\$10 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

With the federal minimum wage at \$7.25 per hour, an hourly pay rate of \$10 is only marginally higher. But what does an annual salary look like at this entry-level wage? In this article, we’ll break down the yearly, monthly, biweekly, and weekly pay for jobs earning \$10 per hour. We’ll analyze whether \$10/hour provides a livable income, which jobs typically pay this rate, and what kind of lifestyle is possible. Looking at factors like taxes, overtime, and unpaid time off, we’ll calculate the actual take-home earnings from \$10/hour. We’ll also discuss ways to boost income at this pay rate through side gigs, promotions, and developing new skills. While covering basic expenses on \$10 an hour can be challenging, we’ll provide tips for budgeting and maximizing limited funds. Planning for major goals like buying a car or home may not be realistic at this wage. By mapping out the full earnings potential of \$10/hour jobs, individuals can better evaluate their career and financial options.

Convert \$10 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

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\$10 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$10 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$20,800. We calculate your annual income based on 8 hours per day, 5 days per week and 52 weeks in the year.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$10) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$20,800

\$10 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$10 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$1,733.33. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$10) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$1,733.33

\$10 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$10 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$800.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$10) x 2 = \$800

\$10 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$10 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$400. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$10) = \$400

\$10 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$10 an hour, your daily salary would be \$80. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$10) = \$80

\$10 an Hour is How Much a Year?

The basic formula to calculate your annual salary from an hourly wage is:

Hourly Rate x Hours Worked per Week x Number of Weeks Worked per Year = Annual Salary

So for a \$20 per hour job:

\$10 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$20,800

However, this simple calculation makes some assumptions:

• You will work 40 hours every week of the year
• You will not get any paid time off

Therefore, it represents your earnings if you worked every week of the year, without any vacation, holidays, or sick days.

Accounting for Paid Time Off

The \$20,800 base salary does not yet factor in paid time off (PTO). Let’s assume the job provides:

• 2 weeks (10 days) paid vacation
• 6 paid holidays
• 3 paid sick days

This totals 19 paid days off, or nearly 4 weeks of PTO.

Importantly, this paid time off should not be deducted from the annual salary, since you still get paid for those days.

So with 4 weeks PTO, the annual salary would remain \$20,800 .

Part time \$10 an hour is How Much a Year?

Your annual income changes significantly if you work part-time and not full-time.

For example, let’s say you work 30 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$10 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$15,600

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$10 an hour drop from \$20,800 to \$15,600.

That’s a \$5,200 per year difference just by working part-time!

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$10 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$400 \$20,800
35 \$350 \$18,200
30 \$300 \$15,600
25 \$250 \$13,000
20 \$200 \$10,400
15 \$150 \$7,800

The more hours per week, the higher your total yearly earnings. But part-time work allows for more life balance if you don’t need the full salary.

\$10 an Hour With Overtime is How Much a Year?

Now let’s look at how overtime can increase your annual earnings.

Overtime kicks in once you work more than 40 hours in a week. Typically, you earn 1.5x your regular hourly wage for overtime hours.

So if you make \$10 per hour normally, you would make \$15 per hour for any hours over 40 in a week.

Here’s an example:

• You work 45 hours in a Week
• 40 regular hours paid at \$10 per hour = \$400
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$15 per hour = \$75
• Your total one Week earnings =\$400 + \$75 = \$475

If you worked 45 hours each week for 52 weeks, here’s how your annual earnings increase thanks to overtime pay:

\$475 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$24,700

That’s \$3,900 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$10 an hour.

Overtime can add up! But also consider taxes and work-life balance when deciding on extra hours.

Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at \$10 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$400 \$20,800 1 45 \$475 \$24,700 2 50 \$550 \$28,600 3 55 \$625 \$32,500 4 60 \$700 \$36,400 5 65 \$775 \$40,300 6 70 \$850 \$44,200 7 75 \$925 \$48,100

How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$10/Hour Yearly Earnings

So far we’ve assumed you work 52 paid weeks per year. Any unpaid time off will reduce your total income.

