$30,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? And How To Live On It

When looking for a new job, it’s typical to try to figure out if it will be a good salary or wage. So you see one that will pay $30,000 per year? But how much is that an hour? And is that even a livable wage?

Well, many people in the U.S. get an average salary of $30,000. Keep reading for the whole breakdown of it!

30,000 per year breakdown and budget

How much is $30000 an hour?

Assuming you work 40 hours every single week of the year (52 work weeks), you would be working 2080 hours per year. That would mean that a salary of $30,000 a year is $14.42 an hour.

Read More: There are actually 2080 to 2096 work hours in a year.

$30,000 per year breaks down to:

  • $14.42 per hour (Annual ÷ 2080 hours)
  • $115.36 per day (Hourly x 8 hours)
  • $576.92 per week (Annual ÷ 52 weeks)
  • $1,153.84 biweekly (Weekly x 2)
  • $2,500 per month (Annual ÷ 12 months)

However, after taxes, $30000 would be reduced to $23,800 – $25,700 per year depending on the state you live in. Your total take-home paycheck would be:

  • Weekly paycheck= $457.69 to $494.23
  • Biweekly paycheck= $915.38 to $988.46
  • Monthly paycheck= $1,983 to $2,141.66

Whoa! That’s a $159/month difference between the highest and lowest taxed state. Meaning, one person could be paying $1,908 extra per year in taxes. To make the most of your salary, you might want to live in a state that does not tax your income.

States that don’t tax wages: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.

Is $30000 a year good?

$30,000 a year is good for a single person, but it might be a stretch for a family unless it is one of multiple income streams. However, it can work depending on where you live and how you budget. For example, here’s a post on how my family of two budgeted and lived on $2,500 per month in San Diego (that’s an expensive city!). 

If you need to survive on $30,000 a year, it may be accomplished through budgeting and reducing your expenses.

How to Live on $30,000 a Year

Despite your salary, the most important thing is to live below your means. Regardless of income, the main reason why people end up in debt is because they are spending more than they earn. If you want to live a life of financial freedom, that is not good.

The 4 main steps to being financially secure with your income are to:

  1. Create a budget: Learn how to create a simple budget here.
  2. Save money: Remember, save first then spend.
  3. Lower your expenses: Here are 40 frugal living tips that I live by.
  4. Pay off debt fast: Paying the minimum results in crazy interest fees. Fast track your debt payoff by doing these things.

Learn more tips with my guide: How To Live On A Budget.

For example, you can save on housing by:

  • Renting out a room
  • Living in a smaller home
  • Living outside of the city and having longer commutes

I also have a post on how I spend $200 per month on groceries for two!

30k is an ok salary. But, if you just can’t make this salary work for your lifestyle, then it might be best to look for a better paying job, or pick up a side hustle.

Example budget for a $30,000 salary

Not sure how to budget on $30,000 per year? Maybe this will help.

This budget breakdown will be based on the after-tax monthly salary of $1,983. Of course, the expenditures in your life may be completely different.

Play around with the numbers and find what will work for you, while still allowing you to save money and live a good life.

  • Savings of 10% = $198
  • Rent/ Mortgage + Utilities= $661 (⅓ of income)
  • Car Payment= $0 (You can purchase a cheap Honda or Toyota for about 2k.)
  • Car Insurance= $100
  • Health Insurance= $100
  • Cellphone= $50
  • Internet= $50
  • Gas= $60
  • Groceries= $100
  • Personal & Misc= $100
  • Entertainment= $50
  • Total = $1469 with $514 leftover
Example budget for $30,000 salary

It may be hard to budget on this salary, but it is doable. The key is to prioritize your needs and not waste money on unneeded things.

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5 thoughts on “$30,000 a Year is How Much an Hour? And How To Live On It”

  1. You must live in a dream…. U.S.A obviously,… Canada is a little different.. Even in a small rural city you are looking at $1,100 – $1,300/ month plus utilities for a home and a mobile home that was made in the 1950’s (that the insurance company will not insure because of age) is at least $70,000 to buy and add at least $300 to $500/month for lot rental on top of that. Homes start (even 1 bedroom house) start at $250,000+
    The only vehicles you can get for $2000 are ones for parts or will not pass safety for insurance.
    I have the highest rated insurance discount in my province of 33% and I still pay $130/month for insurance which is common. And my province is one of the best for insurance as registration and insurance cost are combined.
    Internet… Canadians pay one of the most highest bill once it comes to internet… min. $100/month.
    Food is getting expensive as well, I get the basics and can get away with $250 a month for my self. That include no going out for takeout or coffee runs, I take a cup of coffee from home to work and usually will have one there.

    So let me break it down..

    Savings of 10% = $198
    Rent/ Mortgage + Utilities= $1,250 – $1,400
    Car Payment= lol $0 (You can purchase a cheap Honda or Toyota for about 2k.) Good luck
    Car Insurance= $130 with a good driving record.
    Health Insurance= $100 (that can very as come may carry an additional health with full time work)
    Cellphone= $50
    Internet= $100
    Gas= $80 (winter is coming)
    Groceries= $250
    Personal & Misc= $100
    Entertainment= $50

    = $2,600 month approx.
    Compare to:
    Total = $1469 with $514 leftover
    Must be nice living in the dream world.

    And That doesn’t count for our taxes up here.. When $1,000 drops down to $875 due to deductions.

    • There are different prices in the various areas of the U.S. as well. This was only meant as an example of what can be possible for some. Of course, it is down to the reader to use the various ways possible to lower their bills. There are often times when people think they are being as frugal as they can, and they are actually not. Even I am sometimes amazed by the ways I realize I’ve been wasting money.

  2. Thank you for this article. I make $30k a year “net” and am single. I am doing 99% of the things you listed and have accumulated enough savings to pay cash on a condo or mobile home. This is exceptional during a pandemic, recession and war going on in 2022.


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