# \$31 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

With the cost of living rising rapidly, an hourly pay rate of \$31 an hour may seem high or barely getting by depending on your situation. This article will break down the exact numbers to show how much you can expect to earn annually and monthly at \$31 per hour, before and after taxes. We’ll calculate the yearly salary for both full-time and part-time work at this hourly wage, factoring in how unpaid time off can reduce actual take-home pay. Converting hourly income to annual salaries can be confusing, but we’ll outline the formulas clearly. We’ll also evaluate if \$31 per hour is considered a good salary in today’s economy and what standard of living it allows. Whether you’re weighing a job offer at \$31 an hour or want to better understand how an hourly wage translates to yearly earnings, this article will provide the key numbers and math. We’ll look at typical jobs that pay \$31 per hour, whether that income lets you afford major purchases like a home or car, tips to increase your earnings, and more. With prices rising so quickly, it’s essential to assess hourly pay in terms of real annual buying power.

## Convert \$31.00 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

Input your wage and hours per week to see how much you’ll make monthly, yearly and more.

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### \$31.00 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$31.00 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$64,480.00 . 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( \$31.00 ) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$64,480.00

### \$31.00 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$31.00 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$5,373.33 . We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage( \$31.00 ) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$5,373.33

### \$31.00 an Hour is How Much a Biweekly?

If you make \$31.00 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$2,480.00 .

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage( \$31.00 ) x 2 = \$2,480.00

### \$31.00 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$31.00 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$1,240.00 . Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage( \$31.00 ) = \$1,240.00

### \$31.00 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$31.00 an hour, your daily salary would be \$248.00 . We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage( \$31.00 ) = \$248.00

## \$31.00 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:

\$31.00 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$64,480.00

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 \$64,480.00 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 \$64,480 .

## Part time \$31.00 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 25 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$31.00 per hour x 25 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$40,300

By working 15 fewer hours per week ( 25 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$31 an hour drop from \$64,480.00 to \$40,300.00 .

That’s a \$24,180.00 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 \$31.00 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$1,240.00 \$64,480.00
35 \$1,085.00 \$56,420.00
30 \$930.00 \$48,360.00
25 \$775.00 \$40,300.00
20 \$620.00 \$32,240.00
15 \$465.00 \$24,180.00

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.

## \$31.00 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 \$31.00 per hour normally, you would make \$46.50 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 \$31.00 per hour = \$1,240.00
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$46.50 per hour = \$232.50
• Your total one Week earnings = \$1,240.00 + \$232.50 = \$1,472.50

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

\$1,472.50 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$76,570.00

That’s \$12,090.00 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$31.00 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 \$31.00 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$1,240.00 \$64,480.00 1 45 \$1,472.50 \$76,570.00 2 50 \$1,705.00 \$88,660.00 3 55 \$1,937.50 \$100,750.00 4 60 \$2,170.00 \$112,840.00 5 65 \$2,402.50 \$124,930.00 6 70 \$2,635.00 \$137,020.00 7 75 \$2,867.50 \$149,110.00

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$31.00 /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( \$31.00 ) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$62,000.00 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$31.00 /hour would drop by \$2,480.00 .

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 \$1,240.00 \$64,480.00 1 51 \$1,240.00 \$63,240.00 2 50 \$1,240.00 \$62,000.00 3 49 \$1,240.00 \$60,760.00 4 48 \$1,240.00 \$59,520.00 5 47 \$1,240.00 \$58,280.00 6 46 \$1,240.00 \$57,040.00 7 45 \$1,240.00 \$55,800.00

## Key Takeaways for \$31.00 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$31.00 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$64,480.00 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$48,360.00 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$12,090.00 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$2,480.00 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.

## \$31.00 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 \$31.00 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 \$31.00 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 \$64,480.00 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 22 %.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$5,147.00 + ( \$64,480.00 – \$44,726.00 ) x 22 % = \$9,492.88

So at \$31.00 /hour with \$64,480.00 gross pay, you would owe about \$9,492.88 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:

\$64,480.00 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$1,979.54 estimated state income tax

So with \$64,480.00 gross annual income, you would owe around in \$1,979.54 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:

\$64,480.00 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$1,612.00 estimated local tax

So with \$64,480.00 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$1,612.00 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:

\$64,480.00 x 6.2% + \$64,480.00 x 1.45% = \$4,932.72

So you can expect to pay about \$4,932.72 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$64,480.00 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

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

Federal tax: \$9,492.88

State tax: \$1,979.54

Local tax: \$1,612.00

FICA tax: \$4,932.72

Total Estimated Tax: \$18,017.14

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$31.00 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$64,480.00 gross pay – \$18,017.14 Total Estimated Tax = \$46,462.86 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$31.00 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$46,462.86 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 \$31.00 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$31.00 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$64,480.00 .

