Are you job hunting at the moment? Besides choosing the industry you want to find work in, one of the key factors you’ll be interested in is how much the jobs you’re looking at might pay you. If this is your first job after school or college, then you might not have a benchmark figure to start from. Trying to work out how much a job is worth to you in terms of the lifestyle it can buy you is tricky to put a figure on if you’re new to work. Let’s start by taking the figure of $25,000. Job ads often include the annual salary for a permanent position and an hourly rate for part-time work. So, $25,000 a year is how much an hour?
This depends on how many hours you work in the year, how much vacation time you take, and whether you also receive any other benefits such as healthcare on top of your basic salary.
Read on to find out what $25,000 a year will mean to your lifestyle.
Salary with no paid vacation
If you don’t receive a paid vacation as part of your annual earnings, which might be the case if you’re self-employed for example, then you’ll need to factor time off into your salary.
If you plan to take two weeks of unpaid vacation leave each year but work a 40 hour week, then this amounts to 2,000 hours of work each year.
So when working out your $25,000 per year hourly rate, this is a simple calculation of dividing your annual salary by 2,000 hours to give you a per hour rate of $12.50.
Salary with paid vacation
On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to receive two weeks of paid vacation, but still work for 40 hours per week, then this makes your rate $12.02 per hour all year round, including when you’re lying on a beach somewhere! Sounds pretty good, hey?
Is $25,000 a year a good salary?
So now you’ve asked the question “$25,000 a year is how much an hour?”, your next calculation will be wondering how this compares to other people.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the median salary of America’s 112.1 million full-time wage and salary workers was $989 per week during the first quarter of 2021.
This is not seasonally adjusted data.
This works out as $51,248 per year including two weeks of paid vacation. So by looking at this, you can see that an annual salary of $25,000 is just less than half the median rate.
Don’t panic though, because another way of looking at the salary bracket is to check out how much is $25,000 a year per hour in comparison to minimum wage.
The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour, which hasn’t increased since 2009. Your $25,000 per year hourly rate will earn you almost 40% more than the federal minimum wage.
However, different states are able to set their own minimum wage which is separate from the federal benchmark figure.
For example, California offers $14 per hour which will be raised to $15 per hour from January 2022. Wondering how much is $15 an hour annually? If you’re working a 2,000 hour year, then you could expect that to be $30,000 over the course of a year.
At the other end of the scale, the two states with the lowest minimum wage are Georgia and Wyoming who both pay $5.15 per hour.
The exception to this rate is for employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act who are required to pay the federal rate of $7.25.
This shows that a $25,000 salary bracket will offer you quite a different quality of life depending on which area of the country you’re based in.
What lifestyle does a $25,000 per year hour rate provide?
Now that you understand how much is $25,000 a year per hour, let’s take a look at the type of lifestyle you can expect from this amount of salary.
If you’re no longer living at home with your parents, then you’ll typically need to set aside part of your monthly pay packet for either rent or a mortgage payment.
The national median amount for the rent of a 1-bed flat was $1,078 a month during 2019. Once you’ve factored in your tax payments, you can expect rent to take up a significant chunk of your take-home pay.
However, if you’re earning $25,000 or similar, then it’s worth checking with your local Housing and Urban Development office, as there’s a very good chance you’ll be eligible to receive rental assistance at a federal and state level.
You might receive a check which covers part of the cost of your rent.
Alternatively, you might be eligible for a new apartment which is offered at a discounted rental rate.
If you dream of being a homeowner, then they also have various homeownership and home buying assistance programs on offer too.
Taking care of bills
After your rental commitment, you’ll also need to pay part of your paycheck towards utility bills such as gas, electricity, and water usage.
If you’re a low earner, then you might qualify for the government’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Be aware though that there are only limited funds available with this support scheme and once the money has been dispersed it simply runs out.
Therefore it’s important to come up with a backup plan in the event that this support isn’t available to you.
Lowering your food bill
If you want to really make your $25,000 annual pay stretch as far as possible, then it’s important to keep unnecessary spending to a minimum.
Whilst food is certainly essential, unfortunately, American food habits involve a colossal amount of wastage.
In fact, each day in the States, approximately one pound of food per person is wasted.
This equals 30-40% of the nation’s food supply, according to the United States Department of Food and Agriculture
The great news is that there is plenty that you can do to make the most of your food and therefore save money.
From packing your own lunch to take to work, to meal planning and saving your leftovers, these are all frugal living steps that will maximize your $25,000 per year hourly rate.
Changing your transport
Everyone has a different reliance on transport which will determine how much of your monthly paycheck you can apportion to paying for your ride.
It’s very easy to say that you should cycle or walk from A to B as much as you can.
But if your $25,000 a year job is a 30-minute drive away, and there’s zero public transport in place to get you there, then obviously you’ll need access to a vehicle.
Check out car sharing as an idea to help cut down on costs if possible. Or look at switching to a vehicle that guzzles less gas and is, therefore, cheaper to run.
Is $25,000 enough for you to earn? Did you begin reading this guide wondering “if I make $25,000 a year, how much is that an hour?” Now you know not only the monetary figures involved but also the type of lifestyle you can expect from this type of salary, along with tips to stretch your funds further. For more top personal finance tips, check out The Finances Hub today.