\$34 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

With the cost of living continuing to rise, an hourly pay rate of \$34 may sound high or barely adequate depending on your circumstances. In this article, we’ll break down the math to show exactly how much you can expect to earn yearly and monthly at \$34 per hour, both before and after taxes. We’ll calculate the numbers for full-time and part-time work at this hourly rate, and factor in how unpaid time off can reduce your actual annual salary. Converting an hourly wage to a yearly salary can be confusing, but we’ll walk through the formulas in detail. We’ll also discuss whether \$34 per hour is considered a good salary in today’s economy and what standard of living it affords. If you’re considering a job offer at \$34 an hour or simply want to understand how an hourly wage translates into annual or monthly earnings, this article will provide the numbers you need. We’ll look at examples of jobs that typically pay \$34 per hour, whether that income allows you to buy a house or car, ways to potentially increase your earnings, and more. With inflation continuing to rise, it’s important to evaluate hourly wages in terms of yearly buying power.

Convert \$34 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

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\$34 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$34 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$70,720. 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(\$34) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$70,720

\$34 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$34 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$5,893.33. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$34) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$5,893.33

\$34 an Hour is How Much a Biweekly?

If you make \$34 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$2,720.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$34) x 2 = \$2,720

\$34 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$34 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$1,360. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$34) = \$1,360

\$34 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$34 an hour, your daily salary would be \$272. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$34) = \$272

\$34 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:

\$34 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$70,720

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 \$70,720 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 \$70,720 .

Part time \$34 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:

\$34 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$53,040

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$34 an hour drop from \$70,720 to \$53,040.

That’s a \$17,680 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 \$34 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$1,360 \$70,720
35 \$1,190 \$61,880
30 \$1,020 \$53,040
25 \$850 \$44,200
20 \$680 \$35,360
15 \$510 \$26,520

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.

\$34 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 \$34 per hour normally, you would make \$51 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 \$34 per hour = \$1,360
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$51 per hour = \$255
• Your total one Week earnings =\$1,360 + \$255 = \$1,615

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

\$1,615 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$83,980

That’s \$13,260 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$34 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 \$34 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$1,360 \$70,720 1 45 \$1,615 \$83,980 2 50 \$1,870 \$97,240 3 55 \$2,125 \$110,500 4 60 \$2,380 \$123,760 5 65 \$2,635 \$137,020 6 70 \$2,890 \$150,280 7 75 \$3,145 \$163,540

How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$34/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(\$34) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$68,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$34/hour would drop by \$2,720.

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 \$1,360 \$70,720 1 51 \$1,360 \$69,360 2 50 \$1,360 \$68,000 3 49 \$1,360 \$66,640 4 48 \$1,360 \$65,280 5 47 \$1,360 \$63,920 6 46 \$1,360 \$62,560 7 45 \$1,360 \$61,200

Key Takeaways for \$34 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$34 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$70,720 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$53,040 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$13,260 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$2,720 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.

\$34 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 \$34 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 \$34 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 \$70,720 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 22%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$5,147 + (\$70,720 – \$44,726) x 22% = \$10,865.68

So at \$34/hour with \$70,720 gross pay, you would owe about \$10,865.68 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:

\$70,720 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$2,171.10 estimated state income tax

So with \$70,720 gross annual income, you would owe around in \$2,171.10 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:

\$70,720 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$1,768 estimated local tax

So with \$70,720 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$1,768 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:

\$70,720 x 6.2% + \$70,720 x 1.45% = \$5,410.08

So you can expect to pay about \$5,410.08 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$70,720 in earnings.

Total Estimated Tax Payments

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

Federal tax: \$10,865.68

State tax: \$2,171.10

Local tax: \$1,768

FICA tax: \$5,410.08

Total Estimated Tax: \$20,214.86

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$34 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$70,720 gross pay – \$20,214.86 Total Estimated Tax = \$50,505.14 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$34 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$50,505.14 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 \$34 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$34 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$70,720 .

The \$70,720 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 \$34 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$70,720 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 \$20,214.86 , Your Take Home Pay is \$50,505.14 , Total tax rate is 28.58%.