The \$64,480.00 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 \$31.00 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$64,480.00 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 22 %.
• 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 \$18,017.14 , Your Take Home Pay is \$46,462.86 , Total tax rate is 27.94% .

So next we’ll use 27.94% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$31.00 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 \$64,480.00 27.94% \$18,017.14 \$46,462.86 Monthly Salary \$5,373.33 27.94% \$1,501.43 \$3,871.91 BiWeekly Salary \$2,480.00 27.94% \$692.97 \$1,787.03 Weekly Salary \$1,240.00 27.94% \$346.48 \$893.52

### \$31.00  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 27.94% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$64,480.00
• Estimated tax rate: 27.94%
• Taxes owed ( 27.94% * \$64,480.00 )= \$18,017.14
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$46,462.86
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$31.00 40 52 \$64,480.00 27.94% \$18,017.14 \$46,462.86

### \$31.00 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 \$31.00 per hour: \$64,480.00
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$64,480.00 / 12 =   \$5,373.33 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$31.00 per hour is \$5,373.33 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 27.94% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$5,373.33
• Estimated tax rate: 27.94%
• Taxes owed ( 27.94% * \$5,373.33 )= \$1,501.43
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$3,871.91

Monthly Salary Based on \$31.00 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$31.00 \$64,480.00 12 \$5,373.33 27.94% \$1,501.43 \$3,871.91

### \$31.00 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$31.00 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$31.00
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$31.00 * 40 hours * 2 weeks =  \$2,480.00 biweekly

Applying the 27.94% estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$2,480.00
• Estimated tax rate: 27.94%
• Taxes owed ( 27.94% * \$2,480.00 )= \$692.97
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$1,787.03

Biweekly Salary at \$31.00 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
\$31.00 40 2 \$2,480.00 27.94% \$692.97 \$1,787.03

### \$31.00 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: \$31.00
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$31.00 * 40 hours =  \$1,240.00 per week

Accounting for the estimated 27.94% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$1,240.00
• Estimated tax rate: 27.94%
• Taxes owed ( 27.94% * \$1,240.00 )= \$346.48
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$893.52

Weekly Salary at \$31.00 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$31.00 40 \$1,240.00 27.94% \$346.48 \$893.52

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$31.00 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$64,480.00 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 27.94% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$46,462.86 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$31.00 per hour equals \$5,373.33 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$3,871.91 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$31.00 per hour is \$1,240.00 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$893.52 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$31.00 per hour is \$2,480.00 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$1,787.03 .

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 \$31 an Hour a Good Salary?

For an individual with no dependents, \$31 per hour or approximately \$64,480 per year can provide a decent middle-class lifestyle in many areas of the country. This salary exceeds the national median personal income by over \$20,000 annually, suggesting \$31/hour is a relatively good wage.

However, in high cost cities like San Francisco and New York, this pay would be considered quite low for a single earner trying to live alone. Housing, childcare, healthcare, and most other costs are significantly higher than average in these metro regions. Therefore, the purchasing power of \$31 an hour varies based on location and expenses.

Overall, \$31/hour can mean either scraping by paycheck-to-paycheck or enjoying a comfortable, stable lifestyle depending on where you live. While not a large income, it provides a solid middle-class wage for many individuals if budgets are managed wisely.

## Jobs that pay \$31 an hour

Here are some examples of occupations that typically pay around \$31 per hour:

• Licensed Practical Nurses – Licensed practical nurses provide basic medical care and earn a median wage of \$25.77 per hour, though experienced LPNs may make over \$31.
• Insurance Claims Adjusters – Adjusters who review insurance claims make a median of \$30.52 per hour. Higher certifications can increase pay.
• Paralegals – Legal assistants help lawyers with research, documents, and cases. Their median pay is \$28.56 hourly but can reach \$31 with experience.
• Dental Hygienists – Hygienists clean teeth, take x-rays, and educate patients. Median pay is \$39.80 but early career wages start around \$31/hr.
• Diagnostic Medical Sonographers – Sonographers operate imaging equipment to help diagnose medical conditions. Median pay is \$35.13 per hour.
• Web Developers – Developers who build and program websites make around \$31 hourly on average.
• Electrical Equipment Mechanics – These technicians maintain and repair industrial electrical equipment at a typical wage of \$30.19 an hour.

These examples demonstrate that \$31/hour is fairly typical pay for certain mid-level medical, technical, and skilled trade roles across various industries.

## Can You Live Off \$31 An Hour?

Determining if \$31/hour provides a livable wage requires looking at your individual circumstances. For a single, healthy adult with no kids and modest housing costs, \$31 an hour will generally cover all basic living expenses in most areas. However, it won’t provide extensive savings potential or disposable income.

