Earning a six figure salary is a milestone that many people want to achieve in their lifetime.
But whilst earning $100,000 may seem like the answer to all of your money problems, those zeros do not necessarily add up to a rich lifestyle unless you take control of your finances.
This guide reveals exactly how much you will be earning per month, week, day and hour on a 100k salary and the kind of lifestyle you can expect to live. We also give you some top tips on what to do with your extra cash to make you more financially secure.
How much is a $100,000 salary per month?
Based on 40 hours of work per week with paid vacation time, your monthly wage is approximately $8,333 before any tax deductions.
How much tax will you pay on a $100k salary?
Most Americans will be expected to pay tax, but exactly how much you pay will depend on which state you live in and which tax bracket your salary falls into.
For income taxes due in the 2021/2022 tax year there are seven federal tax brackets. These are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35% and 37%. A $100k salary falls within the $86, 376 to $164,925 bracket which means you will pay 24% tax. 24% of $100,000 is $24,000, which means your net pay will be approximately $76,000 unless you have any other taxable benefits such as healthcare coming out of your wages.
How much is a $100,000 salary per week?
$76,000 divided by 52 weeks is $1,461 a week. If you get paid weekly rather than monthly, you will either receive four or five weekly pay checks depending on how many weeks there are in that month.
How much is $100,000 per day?
If you work five days a week, divide your annual salary by 52, then divide it by five days per week. If you work fewer days, simply change the calculation to factor in how much you work. For example, your weekly pay based on a 100,000 salary is $1,461 post tax. $1,461 divided by five equals approximately $292.20 per day.
How much is $100,000 per hour?
To work out your hourly earnings simply take your daily rate and divide it by hour many hours you work per day. For example, $292.20 divided by eight gives you an hourly wage of approximately $36.52.
Is $100k a good salary?
There’s no denying that earning $100k a year is a very good salary, but it’s what you do with it that counts. Salaries that are above $80,000 are considered middle class in the USA. The median household gross income for 2021 in America was $53,490 per year.
If you are a single person and earn $100,000 a year and don’t have anybody who is financially dependant on you (children or a spouse), then there’s no denying that you are in very good financial shape. However, if you are a family of six and the sole earner, your earnings will need to cover all of the monthly expenses.
To work out how far your $100k will go for your personal circumstances, you need to go through your monthly expenses first.
Gather at least three months’ bank statements and go through them in detail, making a note of each essential and non-essential transaction that you make each month.
Examples of essential spending include:
• Utility bills.
• Debt repayments.
• Car repayments, insurance and fuel.
Examples of non-essential expenditure include:
• Eating out.
If your essential and non-essential spend equals more than your 100k income, it’s time to start reducing your outgoings. Go through your non-essential spend list and cut out the areas that are costing you the most.
If your income is higher than your expenditure, you’ve highlighted how much disposable income you have that can be saved or used to pay off debt. It’s still a good idea to cut down on your non-essential spending areas to maximize your savings efforts and put your money towards other financial goals.
Decide on a realistic figure for each of your spending categories and how much you will put aside for savings each month: this is your budget.
Once you have completed all of the above steps you will have a much clearer picture of where your $100,000 salary is going.
What kind of lifestyle can you have on a $100k salary?
Let’s now take a detailed look at the factors you need to consider before deciding if $100k is a good salary for your individual circumstances.
If you’re earning $100,000 a year your first priority should be clearing any outstanding credit card debt. Being debt-free will make it easier for you to save, relief from anxiety and money stress and increased financial security.
In America, San Francisco is considered one of the most expensive cities to live in. In December 2021, the median listing home price in San Francisco, CA was $1.3M. With a $100,000 salary you may be able to afford living in San Francisco, but don’t forget to take into account factors that affect the cost of living such as:
Food – grocery prices can vary significantly across different states in America. The actual store that you shop in will also affect your total grocery bill. It’s no good being able to afford the house in San Francisco but not be able to eat.
Transport – if you need to commute, don’t forget to factor the cost of transport into your monthly budget. In some states, public transport costs significantly more than others.
Energy – gas and electricity rates will also depend on where you live. The rates you pay in your state will be determined on generation and transmission costs which are set by government regulation and consumption rates.
Future financial security
If you put your $100,000 salary to good use, you can eliminate debt and enjoy financial freedom. Saving for your retirement will also give you peace of mind that you can live comfortably once you stop earning.
Creating a budget for a 100k income
Earning $100k can mean different things depending on what phase of life you are currently in and the lifestyle that you choose.
The 50-20-30 plan is one of the most popular budgeting techniques that can be applied to any salary. Simply allocate 50% of your monthly income on essentials, 20% to your savings pot and the 30% left can be spent in any way you choose. So, based on this theory you can break down a monthly take-home salary of $6,333 in the following way:
$3,166 should be allocated to your essential outgoings such as mortgage/rent, utility bills, debt repayments, car repayments, insurance and fuel, food and childcare.
$1,899 should be put into a savings fund that can be used for things such as paying off debt, emergencies, buying a home, retirement and your children’s future education.
The remaining $1,266 can be used in any way that you want on non-essential purchases. Non-essential expenditure includes things you want rather than need.
Here’s an example budget based on a $100k annual salary ($6,333 monthly) for a couple living in the US.
Housing – $2,000
Bills – $500
Car payment – $300
Food – $350
Personal – $533
Entertainment – $733
Savings – $1,899
What to do with your 100k salary
Providing you don’t have excessive amounts of debt or a lavish lifestyle, you should comfortably have money spare after living expenses on a $100,000 salary. So, what should you do with it?
