $950.40 – $1027.20
  • Weekly: $475.20 – $513.60

So, whenever figuring out how much is $15 an hour annually, always consider the tax deductions that are applicable in the state you’re living in.

If you fail to do that, you will likely start facing issues like running out of money before the end of the month because of inexact calculations. 

If you wish to not pay taxes on your wages, you might want to live in a state that doesn’t tax wages.

These include Alaska, Texas, Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Washington, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Wyoming. 

Are 15 Dollars an Hour Enough to Live On?

The answer to this question cannot be a clear YES or NO.

It depends a lot on where you live, how you live, and how many people you support, among other things.

If you live alone, then it should be a decent amount of money to live a comfortable life.

However, if you have a family to support, things could get a little challenging.

For smaller families, you can make it work with moderate ease but for larger families, you might have to make some compromises.

Some of the things you can do to make sure that you don’t run out of money are:

  • Living in an area with low rent.
  • Not living in a house with more space than you need.
  • Creating a strict budget and sticking to it no matter what. 
  • Saving up a small portion of your earnings and investing it. 
  • Paying off debt first to be safe from increasing interest payments.
  • Reducing your expenses however possible, like not having a car and using public transport if you can.

Of course, you could always do some freelance work or find some under the table jobs to do on the weekends to make some more money each week.

And if you have another member in the household who earns a little, then your overall household income could see a significant increase.

But even if you are the only breadwinner of your family, you can still make a $15/hr salary work by being smart. 

Just figure out what your biggest expenses are and see if you can somehow minimize them.

The more you can reduce your expenses, the more money you will have left at the end of every month to save and invest.

And the more safe investments you make, the more you can increase your savings over time. 

Closing Thoughts

While it may seem like too little, 15 dollars an hour can be enough to live a decent life.

The first thing you need to do is find out 15 an hour is how much a year which you successfully have done at this point.

After this, create a list of all your monthly expenses.

When you have that list, compare those expenses to the monthly paycheck you’ll receive and you will have a fairly clear idea of the situation.

Now, you can decide whether to continue living the way you’re living or to make some changes in your lifestyle to fit your expenses within your monthly paycheck.

With some smart ways to reduce expenses, a good saving and investment strategy, and some perseverance, you can live a good life with a job that pays $15 an hour.