For example, let’s say you take 2 weeks of unpaid leave. That brings your paid weeks down to 50:

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$10) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$20,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$10/hour would drop by \$800.

The table below summarizes how your annual income changes depending on the number of weeks of unpaid leave.

 Weeks of unpaid leave Paid weeks per year Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 52 \$400 \$20,800 1 51 \$400 \$20,400 2 50 \$400 \$20,000 3 49 \$400 \$19,600 4 48 \$400 \$19,200 5 47 \$400 \$18,800 6 46 \$400 \$18,400 7 45 \$400 \$18,000

Key Takeaways for \$10 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$10 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$20,800 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$15,600 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$3,900 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$800 less per 2 weeks off.
• Your specific situation and location impacts taxes and PTO.

Knowing your approximate annual salary and factors impacting it makes it easier to budget and plan your finances. The next step is calculating take-home pay after deductions like taxes.

\$10 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes

Figuring out your actual annual earnings based on an hourly wage can be complicated once taxes are taken into account. In addition to federal, state, and local income taxes, 7.65% of your gross pay also goes to Social Security and Medicare through FICA payroll taxes. So how much does \$10 an hour equal per year after FICA and income taxes are deducted from your gross pay?

Below we’ll walk through the steps to calculate your annual net take home pay if you make \$10 per hour. This will factor in estimated federal, FICA, state, and local taxes so you know exactly what to expect.

Factoring in Federal Income Tax

Your federal income tax will be a big chunk out of your gross pay. Federal tax rates range from 10% to 37%, depending on your tax bracket.

To estimate your federal income tax rate and liability:

Look up your federal income tax bracket based on your gross pay.

2023 tax brackets: single filers

Tax rate Taxable income bracket Tax owed
10% \$0 to \$11,000. 10% of taxable income.
12% \$11,001 to \$44,725. \$1,100 plus 12% of the amount over \$11,000.
22% \$44,726 to \$95,375. \$5,147 plus 22% of the amount over \$44,725.
24% \$95,376 to \$182,100. \$16,290 plus 24% of the amount over \$95,375.
32% \$182,101 to \$231,250. \$37,104 plus 32% of the amount over \$182,100.
35% \$231,251 to \$578,125. \$52,832 plus 35% of the amount over \$231,250.
37% \$578,126 or more. \$174,238.25 plus 37% of the amount over \$578,125.

For example, if you are single with \$20,800 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 12%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$1,100 + (\$20,800 – \$11,000) x 12% = \$2,276

So at \$10/hour with \$20,800 gross pay, you would owe about \$2,276 in federal income taxes.

Considering State Income Tax

In addition to federal tax, most states also charge a state income tax. State income tax rates range from about 1% to 13%, with most falling between 4% and 6%.

Key Takeaways

• California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon have some of the highest state income tax rates.
• Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming don’t impose an income tax at all.
• Another 10 U.S states have a flat tax rate—everyone pays the same percentage regardless of how much they earn.