Single parents and couples with dependents will almost certainly need a dual income or supplementary support on \$31 per hour. Childcare and healthcare costs for a family could quickly consume an unsustainable portion of this salary. Overall, \$31/hour provides a tight budget that requires careful planning and spending. While covering essential costs is feasible, even a minor emergency could be financially devastating.

On the positive side, \$31/hour earners can afford small indulgences like dining out on occasion or a budget vacation 1-2 times a year. However this income range demands responsible budgeting rather than impulsive spending habits to work.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$31 an hour

With inflation at 7.9% in 2022, consumer prices rose much faster than hourly wages, dramatically reducing purchasing power across all income levels. This disproportionately impacts lower-middle income workers relying on hourly wages.

For example, average rent rose nearly 10% nationally from 2021-2022 while \$31/hour incomes increased only 3-4%. This means workers earning \$31 now must spend a larger chunk of their budget on housing, reducing what’s left for other expenses.

If high inflation persists long-term, the real wage value of \$31 will continue declining. What feels like an adequate income now could start to feel extremely tight in just a few years if inflation is not matched by equal wage growth.

To maintain living standards, \$31/hour earners will need to seek out promotions, higher-paying job opportunities, salary raises, and possibly reduce expenses. Finding additional sources of income through side jobs or entrepreneurship may also become necessary if inflation continues outpacing wage growth.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

While \$31 per hour provides a decent wage, most workers want to increase their earnings over time. Here are 5 potential ways to boost your hourly pay:

• Ask for a raise – If you’ve gained skills and experience, negotiate a higher wage with your employer.
• Get a promotion – Taking on more responsibilities in a new role at your company can mean a pay bump.
• Find a new higher-paying job – Look for open positions that offer better compensation for your abilities.
• Get training or certifications – Develop new skills to qualify for specialized, better-paying roles.
• Start a side business – Use your free time to generate supplemental income through freelancing, web sales, etc.

Combining multiple strategies, like learning new skills and then finding a higher-level position, provides the best opportunity to give your income a significant boost over time.

## Buying a car on \$31 an hour

While possible for most hourly earners, buying a car on a \$31/hour wage requires careful budgeting to find an affordable monthly payment. Individuals in this income range should target spending \$10,000 – \$15,000 to purchase a used car in good mechanical shape.

This price range keeps payments around \$300 a month for a 5-6 year loan term, allowing room in the budget for insurance, gas, and maintenance costs. Sedans, hatchbacks, trucks, and SUVs just 5-10 years old can reliably be found in this price bracket.

Overall, \$31/hour earners should avoid spending over \$350 per month on a car payment and related auto expenses to maintain financial flexibility. Drivers wanting more luxury or newer vehicles may need to increase their income first.

## Can You Buy a House on \$31 An Hour?

Home ownership is challenging for \$31/hour workers in most housing markets. Conventional wisdom says to spend no more than 3x your annual income on a home. For a salary of \$64k, this equals a maximum budget of around \$192,000 for purchasing a property.

In today’s real estate market, median home prices exceed \$350,000 nationally and are over \$500,000 in many metro areas. This puts owning the median-priced home out of reach for \$31/hour earners. However, buying a more modestly-priced home is possible if you:

• Save up a 20% down payment
• Have minimal other debts
• Qualify for low mortgage rates
• Limit other housing costs like taxes, insurance, utilities

Overall, \$31/hour workers face challenges buying real estate beyond condos or townhouses in lower cost regions. Dual incomes can provide more options and leverage when buying a home.

## Example Budget For \$31 Per Hour

Here is a sample monthly budget for a single individual earning \$31 per hour while working full-time:

• Gross Monthly Income: \$5,248
• Taxes and Deductions: -\$975
• Take Home Pay: \$4,273
• Rent: -\$1,200
• Car Payment: -\$320
• Car Insurance: -\$100
• Gasoline: -\$150
• Health Insurance: -\$350
• Utilities: -\$200
• Groceries: -\$400
• Entertainment: -\$200
• Misc. Expenses: -\$250
• Total Expenses: \$3,170
• Remaining: \$1,103

With around \$1,100 left for additional savings, debt repayment, and unexpected costs, this budget provides only a moderate cushion for \$31/hour earners. Major emergencies or lifestyle inflation could quickly strain finances. However, disciplined savers can achieve solid financial security in this income range.

## In Summary

An hourly wage of \$31 per hour or \$64,000 per year provides a respectable middle-class income on the surface. However, successfully living comfortably on this salary requires mindful budgeting, especially with today’s high inflation. While covering basic needs is feasible in most areas, building substantial savings is challenging without dual incomes. Home ownership may be possible but difficult for \$31/hour workers. Overall, while not a luxurious wage, \$31/hour remains a solid, livable income for individuals focused on financial responsibility. With prudence and smart money management, a secure lifestyle can be built.