15 Dollars an Hour is How Much a Year? A detailed calculation and breakdown of a $15 an hour salary + how to make it work for you!
We all know that it is difficult to make ends meet at the end of the month. Making just enough money for rent, car payments, groceries, and other necessities can be a challenge.
In recent years there has been a lot of talk about raising minimum wage so that people are able to live comfortably and not have to worry as much about how they will pay their bills.
Recently, the push for a $15 an hour salary has become quite popular. If you’re considering taking a job that is offering you a $15 an hour salary, you may have a lot of questions that you need answers to.
“How much is 15 dollars an hour annually?”
“Is $15 an hour a livable wage?”
“Is $15 an hour a good salary?”
Don’t worry. I’ve got all these answers for you!
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Let’s get to the calculations, first and foremost. (And yes, this makes the Math teacher in me squeal with delight…hehe.)
$15 an Hour is How Much a Year?
With a $15 per hour salary, it is actually quite simple to calculate your annual paycheck.
We know that there are 52 weeks per year and the typical work week comprises of 40 hours. This means that most people will work 2080 hours every single year!
At $15 per hour, this means that the annual salary will be around $31 200.
Breakdown of the Annual Wage Calculation
Total Number of Weeks in a Year = 52 weeks
Total Number of Work Hours in One Week = 40 hours
Therefore, Total Number of Work Hours in a Year = 52 × 40 = 2080 hours
Hourly Rate = $15 per hour
Therefore, the total annual salary = 2080 × 15 = $31 200
Of course, this calculation is based on a typical 40-hour work week, and the exact figure for annual salary can change depending on how little or how much you work! For example, overtime wages from clocking additional hours, or unpaid vacation leave are not accounted for in this scenario!
Additionally, this is not your take home income as you will still need to pay your taxes and other job-related payments.
How much is 15 dollars an hour annually if you take unpaid vacation?
Let’s face it. As much as you might hate doing this, sometimes you might have to take unpaid vacation. Whether it is because you’ve exhausted your leave or your employer sucks, is besides the point.
Now you might be wondering how much is 15 dollars an hour annually if you have to take vacation that you don’t get paid for.
Firstly, let me state upfront that your annual salary for a typical 40-hour per week job is always “your hourly rate × 2080 hours (which is the total number of work hours in a year) – regardless of how much unpaid vacation you take. So the annual income for a $15 an hour salary job would ALWAYS be considered as $31 200!
However, let’s say for your very own personal reasons, you want to calculate how much you will earn if you do decide to take unpaid vacation. Then for every week of unpaid leave, you will need to subtract an additional $600 from the total annual income!
Well, the weekly income for a $15 an hour salary is:
Total number of hours in a work week × Hourly Rate
40 × $15
Unfortunately, every unpaid week means $600 less for you.
• So one week of unpaid vacation will result in an annual income of:
$31 200 – $600 = $30 600
• Two weeks of unpaid vacation will result in an annual income of:
$31 200 – $1200 = $30 000
• Three weeks of unpaid vacation will result in an annual income of:
$31 200 – $1800 = $29 400
See the trend?
$15 an Hour is How Much a Year After Taxes?
We’ve already established that the annual income for a $15 an hour salary job is $31 200. However, this is not your take home income! How much you take home will depend on how much taxes you need to pay, plus how many deductions need to be made.
The amount of taxes and deductions that need to be made depends on which state you live in, your marital status, how many dependents live with you etc.
The simplest way to calculate exactly how much your specific take home income will be is to use a personalized tool like this SmartAsset Paycheck Calculator.
Let’s look at an example. Jack is a single guy who lives in New York, NY. He has a $15 an hour salary. He pays an average of 24% in taxes, and his annual take home salary $23, 733.
This might not be the case for a married guy from the same area, or someone who has additional deductions such as medical insurance, dental coverage, 401k etc.
A sure way to increase your take home income is to move to a state that has no income tax. This is a great way to stretch your $15 an hour salary!
Examples of States that don’t Require Payment of Income Tax
There are many states that don’t require you to pay income tax. These include:
• South Dakota
Also, New Hampshire does not tax “earned” income. Here you are only required to pay taxes on dividends, interest and investment income.