A State-by-State Comparison of Income Tax Rates

STATE TAX RATES LOWEST AND HIGHEST INCOME BRACKETS
Florida 0% None
South Dakota 0% None
Tennessee 0% None
Texas 0% None
Washington 0% None
Wyoming 0% None
Colorado 4.55% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Illinois 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Indiana 3.23% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Kentucky 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Massachusetts 5% Flat rate applies to all incomes
New Hampshire 5% Flat rate on interest and dividend income only
North Carolina 4.99% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Pennsylvania 3.07% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Utah 4.95% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Michigan 4.25% Flat rate applies to all incomes
Arizona 2.59% to 4.5% \$27,806 and \$166,843
Arkansas 2% to 5.5% \$4,300 and \$8,501
California 1% to 13.3% \$9,325 and \$1 million
Connecticut 3% to 6.99% \$10,000 and \$500,000
Delaware 0% to 6.6% \$2,000 and \$60,001
Alabama 2% to 5% \$500 and \$3,001
Georgia 1% to 5.75% \$750 and \$7,001
Hawaii 1.4% to 11% \$2,400 and \$200,000
Idaho 1.125% to 6.5% \$1,568 and \$7,939
Iowa 0.33% to 8.53% \$1,743 and \$78,435
Kansas 3.1% to 5.7% \$15,000 and \$30,000
Louisiana 1.85% to 4.25% \$12,500 and \$50,001
Maine 5.8% to 7.15% \$23,000 and \$54,450
Maryland 2% to 5.75%  \$1,000 and \$250,000
Minnesota 5.35% to 9.85% \$28,080 and \$171,221
Mississippi 0% to 5% \$5,000 and \$10,001
Missouri 1.5% to 5.3% \$1,121 and \$8,968
Montana 1% to 6.75% \$2,900and \$17,400
Nebraska 2.46% to 6.84% \$3,340 and \$32,210
New Jersey 1.4% to 10.75% \$20,000 and \$1 million
New Mexico 1.7% to 5.9% \$5,500 and \$210,000
New York 4% to 10.9% \$8,500 and \$25 million
North Dakota 1.1% to 2.9% \$41,775 and \$458,350
Ohio 0% to 3.99% \$25,000 and \$110,650
Oklahoma 0.25% to 4.75% \$1,000 and \$7,200
Oregon 4.75% to 9.9% \$3,750 and \$125,000
Rhode Island 3.75% to 5.99% \$68,200 and \$155,050
South Carolina 0% to 7% \$3,110 and \$15,560
Vermont 3.35% to 8.75% \$42,150 and \$213,150
Virginia 2% to 5.75% \$3,000 and \$17,001
Washington, D.C. 4% to 9.75% \$10,000 and \$1 million
West Virginia 3% to 6.5% \$10,000 and \$60,000
Wisconsin 3.54% to 7.65% \$12,760 and \$280,950

To estimate your state income tax:

Look up your state income tax rate based on your gross pay and filing status.

Multiply your gross annual pay by the state tax rate.

For example, if you live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate, your estimated state tax would be:

\$20,800 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$638.56 estimated state income tax

So with \$20,800 gross annual income, you would owe around in \$638.56 Pennsylvania state income tax. Verify your specific state’s income tax rates.

Factoring in Local Taxes

Some cities and counties levy local income taxes ranging from 1-3% of taxable income.

To estimate potential local taxes you may owe:

• Check if your city or county charges a local income tax.
• If yes, look up the local income tax rate.
• Multiply your gross annual pay by the local tax rate.

For example, say you live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax. Your estimated local tax would be:

\$20,800 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$520 estimated local tax

So with \$20,800 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$520 in Columbus local income taxes. Verify rates for your own city/county.

Accounting for FICA Taxes (Social Security & Medicare)

FICA taxes are a combination of Social Security and Medicare taxes that equal 15.3% of your earnings. You are responsible for half of the total bill (7.65%), which includes a 6.2% Social Security tax and 1.45% Medicare tax on your earnings.

In 2023, only the first \$160,200 of your earnings are subject to the Social Security tax

There is an additional 0.9% surtax on top of the standard 1.45% Medicare tax for those who earn over \$200,000 (single filers) or \$250,000 (joint filers).

To estimate your FICA tax payment:

\$20,800 x 6.2% + \$20,800 x 1.45% = \$1,591.20

So you can expect to pay about \$1,591.20 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$20,800 in earnings.

Total Estimated Tax Payments

Based on the examples above, your total estimated tax payments would be:

Federal tax: \$2,276

State tax: \$638.56

Local tax: \$520

FICA tax: \$1,591.20

Total Estimated Tax: \$5,025.76

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$10 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$20,800 gross pay – \$5,025.76 Total Estimated Tax = \$15,774.24 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$10 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$15,774.24 per year after federal, state, local , FICA taxes.

Your actual net income may vary depending on your specific tax situation. But this gives you a general idea of what to expect.

Convert \$10 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$10 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$20,800 .