So next we’ll use 28.58% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

\$34 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 \$70,720 28.58% \$20,214.86 \$50,505.14 Monthly Salary \$5,893.33 28.58% \$1,684.57 \$4,208.76 BiWeekly Salary \$2,720 28.58% \$777.49 \$1,942.51 Weekly Salary \$1,360 28.58% \$388.75 \$971.25

\$34  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 28.58% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$70,720
• Estimated tax rate: 28.58%
• Taxes owed (28.58% * \$70,720 )= \$20,214.86
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$50,505.14
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$34 40 52 \$70,720 28.58% \$20,214.86 \$50,505.14

\$34 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 \$34 per hour: \$70,720
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$70,720 / 12 = \$5,893.33 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$34 per hour is \$5,893.33 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 28.58% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$5,893.33
• Estimated tax rate: 28.58%
• Taxes owed (28.58% * \$5,893.33 )= \$1,684.57
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$4,208.76

Monthly Salary Based on \$34 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$34 \$70,720 12 \$5,893.33 28.58% \$1,684.57 \$4,208.76

\$34 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$34 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$34
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$34 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$2,720 biweekly

Applying the 28.58%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$2,720
• Estimated tax rate: 28.58%
• Taxes owed (28.58% * \$2,720 )= \$777.49
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$1,942.51

Biweekly Salary at \$34 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
\$34 40 2 \$2,720 28.58% \$777.49 \$1,942.51

\$34 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: \$34
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$34 * 40 hours = \$1,360 per week

Accounting for the estimated 28.58% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$1,360
• Estimated tax rate: 28.58%
• Taxes owed (28.58% * \$1,360 )= \$388.75
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$971.25

Weekly Salary at \$34 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$34 40 \$1,360 28.58% \$388.75 \$971.25

Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$34 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$70,720 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 28.58% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$50,505.14 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$34 per hour equals \$5,893.33 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$4,208.76 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$34 per hour is \$1,360 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$971.25 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$34 per hour is \$2,720 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$1,942.51 .

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 \$34 an Hour a Good Salary?

Whether or not \$34 an hour is considered a good salary depends largely on where you live and your household size. The national median hourly wage in the United States is around \$27, so \$34 an hour is nearly 25% higher. However, cost of living varies tremendously across the country. Large coastal cities like San Francisco and New York are far more expensive than smaller inland metro areas. As a general guideline:

• In lower cost-of-living areas like the Midwest, \$34 an hour would be considered an excellent wage. This equates to around \$70,000 per year if working full-time. Most households could live comfortably on this salary.
• In medium cost-of-living cities, \$34 an hour falls in the middle class income range. You’d be able to afford a decent standard of living, but not necessarily luxury. Expect some budget constraints.
• In high cost urban areas like Los Angeles and Boston, \$34 an hour would make it hard to buy a home or raise a family without careful budgeting. You’d likely need roommates to afford rent.

Other key factors are debt load and whether you’re single or supporting dependents. Student loans and credit card balances can eat into disposable income quickly. Overall, \$34 an hour provides a livable wage for most Americans, but those in expensive cities will need to budget wisely and make trade-offs.

Jobs that Pay \$34 an Hour

What kinds of jobs pay around \$34 per hour? Here are some typical professions that offer median wages in this range:

• Registered nurses – The median hourly pay for RNs is \$35 per hour, though wages vary by state, experience and specialty. Nurses in California earn \$51 per hour on average.
• Electricians – Experienced electricians can make \$33 per hour or more, especially in unionized states like Illinois and New York. Apprentice wages start around \$15 per hour.
• Plumbers – Like electricians, plumbers tend to earn \$30 to \$35 per hour, again higher in states with strong unions like Ohio or Michigan. Pay rises with skill level.
• Insurance sales agents – Typical earnings range from \$27 to \$44 per hour depending on experience. Commission opportunities can further boost income.
• Web developers – Experienced freelance web developers bill clients at \$50 to \$100 per hour. Salaried jobs tend to pay \$30 to \$45 per hour.
• Paralegals – Paralegals earn a median wage of \$28 per hour, though large corporate law firms may pay \$40 per hour or more.
• Massage therapists – Non-tipped massage therapists make median wages of \$20 per hour, though high-end spas and self-employed therapists can earn up to \$60 per hour.
• Bookkeeping clerks – Full charge bookkeepers average approximately \$22 per hour, while high-level certified accountants can earn up to \$40 per hour.