Obviously, moving to states with low or no income tax will result in a higher take home income, regardless of how much you earn!
Annual Mean Wages of U.S. Citizens
According to Statista, the annual mean wage of U.S. Citizens in 2020 was $71 456. Clearly, a $15 an hour salary job makes way less than this. But it’s still enough to live comfortably each month, with some serious frugal living and side hustling!
$15 an Hour is How Much a Week?
To calculate your weekly income for a $15 an hour salary job, just multiply the number of working hours per week by your $15 hourly wage.
40 hours × $15
= $600 per week (before taxes)
How Much is $15 an Hour Biweekly?
Biweekly means that you’ll get paid every 2 weeks. If a $15 an hour salary job gets you $600 a week, then for 2 weeks, you’ll get twice this amount.
$600 × 2
= $1200 biweekly (before taxes)
How Much is $15 an Hour Monthly?
If your rate is $15 an hour, your monthly income will depend on how many working days there are per month. Some months have more working days that others. You’re an hourly paid worker so there’s no “fixed” monthly salary. Some months you’ll make a little bit more than others.
If you want to calculate an average monthly income, we can use a average of 4 weeks per month, which is the equivalent to 20 working days.
Using $600 per week, the average monthly income will be:
$600 × 4
= $2400 per month (before taxes)
Remember that some months will have more than 20 working days, so your monthly income will be a little bit more than this!
How Much is $15 an Hour Daily?
To calculate the daily income for a $15 an hour salary, we’ll use an average 8-hour day for our calculations.
8 hours × $15
= $120 per day (before taxes)
Remember that all of the above calculations do not take overtime hours and wages into consideration. They also do not include scenarios of unpaid leave.
Examples of Jobs that Pay a $15 an Hour Salary
Here’s a list of jobs that pay a $15 an hour salary:
1. Mail Handler
A mail handler is a worker in charge of the preparation, transportation and delivery of items sent by mail. The mail handler transports items to and from the sorting facility or distribution centre, sorts them, prepares shipments for delivery by truck or airplane, delivers packages to postal carriers (as well as notifications like bills) and keeps records of all these activities.
National Average Salary: $15.30
A concierge is a person employed in a hotel to provide services for the guests. As an employee of the hotel, the concierge desk is primarily responsible for providing information to customers. The term ‘concierge’ is French and means ‘caretaker’.
National Average Salary: $14.57
3. Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant is both a manager and an employee. A VA will work within their own hours, but will have the organization’s interests at heart. They are responsible for running projects smoothly and efficiently while maintaining good communication with clients.
National Average Salary: $15.30
4. Warehouse Package Handler
Warehouse package handlers sort and stack merchandise, such as cans of food or cardboard boxes of clothing, into containers for shipment. They use hand trucks to move these containers to the loading dock of a warehouse or distribution center.
National Average Salary: $15.30
A caregiver is an individual who provides care and support for a person who needs assistance with activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include dressing, grooming, hygiene, eating and getting around (using walking aids such as walkers or canes).
National Average Salary: $13.17
6. Medical Transcriber
A medical transcriber turns patient’s dictations into reports that health care providers will use. They type out the doctors’ handwritten notes.
These are very important jobs in our society today and they help save lives. Medical transcribers keep the hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities on schedule at a high speed pace.
National Average Salary: $15.54
7. Administrative Assistant
An administrative assistant or receptionist is a member of the support staff who assists an office manager or executive.
This person helps organize and manage daily operations and does various clerical tasks, such as preparing faxes, typing documents, printing materials, managing voice messages, handling calendars and appointments , ordering supplies and making travel arrangements.
National Average Salary: $15.69
8. Call Center Representatives
Call center representatives (sometimes called customer service agents) are responsible for answering inbound and outbound telephone calls, email inquiries, and other forms of communication.
They use their interpersonal skills to handle a variety of complex customer issues including product and service questions, billing errors, order tracking, technical support requests, online orders or general questions.
National Average Salary: $14.22
A cashier is a person who works in a shop or bank and has responsibility for receiving money from customers, paying it into the till or bank, dealing with any problems that arise, and giving customers their change.