The \$20,800 per year salary does not account for taxes. Federal, state, and local taxes will reduce your take-home pay. The amount withheld depends on your location, filing status, dependents, and other factors.

Just now during our calculation of \$10 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$20,800 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 12 %.
• You live in Pennsylvania which has a flat 3.07% tax rate
• You live in Columbus, OH which has a 2.5% local income tax.

In the end, we calculated your Total Estimated Tax is \$5,025.76 , Your Take Home Pay is \$15,774.24 , Total tax rate is 24.16%.

So next we’ll use 24.16% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

\$10 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, Weekly,and Week Salary After Taxes Table

 Income before taxes Estimated Tax Rate Income Taxes After Tax Income Yearly Salary \$20,800 24.16% \$5,025.76 \$15,774.24 Monthly Salary \$1,733.33 24.16% \$418.81 \$1,314.52 BiWeekly Salary \$800 24.16% \$193.30 \$606.70 Weekly Salary \$400 24.16% \$96.65 \$303.35

\$10  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 24.16% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$20,800
• Estimated tax rate: 24.16%
• Taxes owed (24.16% * \$20,800 )= \$5,025.76
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$15,774.24
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$10 40 52 \$20,800 24.16% \$5,025.76 \$15,774.24

\$10 an hour is how much a month after taxes

To calculate the monthly salary based on an hourly wage, you first need the yearly salary amount. Then divide by 12 months.

• Yearly salary before taxes at \$10 per hour: \$20,800
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$20,800 / 12 = \$1,733.33 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$10 per hour is \$1,733.33 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 24.16% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$1,733.33
• Estimated tax rate: 24.16%
• Taxes owed (24.16% * \$1,733.33 )= \$418.81
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$1,314.52

Monthly Salary Based on \$10 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$10 \$20,800 12 \$1,733.33 24.16% \$418.81 \$1,314.52

\$10 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$10 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$10
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$10 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$800 biweekly

Applying the 24.16%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$800
• Estimated tax rate: 24.16%
• Taxes owed (24.16% * \$800 )= \$193.30
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$606.70

Biweekly Salary at \$10 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Per Pay Period Before-Tax Biweekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Biweekly Salary
\$10 40 2 \$800 24.16% \$193.30 \$606.70

\$10 an hour is how much weekly after taxes

To find the weekly salary based on an hourly wage, you need to know the number of hours worked per week. At 40 hours per week, the calculation is:

• Hourly wage: \$10
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$10 * 40 hours = \$400 per week

Accounting for the estimated 24.16% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$400
• Estimated tax rate: 24.16%
• Taxes owed (24.16% * \$400 )= \$96.65
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$303.35

Weekly Salary at \$10 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$10 40 \$400 24.16% \$96.65 \$303.35

Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$10 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$20,800 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 24.16% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$15,774.24 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$10 per hour equals \$1,733.33 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$1,314.52 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$10 per hour is \$400 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$303.35 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$10 per hour is \$800 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$606.70 .

Understanding annual, monthly, weekly, and biweekly salary equivalents based on an hourly wage is useful when budgeting and financial planning. Taxes make a significant difference in take-home pay, so be sure to account for them when making income conversions. Use this guide as a reference when making salary calculations.

What Is the Average Hourly Wage in the US?

Last Updated: Sep 1 2023

US Average Hourly Earnings is at a current level of \$33.82, up from 33.74 last month and up from 32.43 one year ago. This is a change of 0.24% from last month and 4.29% from one year ago.

Average Hourly Earnings is the average dollars that a private employee makes per hour in the US. This metric is a part of one of the most important releases every month which includes unemployment numbers as well. This is normally released on the first Friday of every month. This metric is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What is the average salary in the U.S.?

Last Updated: July 18, 2023

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses median salary data rather than averages to avoid skewed numbers from outlying high and low numbers. Median weekly earnings of the nation's 121.5 million full-time wage and salary workers were \$1,100 in the second quarter of 2023, the U.S.

If a person works 52 weeks in the year, then this represents a national annual salary of \$57,200.