The jobs above provide a sampling of the many skilled trades, technical and professional services roles that pay hourly rates in the \$30 to \$40 range. Geographic location and local demand for talent heavily influence wages.

Can You Live Off \$34 An Hour?

Whether or not \$34 an hour provides a livable wage depends on your location, debts, lifestyle expectations and household size. This section examines typical costs of living to help assess how far \$34 an hour can be stretched.

Housing

Housing tends to be the largest expense. As a benchmark, experts recommend spending no more than 30% of gross income on rent or mortgage costs. Assuming full time hours, \$34 an hour works out to around \$70,000 annually.

• 30% of \$70,000 is \$21,000 per year, or \$1,750 per month that can reasonably go toward housing.
• In many parts of the Midwest or South, \$1,750 per month affords a comfortable home. But in coastal cities, you’d likely need roommates.
• In San Francisco, average one bedroom apartment rent is \$3,500 per month – out of reach on this salary.
• Even in medium cost-of-living Midwest cities like Kansas City or Minneapolis, decent apartments run \$1,000 to \$1,500.
• Bottom line – Paying for housing will be the biggest burden on \$34/hour. Have roommates or live far outside expensive job centers.

Transportation

• Owning a basic used car like a Honda Civic costs around \$300 per month including loan, insurance, gas and repairs. This fits comfortably in the budget.
• But buying a new \$30,000 car would stretch the budget on \$34 an hour, unless you pay cash upfront.
• In cities with robust public transit like Chicago or NYC, you may be able to skip owning a car.
• Figure \$100 to \$300 per month for transportation costs depending on location and commute method.

Food

• As a single person, plan on \$300 to \$400 per month for basic groceries and casual restaurants.
• For a family of four, budget closer to \$700 per month, buying generic brands and cooking most meals.
• There’s room in the budget for occasional nicer restaurant meals on \$34 an hour. Just don’t eat out daily.

Health Insurance

• With an employer plan, premiums are often partly subsidized, costing \$100 to \$200 monthly.
• Getting insurance on the public Marketplace without employer help can cost up to \$500 monthly.
• Budget \$200 to \$500 for health insurance, depending on coverage source.

Entertainment, Shopping, Etc

• Assume \$150 to \$300 per month for entertainment like streaming services, movie tickets, or bowling.
• Shopping and personal care might run another \$100 monthly.
• Set aside \$50 to \$100 per month for children’s activities or sports.
• Minimizing expensive bar tabs helps stretch the budget further.

In summary – housing, food, transportation and insurance make up the lion’s share of expenses. Carefully prioritizing and budgeting for other categories like entertainment and dining out allows \$34 an hour to go fairly far, as long as housing costs aren’t too extreme.

The Impact of Inflation on the Value of \$34 An Hour

Inflation must be considered when evaluating the real spending power of \$34 per hour. As the cost of goods and services rises over time, your fixed wage buys less and less.

Here is how inflation has impacted the real value of \$34 per hour over the past decade:

• In 2012, \$34 per hour was equivalent to \$39.71 in 2022 dollars adjusted for inflation.
• By 2017, the buying power had dropped to \$37.76 per hour in today’s money.
• Over the past year, high inflation means \$34/hour today is only worth the equivalent of \$32.61 in 2021 dollars – a 7% pay cut.

Going forward, the Federal Reserve expects inflation around 4% annually over the next few years. That means the spending power of \$34 per hour will keep decreasing each year. After just three years of 4% inflation:

• 2024 – \$34 today = \$30.85 in 2024 dollars
• 2025 – \$34 today = \$29.62 in 2025 dollars
• 2026 – \$34 today = \$28.44 in 2026 dollars

In a period of sustained moderate inflation, \$34 an hour will lose over 15% of its purchasing power in under 5 years. Keep this in mind when evaluating salaries and making major purchases.