National Average Salary: $15.00
10. Bus Driver
A bus driver transports passengers in a motor vehicle, usually long distances. The job of a bus driver is to get people from one place to another safely and on time. A very important part of the job of a bus driver is public relations.
National Average Salary: $16.46
Honestly, there are SO MANY $15 an hour salary jobs – too many to list and describe here! Others include restaurant dishwashers, tailors, farm operators and farm hands. Most of these jobs do not have very many requirements, however, most will need you to at least have a high school diploma / GED.
Living on a $15 an Hour Salary: FAQs
Is $15 an hour a good salary?
This depends on where you live. In some cities, this is below the poverty line and does not provide for necessities such as food or shelter. However, in a relatively inexpensive city, this is a livable wage.
Can I live on $15 an hour?
This depends on your budgeting and lifestyle choices. It may be difficult to get by without making sacrifices such as shopping at second hand stores instead of brand names or cooking over the stove top rather than using electricity-powered appliances like microwaves or ovens.
Can I buy a house making $15 an hour?
This is difficult if you are trying to pay off a mortgage and have other bills such as car payments that need to be paid. You may find yourself living in poverty when all of your money goes toward paying for home ownership costs, but it’s possible with a lot of sacrifice.
Just remember that you don’t want to buy a house and end up being “house poor”.
Can I buy a vehicle making $15 an hour?
It can be really tough to afford a car when you make less than the national average wage. You would have to do without certain luxuries like air conditioning or music on your commute. However, it’s possible with very careful budgeting and saving up for months ahead of time before buying one.
Tips for Living Well on a $15 an Hour Salary
Living well on a $15 an hour salary is totally possible with a little sacrifice and frugal living!
You’ll be surprised how much you can stretch your paycheck by doing the following:
• Shopping secondhand or thrifting
• Cooking at home instead of getting takeout (shop your pantry and cook around what you already have!)
• Take advantage of free opportunities like getting free Wi-Fi from places that are offering it, and by using a library to borrow books you might not otherwise be able to afford.
• Taking advantage of cash-back offers from sites like Rakuten. Make your usual, everyday purchases via Rakuten and get free cash back in your wallet! That cash can then be allocated to another item in your budget!
Basically, the idea is to try as best as you can to live below your means. There are also numerous ways to make money and increase your income, some of which is shared below!
Sample Monthly Budget Plan for People with a $15 an Hour Salary
Your personal budget plan will depend on what city you live in and what kind of lifestyle choices you are willing to make in order to save money while still living comfortably.
Additionally, it will depend on how much debt or bills you need to pay off each month and how much you pay in rent / mortgage.
Obviously, some cities may be super expensive and others may be fairly affordable. A $15 an hour salary job will not allow for a whole bunch of luxuries so this sample budget plan takes this into consideration!
Rent – $700
Electric Bill – $200
Internet – $50
Cell Phone – $50
Cable – $50
Groceries – $500
Debt Repayment (Credit Card/Loans) – $500
Transportation – $150
Savings – $200
TOTAL – $2400
Tips for Increasing your Income when a $15 an Hour Salary is Too Small
It may seem difficult to make ends meet on $15 an hour, but that doesn’t mean there are no ways to earn more money. Consider side hustles like tutoring or freelancing instead of just depending on your hourly wage for full-time employment.
What are some ways that you could make extra money in a week? Think about what skills you have that you can use to make money. Here are some money making ideas to get you going:
• Selling old clothes on Craigslist or eBay
• Tutoring students online
• Freelance writing jobs; they can be found on websites like Upwork, eLance or Fiverr
• Ask your boss for a raise
• Babysitting kids after school hours
• Use sites like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks to do simple tasks online to make extra money
Want to Make Some Extra Cash?
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Final Thoughts on $15 an Hour is How Much a Year
Now that you know all about jobs with a $15 an hour salary and how much they make per year, you can now make an informed decision on whether you accept this salary. You also know how to make it work for your life, how to save and budget, and how to increase your income if you need to!
Do you have any additional tips or advice on how to make a $15 an hour salary work? Share with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!
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