Is \$10 an Hour a Good Salary?

The federal minimum wage is currently \$7.25 an hour. So at first glance, \$10 an hour seems better than minimum wage. However, when adjusted for inflation, \$10 an hour has less buying power than in decades past.

In 1968, the federal minimum wage was \$1.60. Adjusted for inflation, \$1.60 in 1968 has the same buying power as \$12.27 today. In other words, minimum wage workers in 1968 could actually buy more goods and services than someone earning \$10 an hour in 2023.

The cost of housing, food, transportation, healthcare and other necessities has risen dramatically in the past few decades. So \$10 an hour does not go nearly as far as it once did. While better than minimum wage, \$10 an hour is now considered a low wage for most of the United States.

Jobs that pay \$10 an hour

There are a variety of jobs that typically pay around \$10 an hour:

• Cashiers
• Food service workers (fast food, dishwashers, bussers)
• Retail sales associates
• Hotel housekeepers
• Home health aides
• Child care workers
• Security guards
• Janitors and cleaners
• Nursing assistants
• Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Most of these occupations do not require extensive education or training. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most jobs paying under \$12 an hour require a high school diploma or less. Those without college degrees or specialized skills often have limited options for well-paid employment.

Can You Live Off \$10 An Hour?

While possible in some parts of the country, living alone on \$10 an hour would be extremely challenging. At \$10 an hour for a full 40 hour work week, pre-tax income is:

• \$10/hour x 40 hours/week = \$400 per week
• \$400 per week x 52 weeks/year = \$20,800 per year

Could you support yourself and afford basics like housing, transportation, food and healthcare on less than \$21,000 a year? Let’s break down some typical costs:

Housing

Rental prices vary widely depending on location. But in many urban and suburban areas, even modest one-bedroom apartments start at \$1,000 – \$1,500 per month. At \$1,500 per month, rent would absorb \$18,000 per year – leaving only \$2800 for ALL other expenses. More realistic rent of \$800 per month means \$9,600 a year for housing.

Transportation

Owning a car involves gas, insurance, registration and maintenance costs. Monthly public transportation passes typically run \$50 – \$100 per month (\$600 – \$1200/year). Owning an older used car might cost \$3000- \$4000 per year including gas, insurance and incidentals.

Food

Grocery costs for nutritious food for one person could easily total \$300 – \$400 per month, or \$3600 – \$4800 per year.

Healthcare

Even with subsidized public health insurance options like Medicaid, out-of-pocket medical expenses like prescriptions, copays and deductibles can cost \$500 – \$1000+ per year.

Other Necessities

Basic utilities like electricity, cellphone, clothing and essential household items could cost \$200 – \$400 per month or \$2400 to \$4800 per year.

Adding up just the bare minimum basics – it’s easy to see how \$20,800 per year would quickly be exhausted. And that doesn’t factor in emergencies, car repairs, student loans or other debts, entertainment or travel.

While sharing living expenses with roommates could make \$10 an hour livable in certain areas, it is very difficult to fully support yourself independently on this salary.

The impact of inflation on the value of \$10 an hour

Inflation erodes the real value of wages over time. As the cost of goods, services and living expenses rises, the purchasing power of a fixed hourly wage decreases.

Here is how inflation has affected the buying power of \$10/hour over the past two decades:

• In 2000, \$10/hour was equivalent to \$15.80 in 2023 dollars – it could buy significantly more goods.
• By 2010, the buying power of \$10/hour had declined to \$12.40 in current dollars.
• And today’s \$10/hour wage has the equivalent buying power as just \$10 in 2023 dollars.

This demonstrates that inflation steadily reduces real wages. Someone earning \$10/hour in 2023 faces higher living costs but stagnant earnings.

Looking ahead, if inflation averaged 2-3% per year, in ten years from now, \$10 an hour would only have the buying power of about \$8.25 to \$8.50 in 2023 dollars.