Pay off student debt: a good reason to pay off your student loan debt early is that it will lower your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, which is how high your monthly debt payments are compared to your monthly income. Whilst paying student debt early isn’t a good idea if you don’t have much spare cash, it will give you financial freedom if you can afford to pay it off.
Consider paying off your mortgage: paying off chunks of your mortgage can be a wise financial move if you want to free up your monthly cash flow, use the money for something else and pay less interest. Once you’re mortgage free you will own your home completely, giving you more financial security if your situation changes or you started earning less money. Be mindful that some mortgages may have prepayment penalties so always check your contract first.
For an emergency fund: only 39% of Americans can afford a $1,000 emergency expense. Now you’re earning a high salary and you want to know what to do with spare cash from your 100k, creating an emergency fund would be a smart move.
You don’t need to use all of your disposable income for your emergency fund. A sensible amount would be enough to cover three to six months of your living expenses. Look at your budget and total up the expenses that have to be covered every month. Multiply that figure by three or six to come up with how much you should put into your emergency fund.
An emergency fund could be used for:
• Car and home repairs.
• An unexpected medical bill such as emergency dental treatment.
• Covering for outgoings if you lost your job.
• Paying bills if you’re unable to work for health reasons.
• Technology or utility replacements such as a TV or washing machine.
For your retirement: even though you may be decades away from retirement, the earlier you start saving for the later years of your life, the more financially comfortable you will be once you decide to retire. Whilst many Americans believe that social security benefits will cover retirement expenses, in reality this isn’t the case. Thanks to the wonders of new technologies and medical advances, people are living longer, which means that retirement funds need to last longer. Adding to your retirement pot now will take the pressure off saving for your retirement in the future and ensure you have enough money to live a comfortable life.
Investing your money can allow you to grow it and reach your long-term financial goals quicker. But it’s important not to invest in anything that you don’t completely understand. Here are a few investments to consider.
Stocks: if you want to invest money for the long-term, stocks may be a good option for you. The simplest way to invest in stocks is through an online stockbroker. Once this is set up, start researching companies that you’d be happy to invest in from personal experience as a consumer. Consider starting small and only investing in single shares. You can always add to your portfolio over time.
Real estate: whilst you might not be able to buy an entire property from your spare cash, you could save it and use it as a down payment for a rental property and take out a mortgage for the rest. As long as the rental income you get from the property pays for your mortgage and any other costs, it’s a good investment to consider. You could also look into investing in real estate through online P2P platforms. Groups of investors put their money together to jointly purchase commercial or residential real estate.
Corporate bonds: if you’re looking for a low-risk investment, company bonds could be the answer. You can select bonds that are only from large, reputable companies or bonds that will mature within the next few years. Although investments are never risk-free, bonds are generally a lower investment risk than stocks.
Fixed annuities: an annuity is a contract that pays a certain amount of income, typically monthly, over a time period in exchange for an upfront payment. The benefits of fixed annuity investments include guaranteed income and a possibility to grow your investment on a tax-deferred basis
Start your own business: have you got a good business idea that you’ve been itching to get started? Well, if you have spare money from your salary it’s the perfect time to put your plan into action. Don’t get tempted to use it all immediately to get your business off the ground. Put aside a small amount to help get your business started. If, after putting in the required hard work, your business shows potential, put more money in to help it grow. Remember that throwing money at a business idea doesn’t guarantee its success, so only give it a go if you’re sure your business idea is a solid one.
A new car: is it time to upgrade your vehicle? Newer cars have improved fuel economy, cheaper or even zero road tax and you could save on MOT and servicing costs. Plus if you’re pumping regular money into maintaining your current car, you could save a proportion of your monthly budget by running a newer car.
Travel: vacations are a common financial goal for many people, and help motivate them to save money. Whilst it’s not recommended to blow all your disposable income on a handful of luxury vacations, spending a proportion on travelling can help you take a break from work and spend time with family or friends. After all, money should be used to have fun too.
Jobs that pay $100k in America
If you dream of becoming a high earner, these are some of the jobs that hit the six figure salary mark.
Electrical Engineer – the role of an electrical engineer is to develop and improve products relying on electrical power such as communication and navigation systems. It’s possible to bag an engineering job with a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree will allow you to teach or work in research and development as well.
Information Security Analyst – if you think you’ve got the skills to keep computer systems and networks safe from security breaches, an Information Security Analyst could be the right job for you. You will need a degree in a computer field as well as professional certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional.
Operations Manager – overseeing the day-to-day operations of a business is a lucrative career. Implementing policies and strategies will be your daily role that may need a master’s degree and relevant experience to secure a high position like an Operations Manager.
Lawyer – most lawyers get paid a high-end salary after completing a three year Juris Doctor program and passing a licensing exam. You will be responsible for advising clients on legal matters and representing them in court.
Physicist – a physicist is responsible for conducting scientific experiments and studies to test theories that relate to matter and energy. Physicists typically work in a lab and to make discoveries of new phenomena, or develop new ideas. You’ll need a degree in science and a major in either physics, nanoscience or astrophysics.
So, is $100k a good salary?
If you’ve got a career that earns $100,000 a year, congratulations.
Whilst you should be able to live very comfortably, just remember that the quality of life you can expect on that salary will depend on which state you live in.
Regardless of how much money you earn, our personal finance blog contains the latest information and advice on how to control your finances.