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To some people, $50,000 a year seems like a dream. To others, it’s pocket change. Personally, I think $50k a year sounds like a pretty good deal.

The question, of course, is whether it really is a good salary. Can it provide for an individual’s or family’s needs and wants? Let’s dive into the question of how much an hour $50,000 a year really is to determine if it’s enough for you.

$50,000 a year is how much an hour?

$50,000 a year is $24.04 an hour, assuming you work full time at 40 hours per week. This equates to working 2,080 hours a year

That said, the answer to this will vary between people, as your hourly rate would depend directly on the number of hours you work.

person working out how much $50,000 is a year per hour

Some people take two weeks of unpaid vacation each year, meaning that their $50,000 would get spread out over 50 weeks. Assuming a 40 hour work week, this would add up to 2,000 hours of work each year. With this schedule, $50,000 a year would break down to $25 per hour.

As there are those that put in more than 60 hours per week and some who put in less, these are estimates. To determine the exact amount you make an hour, divide the $50,000 by the number of hours that you personally work each year.

But whatever your own hourly rate, managing this money properly is going to be critical to reaching financial freedom. This means always knowing your financial position and fixing any issues before they get out of control – and, for this, I always recommend Personal Capital. Not only does this app help you with all this, but it’s free!

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How much biweekly is $50k?

If you earn $50k per year, your biweekly salary would be $2,083. This is assuming you work the same amount of hours in each two-week period throughout the year. Otherwise, your salary may be more or less in each biweekly period even if, overall, it adds up to $50,000 a year.

It’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t simply multiply this amount by two to work out how much monthly is $50k. This is because each month isn’t a neat four-week period, so the result you’d get by doubling your biweekly salary isn’t exactly the same as your monthly earnings.

Instead, for that, simply divide the $50,000 a year by 12. This will you that $50k a year is $4,166.67 monthly.

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Is $50,000 a year a good salary?

Generally speaking, $50,000 a year is a good salary. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national median family income is $79,900 for 2021. Going by this, $50,000 is definitely a good salary if it is just one portion of your household income or if you are single. 

If, however, it’s the only household income, other factors come into play. In particular, as pointed out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, most households that make the median household income do so through having more than one income bringing money in.

This means that whether $50,000 a year is good for you and your household depends on several factors. In particular, points such as household size, where you live, and the lifestyle you like to live will impact the answer here.

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Is $50k a year good for a family?

Earning $50,000 a year is good for a family if they budget and spend wisely, although noting that it is less than the US median household income. It’s also going to depend on other factors like how many children are in the family and where they live.

For instance, raising a child typically costs anywhere between $6,000 and $13,186 per year. 

family

Of course, some parents spend much more, and others find a way to get by on a little less. But overall, this shows that on $50k a year, families with more than two children may still struggle unless they carefully manage their money.

Similarly, general living costs vary depending on where you live. This means that if you live in a high cost of living with several kids to also care for, only having one salary of $50,000 a year coming in could make things more difficult than they otherwise should be.

Is $50k a year middle class?

With the middle class being defined as people who make between $53,413 and $106,827, earning $50,000 a year is actually considered lower middle class. This is the category for those earning from $32,048 to $53,413 per year.

This article provides more information on this breakdown, although these numbers here show us even broadly how someone earning $50,000 a year may be able to survive.

That is, depending on where you are, it’s going to be enough to live on, but there won’t be much room for extra expenses. It’s also going to take some close focusing on your money management to ensure there’s enough left each month to contribute to your financial goals, like boosting your savings or adding to your retirement account.

Is $50,000 a year enough to live on?

$50,000 a year is going to be enough to live on for some people. In particular, it’s going to depend on a number of factors, including the cost of living where you are, your average expenses, any debt you carry and your other financial goals that you’re saving for.

That is, it can be more than enough for some people while not being near enough for others. Again, it depends on the number of people you are taking care of.

woman at desk calculating $50,000 a year is how much an hour

There are other things to take into consideration, too. We already mentioned the cost of living in your area, which is going to be a major part of your calculations. Additionally, you have to consider your financial obligations and goals.

  • How much do your regular bills come out to?
  • How much debt do you need to repay?
  • Are you planning to buy a house or save for college?

If you calculate everything you need and want to do financially, you can determine if $50,000 a year is enough for you. If it’s not, you can either try to increase your income or follow the tips at the end of this writing.

How much taxes do you pay if you make $50k?

You’ll pay $9,953 in federal taxes if you make $50,000 a year. This takes into consideration social security and medicare payments, which mean that you’ll earn around $40,047 on a $50k annual salary after paying federal taxes.

This is based on the fact that income between $40,125 and $85,525 falls into the 22% tax bracket, although you can see more on the various tax brackets here. That said, it does not necessarily mean you pay that much, though. Tax credits, dependents, and deductions can all impact the actual amount you pay in taxes.

You’ll also possibly have state income tax to pay, depending on where you live. However, some states don’t impose any tax obligations, so this may not be the case everywhere.

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$50k a year is how much a month after taxes?

Generally, making $50k a year means earning $3,337.25 a month after taxes. This is based on the fact that you will pay approximately $4,295 in federal taxes, $3,100 in social security taxes and $725 in Medicare taxes on this salary.

That said, as mentioned above, you’ll also possibly have to pay additional state taxes depending on where you live. This means that your take home salary will be lower than this amount, although the exact amount will vary based on the tax rate in your state (if there’s even one at all).

How to live off $50k a year

The first step toward living off of any level of income is creating and sticking to a budget. Your budget should include the cost of:

  • Food
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Taxes
  • Transportation and auto maintenance
  • Household goods and service, including everything from laundry detergent to lawn care
  • Savings, both an emergency fund and targeted saving for a specific goal
bills on desk

Once you have all of these things included in your budget, you’ll have an accurate idea of how much money you are lacking. You can also get a clear picture of where your money is actually going each month.

All of this information can help you come up with a plan to live comfortably with your salary. The following tips can help that plan.

Groceries and Household Goods

If you need to cut down on your expenses, groceries and household goods are usually some of the easiest areas to target. You can:

  • Use coupon apps to help you spend less on your favorite brands. Our top pick for this is Ibotta – they even have a free $20 welcome bonus.
  • Cut back on eating out and hitting Starbucks.
  • Make a menu of cheap, easy meals, and aim to cook at least four days a week to cut back on drive-thru trips. If you need some help with this, the $5 Meal Plan is an amazingly priced service, with a full month’s meal plan being sent to you for just $5 per month. Grab a free 14-day trial here.
  • Buy items in bulk for a lower per-unit cost.
  • Pick some items, such as shampoo or tissue, that you would be willing to substitute for a cheaper brand.

Housing

For most people, the largest portion of their income goes to their homes. Most experts agree that you should spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing costs.

For renters, that 30% should include your utilities. For homeowners, the 30% should include your property taxes, maintenance costs, and mortgage interest.

If your housing expenses exceed 30%, there are a couple of things to ask yourself:

  • Can you move? It might be in your best interest to move to a different home or different location. It does not necessarily mean you have to move out of state — just to somewhere with lower housing expenses.
  • Can you refinance? If you are a homeowner, you might be able to refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate.

Transportation

How much do you pay out monthly for your vehicle? Many people pay out almost as much for their vehicle as they do their home. Instead of having high monthly car payments, go for vehicles that are a few years old.

Also, if you lease your vehicle, stop. Leasing means you are paying out all of that money nonstop. When you buy, instead, you eventually pay it off. Even if you choose to purchase a new one, you can sell the one you just paid off or use it as a trade-in — both of which can help you save.

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About the author

Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.