Inflation and rising costs for basics like housing and medicine make it increasingly difficult to live on \$10/hour over time. Workers earning this wage struggle to afford rent, food, transportation and medical care now – and their economic challenges will only compound over the next decade without meaningful wage growth.

5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

For those trying to survive on \$10/hour or less, here are some options to increase your income:

1. Ask for a raise – If you’ve been a good employee for some time, request a salary review and raise from your manager. Come armed with data on your experience level, positive performance, and rising living costs.
2. Find opportunities for overtime – Volunteer for extra shifts or hours whenever possible to benefit from time-and-a-half pay over 40 hours/week.
3. Develop new skills – Take classes to gain certifications or expertise to qualify for better-paying work.
4. Seek promotions – Apply for any internal promotions to move up to higher-level roles in your company or field.
5. Explore side gigs – Consider part-time work with a rideshare service, food delivery app, freelance websites etc. to supplement income from your regular job.

Adding even an extra \$100 – \$200 per week from a side gig or promotion can make a big difference. The key is increasing your income potential beyond just minimum wage.

Buying a car on \$10 an hour

Is buying a car realistic on \$10 an hour? Unless you can pay for a car upfront in cash, the answer is generally no.

Many mainstream auto lenders require borrowers to have a debt-to-income ratio around 36% or less for approval. At \$20,800 per year in earnings, buying a used car for \$10,000 with a \$200 monthly loan payment would put your debt ratio at 43% – too high for most lenders.

For a \$5000 used car with \$100/month payments, the ratio would be lower at 28% but still potentially too high, depending on your other debts.

While possible with a large down payment or co-signer, buying a car while earning \$10 an hour is very difficult for most people. You need enough steady income to make required loan payments plus cover insurance, gas and repairs.

Occasional big repair bills can also destroy a car budget at this income level. It may be wiser to rely on public transportation or an inexpensive used beater car purchased in cash. Financing a newer used car is very risky. Save up until you’re earning more income.

Can You Buy a House on \$10 An Hour?

Again, the short answer is no in most housing markets. As an extremely rough guideline, mortgage lenders approve loans based on borrowing no more than 3-4 times your annual income. On \$20,800 a year, that means affordability for a mortgage of:

• 3 x \$20,800 = \$62,400
• 4 x \$20,800 = \$83,200

Even with a 10% down payment, the maximum mortgage amount would only allow purchase of a home priced at \$69,000 to \$92,000 – likely a small condo or a fixer-upper home in a low cost rural area, not a typical single family starter home.

In many areas, the median home price is \$300,000 and above – far out of reach on this salary. Plus, earning \$10 an hour would make it extremely difficult to save up enough cash for a 10% down payment and closing costs.

While home ownership may be possible with a partner combining incomes or remote work from a very low cost region, buying a home at \$10 an hour wages is simply not realistic for most individuals. Renting is the only feasible option.

Example Budget For \$10 Per Hour

Here is one example of a bare bones budget for an individual living alone on \$10 an hour full-time:

• Monthly Take-Home Pay: \$1600
• Rent: \$800
• Utilities: \$200
• Phone: \$40
• Transportation: \$130 (public transit costs)
• Groceries: \$250
• Car Insurance: \$100
• Health Insurance: \$150
• Total Expenses: \$1670

This leaves just \$70 per month left over – not enough to cover gas, medical copays, car repairs, clothing, personal care items and other necessities. This fictional budget highlights the difficulty of affording normal living expenses on this salary.

Cutting costs further would require moving to substandard housing, eliminating the phone, wearing old clothes and reducing nutrition. Even a very frugal budget would be extremely tight at this wage level.

In Summary

Whilebetter than minimum wage, \$10 an hour provides a very low income by most standards, especially for independent adults. Housing, transportation and healthcare costs consume large shares of earnings. Successfully supporting yourself on this salary requires substantial cuts to normal living expenses or supplemental income streams. Inflation steadily eats away at purchasing power of a static \$10 hourly wage. While full-time jobs may pay \$10 an hour, living comfortably on this income alone is only possible with significant life changes, sacrifices and very careful budgeting.