$15 an Hour is How Much per Year?

The minimum hourly wage people can earn varies depending on where they live. $15 is the minimum wage people can get in California. 

That leads many people to think: “15 dollars an hour is how much a year?” You can find the answer to that question in this article.

Knowing this information can help you decide if you want to take another job in the future. You also need to know how much money you get at the end of the year if you want to apply for a student loan, bank loan, or car loan.

The same applies when calculating what you have to pay in taxes. Remember it’s not the same to know the income you get annually before and after taxes.

People often get confused about this matter because they forget they need to pay a significant percentage of what they earn in taxes. You can’t make any future plans if you don’t know your taxes and before taxes income. 

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How Much Is $15 an Hour, 40 Hours Week?

Working 40 hours a week for $15/hour gives you $600 at the end of each week before taxes. I’m using 40 hours as the standard for this page because it’s what most full-time jobs require you to work weekly. Other jobs may ask you to work more time or less depending on where you live, though. 

I’m answering each question on this page under the assumption you work 40 hours a week, so the information here may not be that helpful for you if you have a different work schedule. You can, though, use the same mathematical operations I used and change the hours I use for yours. 

Overall, the equation itself is not that hard. I know these things can get confusing, but as long as you have an average of the number of hours you work weekly, you’re good to go.

How Much Is 15 Dollars an Hour, 40 Hours a Week After Taxes

The amount of money you get after paying all your taxes depends on your financial situation and the taxes you have to pay. Things can change depending on how much you earn, where you live, and even what you spend on other additional services such as water and electricity. 

No one who hasn’t studied your taxes and your financial situation can tell you what your taxes are. 

But as an example, if you’re in the 12% federal income tax bracket, the $600 you earned pre-tax becomes $528 post-tax. This also doesn’t factor in state taxes if you owe those.

To get a more precise after-tax number you could hire someone to tell you what your taxes are so you can know how much you need to pay at the end of each year. Accountants and financial advisors are excellent for this matter, but you may only go for this alternative if you can afford it. 

Learning your weekly income is useful depending on why you want the information. If you want to buy something next week or to see how much money you can save a week, it’s an ideal thing to do. 

You would still need to know how much you make a week to calculate your monthly income, so it’s better to know that number as soon as possible. 

The weekly income you get doesn’t include tips and doing extra hours since they are not a constant source of income. You need to add them to the total amount you make at the end of the week. 

Getting an estimate of how much you make a week on tips is essential for people working as waiters or waitresses since it helps them understand the amount of money they can count on at the end of each month. The same happens when working extra hours. 

How Much Is 15 Dollars an Hour Monthly?

People working 400 hours a week for $15 get $2,600 monthly. Knowing your monthly income is as important as your annual and weekly earnings. You need to do a different mathematical operation to get to your monthly income, though. 

The first thing you need to know is that your monthly income before taxes and other deductions is called your gross monthly income. This applies, too, to your weekly and yearly earnings, so they are called gross weekly income and gross yearly income accordingly. 

Assuming you work under a 40-hours-a-week schedule, you need to multiply that number to the $15 you get per hour. After that, multiply what you get to 52 weeks, which is the number of weeks each year has.

Divide the number you get by 12 months, and you get your gross monthly income, which in this case is $2,600. You can use the same calculation regardless of how many hours you work a week.

What Salary Equals $15/Hour?

A salary of $15/hour gives you $31,200 a year. Things change when you think about your after taxes income since, as I mentioned before, it depends on your financial situation and the taxes you have to pay annually.

Calculating your gross annual income is simple.  You’ll need to multiply your $15 per hour to 40 hours a week and then multiply what that gives you to 52 weeks.

If you want to get an estimate of how much you can lose in taxes, you can take 12 to 25% of your income as a reference. Doing that may not give you an exact amount, but it can help you prepare yourself for what it might be. 

Make sure to not forget it’s just an estimate, though. Many people get confused over this and pay less than what they need to pay in taxes. The problem with that is you can get into severe legal issues with the IRS for that. 

Those problems are likely not going to put you in jail or something similar, but they cost you a lot of money due to penalties. The penalties you pay depend on the mistake you made, but many of them are expensive and take a significant percentage of your annual income from you. 

Is $15 an Hour Good Pay?

Earning $15 per hour is good pay in the U.S, but it’s not the best you can find. Things change depending on the state you live in, but this salary is enough for most of them.

Others have a higher cost of living index, but you only need to reduce costs in more expensive states. 

If you are frugal throughout the month and only spend money on things you need, you may even get some left to save at the end of each month, which is excellent for people looking forward to buying big things in the future or applying for a loan. 

When people say “15 dollars an hour is how much a year?” they’re expecting they are going to get a high number and then get disappointed when they see how much they get and how much they need to pay in taxes. This salary is decent for young people, but adults need something more. 

Some states, such as Alabama, offer a decent lifestyle for the money you get on that salary, but others, such as California, where $15 is the minimum hourly wage, need you to earn a bit more to live comfortably. 

Can You Live on $15/Hour?

You can comfortably live on $15/hour in a low cost of living area if you only need to cover your expenses and don’t have to take care of children or pets. That makes this salary ideal for anyone going to college or looking for a startup before getting a house or something like it. 

People living with roommates or their parents can perfectly live off this salary and still save some money for the end of the month.  

You can have a harder time paying off your debts if you are an adult with more responsibilities or children, but you could still manage to live on this salary if you transition to a more frugal lifestyle and reduce costs.

I don’t recommend you stick with a job that pays you $15/hour if you live with more than three people that don’t bring an additional income to your household. 

15/Hour Is $31,200 Before Taxes

As you could read on this page, your annual salary if you earn $15/hour and work 40 hours a week is $31,200 without taxes and other deductions. You need, though, to keep an eye on what you have to pay on taxes. 

Some people tend to ignore taxes and forget about them and then get shocked when someone tells them how much they need to pay. It’s also important to calculate your taxes correctly since not doing it can bring you severe legal problems.

What most people do is use hourly wage tax calculators since they offer a decent estimate of what they may have to pay on taxes. Hiring a financial advisor is not a bad idea, but you would need to spend some money on fees, so this is only useful if you have money to afford it. 

Guessing your estimates or taking a percentage as a reference is a decent alternative at times, but it could make you make a mistake in the future if you end up paying less or more than what you needed to pay. 

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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