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Unlike most jobs, which pay by the hour, annual salaries are reported as a lump sum, making it tricky to calculate how much you make per hour. However, by doing a little math, you can easily determine your hourly wage from your annual salary. 

In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know about a $55000 annual income, including hourly pay and a sample budget that will help you figure out how to budget your salary.

$55K a Year Is How Much an Hour?

Here are the steps you need to take to determine how much you make per hour on a salary of $55,000 per year (based on a full-time, 40-hour work week). 

1. Calculate the number of hours you work in a year: 

40 Hours per week X 52 weeks = 2080 Hours per year 

2. Divide $55,000 by 2080 hours = $26.44 per hour.

As you can see, based on a $55,000 salary, your hourly rate will be $26.44. That’s well above the federal minimum wage. Of course, your hourly rate will be lower if you work more than 40 hours per week and higher if you work less. 

Also, remember that $26.34 represents your gross hourly rate before taxes or other deductions. You’ll need to subtract those from your gross hourly rate to get your net hourly wage. 

How Does 55K a Year Compare? 

A $55,000 salary is slightly higher than the national average income of $48,672 but less than the median household income of $68,703

While a $55,000 salary might not seem impressive initially, you may think differently when you compare it to other jobs paying around the same amount. Remember that by advancing in your company and taking on added responsibility, you will have an opportunity to earn more money. 

The question you might want to ask is whether 55,000 dollars a year will be enough to support your desired lifestyle. 

Is $26.44 a Good Hourly Rate?

This is a difficult question because it depends on many factors, such as the cost of living in your area and your experience level. However, in general, $26.44 is a liveable hourly rate that can support a modest family and oneself. For 2020, the federal poverty level for a single person without dependents is $12,760.

If your family has dependents, the poverty level increases. For example, for a family of four in 2020, the poverty level is $26,200. Therefore, if you are making $26.44 per hour, you are above the poverty level and can support yourself and your family.

Of course, $26.44 is not a high hourly rate, so you may have to budget carefully to make ends meet. However, it is possible to live on this salary if you are careful with your money.

Is $55k a Year Worth Your Time? 

While $55,000 might not sound like a lot, it’s important to understand the value of your time. In other words, how much is your time worth to you?

As I explained earlier, if you make $55,000 per year by working 40 hours per week, it adds up to 2080 hours per year. 

Now, let’s say you could make the same $55,000 per year but only had to work 20 hours per week. In other words, you’d only have to work 1,040 hours. Your hourly rate would then be $52.68.

In this example, you’d be making the same salary but working half as many hours. This would give you more free time to do things you enjoy outside of work.

Of course, there are other factors to consider, such as the type of work you’re doing and your quality of life. But, in general, doing so can help you understand the true value of your time and earn better money than your current placement.

How to Make More While Working Less

Here are some tips on how to make $55,000 per year working fewer than 40 hours per week. 

  • Get a better-paying job: If you want to make more money, it’s simple – get a better-paying job. There are several ways to do this, such as changing careers, asking for a raise, or negotiating a higher salary when starting a new job.
  • Get experience in a high-paying industry: Another way to make more money is to get experience in a high-paying industry. For example, if you’re currently working in the retail industry, you could look for jobs in the banking or technology industries.
  • Be Skillful: Skill is always in demand, and companies are willing to pay a premium. If you have a skill that is in high demand, you can use it to negotiate a higher salary or hourly rate.
  • Start your own business: If you’re entrepreneurial, you could start your own business. It will give you the potential to earn much more money than you would work for someone else.
  • Create digital assets: This passive income strategy allows you to make money while you sleep. By creating products you can sell online, such as e-books, courses, or software, you can earn a residual income that can provide you with a comfortable living.
  • Outsource your work: If you have skills that others need, you could start a business where you outsource your services. This could include things like web design, copywriting, or marketing.

All of the above are perfectly viable options for making more money. It’s important to note that none of them are guaranteed to work.

It’s also worth noting that, while it is possible to make more money by working fewer hours, it’s not always possible to do so.

Because not everyone has the same skills, experience, or qualifications, some people will inevitably make more money than others.

What Is Your Paycheck if You Make $55,000 a Year?

Here’s what an average person earning $55,000 per year can anticipate from their paycheque.

Biweekly Pay

If you make $55,000 per Year, you’ll receive $2,115.38 every two weeks, before taxes and other deductions like health insurance premiums, FICA, or insurance. 

Monthly Pay 

If you are paid monthly rather than biweekly, the checks would be less frequent but larger each time. In this case, you’d receive $4,583.33 per month.

This is also based on a 52-week year without considering any deductions. 

Depending on how many are distributed each Year, you may be compensated for the time off and federal holidays. If so, your monthly salary will likely rise based on an hourly basis.

How Does Vacation Impact My Annual Salary? 

If you receive a paid vacation as part of your employment contract, your salary won’t be impacted by any vacation days you take within your annual entitlement. 

If you’re not paid for any vacation you take, your salary may be reduced. For example, if you earn $55,000 per year and take two weeks of unpaid vacation, your annual income would be reduced by $2,115.38, the amount of one bi-weekly pay cycle. 

It’s important to remember that these are just examples, and your actual salary will depend on several factors, including your skills, experience, qualifications, and the number of hours you work.

How Much Is $55000 a Year After Taxes?

As I mentioned, your take-home pay will be less than your gross income because of taxes. The amount of taxes you pay will depend on several factors, including your filing status, job status, the state you live in, retirement contributions, and your income.

Consider the state of Florida, where there is no state income tax.