5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

If you are currently earning \$34 per hour but struggling with budget constraints, here are some options to increase your cash flow:

1. Ask for a raise – If you’ve gained experience and excel in your role, request a salary bump from your employer. Even 5% annually beats inflation.
2. Find a higher paying job – Leverage skills from your current role to move up the pay scale. Search job ads to see what’s possible.
3. Develop new skills – Add in-demand abilities like software expertise. This expands your earning potential.
4. Go freelance/contracting – Rather than salaried employment, provide services independently at a higher billable rate.
5. Monetize hobbies – Turn interests like baking, crafts, social media or photography into side income streams.

Boosting hourly pay, even incrementally, makes a big difference over time. Combining multiple income streams can build financial security and flexibility.

Buying a Car on \$34 an Hour

Is it feasible to buy a decent car if you make \$34 an hour? Here is what to expect:

• You can likely afford car payments of \$300 to \$400 per month. That finances a new compact sedan like a Hyundai Elantra (\$20,000 total price) or used SUV around \$15,000.
• For a pricier ride, save up a larger down payment to keep the monthly cost in check. Putting down \$5,000 upfront on a \$30,000 car keeps payments under \$400 monthly.
• Get the longest loan term – 72 to 84 months – for the lowest payment, but watch out for total interest costs.
• Alternatively, buy an older used car in cash. You can easily save \$5,000 to \$10,000 for a reasonable used vehicle.
• As your earnings grow over time, upgrade to a nicer car. You won’t be driving luxury vehicles on \$34 an hour, but mid-range models are attainable.

The bottom line – \$34 an hour gives some flexibility on purchasing a respectable new or used car through financing, saving or buying outright in cash. Prioritize reliability and value over prestige.

Can You Buy a House on \$34 An Hour?

Home ownership is challenging but possible on \$34 per hour, depending on where you live and whether you have a working partner to double the household income. Here’s what to consider:

• On your own, expect a maximum mortgage of around \$180,000 on \$34/hour pre-tax income. This limits options, especially in high cost areas.
• To afford the median US home price around \$300,000, dual incomes around \$34/hour are generally needed.
• Where housing is cheaper (Midwest, South), single income home ownership is more feasible. Move outside high-demand urban centers to find affordability.
• Getting a VA, FHA or USDA first-time buyer mortgage makes lower down payments possible. But your income still limits purchase budget.
• In high cost areas, even dual \$34/hour incomes may only allow a small condo or townhome purchase. Forget the single family home.
• Consider alternatives like purchasing a multi-unit duplex or triplex, renting out units to supplement your income and mortgage payment.

The bottom line is that \$34 an hour allows homeownership in less costly areas, but dual moderate incomes are needed in pricier markets. Make tradeoffs on size, location and amenities to purchase within budget constraints.

Example Budget for \$34 Per Hour

To summarize, here is an example realistic monthly budget for a single person living alone and earning \$34 an hour full time:

• Gross Monthly Income – \$5,920
• Taxes & Payroll Deductions – \$900
• Rent – \$1,200
• Utilities – \$250
• Car Payment – \$320
• Car Insurance – \$100
• Groceries / Dining Out – \$550
• Health Insurance – \$250
• Gasoline – \$150
• Entertainment – \$200
• Clothing & Personal Care – \$150
• Travel/Vacation – \$200
• Total Expenses – \$3,370
• Leftover – \$2,550 in discretionary income for additional costs or savings

This allows a balanced lifestyle without too many financial constraints, assuming living in an average cost-of-living metro area. However, housing costs in major cities would make cuts necessary in other areas.

Everyone’s expenses differ based on obligations and priorities. But a sample budget helps provide a realistic picture on \$34 an hour.

In Summary

Can you live comfortably on \$34 an hour? In most areas, this wage allows a decent standard of living, but likely not lavish living without prudent budgeting and spending. Housing costs take the biggest bite, so affordable rentals or home prices are key. Inflation gradually eats into fixed wage purchasing power over time. But \$34 an hour goes fairly far today for singles and couples without kids in average-cost locales. With diligent budgeting and supplemental income streams, frugal lifestyles are possible even in high-cost cities on \$34 per hour. Just scale expectations accordingly, and be willing to make tradeoffs around housing, transportation and discretionary luxuries to live within your means.