If you’re single and have no dependents, the tax breakdown on your $55,000 income will look something like this:

  • Federal Income Tax: $5,162
  • FICA taxes: $4,208

Hence, your yearly take-home pay would be $45,631.

If you live in a state with income taxes, your taxes will be higher.

  • Bi-weekly income after tax: Your biweekly income would be $1,755.04, with all else being equal. 
  • Monthly after-tax income: Your monthly income would be $3,802.58.

Here’s a state-by-state list of after-tax salaries in 2022, based on a gross amount of $55,000. 

State By State $55,000 a Year Salary After Taxes in 2022

As you can see, your take-home pay will vary depending on the state you live in. The following list shows how much money you will take home each Year after taxes in 2022.

  1. Alabama ( $43,423 )
  2. Alaska ( $45,705 )
  3. Arizona ( $44,492 )
  4. Arkansas ( $43,544 )
  5. California ( $43,891 )
  6. Colorado ( $43,774 )
  7. Connecticut ( $43,131 )
  8. Delaware ( $43,219 )
  9. Florida ( $45,705 )
  10. Georgia ( $43,135 )
  11. Hawaii ( $42,190 )
  12. Idaho ( $43,192 )
  13. Illinois ( $43,100 )
  14. Indiana ( $43,961 )
  15. Iowa ( $43,577 )
  16. Kansas ( $43,327 )
  17. Kentucky ( $43,090 )
  18. Louisiana ( $44,176 )
  19. Maine ( $43,346 )
  20. Maryland ( $43,544 )
  21. Massachusetts ( $43,175 )
  22. Michigan ( $43,576 )
  23. Minnesota ( $43,224 )
  24. Mississippi ( $43,610 )
  25. Missouri ( $43,874 )
  26. Montana ( $43,313 )
  27. Nebraska ( $43,354 )
  28. Nevada ( $45,705 )
  29. New Hampshire ( $45,705 )
  30. New Jersey ( $44,214 )
  31. New Mexico ( $43,904 )
  32. New York ( $43,169 )
  33. North Carolina ( $43,382 )
  34. North Dakota ( $45,220 )
  35. Ohio ( $44,886 )
  36. Oklahoma ( $43,511 )
  37. Oregon ( $41,421 )
  38. Pennsylvania ( $44,017 )
  39. Rhode Island ( $44,149 )
  40. South Carolina ( $43,278 )
  41. South Dakota ( $45,705 )
  42. Tennessee ( $45,705 )
  43. Texas ( $45,705 )
  44. Utah ( $42,983 )
  45. Vermont ( $44,105 )
  46. Virginia ( $43,112 )
  47. Washington ( $45,705 )
  48. West Virginia ( $43,350 )
  49. Wisconsin ( $43,417 )
  50. Wyoming ( $45,705 )

What Types of Jobs Pay $55,000 Per Year?

There are a variety of jobs that pay $55,000 per Year. Here are some examples:

  1. Accountant
  2. Auditor
  3. Budget Analyst
  4. Commercial Banker
  5. Computer Systems Analyst
  6. Database Administrator
  7. Economist
  8. Financial Analyst
  9. Human Resources Manager
  10. Investment Banker
  11. Market Research Analyst
  12. Operations Research Analyst
  13. Personal Financial Advisor
  14. Product Manager
  15. Sales Manager
  16. Software Developer
  17. Statistician
  18. Stockbroker
  19. Actuary
  20. Financial Examiner
  21. Loan Officer
  22. Purchasing Manager
  23. Urban Planner

As you can see, there are many different types of jobs that pay $55,000 per Year. If you are looking for a job that pays this salary, there are many options to choose from.

Some in-demand tech degrees could lead to an even higher salary.

How To Budget $55,000 a Year?

If you make $55,000 a year, you can live a comfortable life if you budget carefully. Here are some tips on how to budget your money:

  1. Make a budget: The first step to budgeting your money is to create a budget. Figure out how much money you need to spend on essentials like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. Then, you can figure out how much money you have left over for other expenses.
  2. Track your spending: It is essential to keep track of your spending to stay on budget. There are many ways to do this, including using a budgeting app or tracking your spending manually.
  3. Cut unnecessary expenses: Once you know where your money is going, you can start to cut unnecessary expenses. For example, you may be able to save money by eating out less or cutting back on your cable bill.
  4. Save money: It is also important to save money so you can have a cushion in an emergency. You should try to save at least 10% of your income each Year. If you need a little inspiration, here are 85 money-saving ideas you can try. 
  5. Invest money: Another good way to use your extra money is to invest it. This can help you grow your wealth over time and reach your financial goals.

Sample Budget For Those Earning $55,000 a Year

It’s easier to envision living on a $55,000 salary if you can align it to your monthly expenses. To help, here’s a sample budget for an individual or family living on $55k. 

Category Budget Amount Percentage
Housing $951.92 30%
Food $317.31 10%
Insurance $475.96 15%
Entertainment and Recreation $317.31 10%
Saving and Investing $475.96 15%
Utilities $158.65 5%
Transportation $317.31 10%
Personal Expenses $158.65 5%
Total $3,173.08 100%

Final Thoughts on a 55k a Year Salary

No matter how much money you make, it’s important to not let your annual salary define who you are as a person. You can still live a comfortable life even if you don’t make much money. The key is to budget carefully and make smart financial decisions. 

While there are some exceptions, if you are careful with your money, you can live a comfortable life at $55,000 a year in most areas of the country. 

The post $55K a Year Is How Much an Hour? appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.

About Post Author


I'm the host of the Good Morning Gwinnett show which is all about business and technology. I'm also the editor of the Good Morning Gwinnett website.
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