When you’re paid by the hour, it can be hard to figure out just how much your yearly income amounts to. After all, the number of hours you work each week and each year can vary quite a bit. But if you’re earning $42 an hour, there are some simple calculations you can do to estimate your potential annual earnings.
In this article, we’ll walk through the math stepbystep. We’ll look at how to calculate your income based on fulltime and parttime work, and account for factors like overtime, holidays, and time off.
Whether you’re just starting a new job, considering a career change, or simply curious what your earning potential is, read on to find out the answer to the question: $42 an hour is how much a year?
Table of Contents
Convert $42 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.
$42 an Hour is How Much a Year?
If you make $42 an hour, your yearly salary would be $87,360. 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($42) x Weeks worked per year(52) = $87,360
$42 an Hour is How Much a Month?
If you make $42 an hour, your monthly salary would be $7,280. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.
Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage($42) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = $7,280
$42 an Hour is How Much a Biweekly?
If you make $42 an hour, your biweekly salary would be $3,360.
Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage($42) x 2 = $3,360
$42 an Hour is How Much a Week?
If you make $42 an hour, your weekly salary would be $1,680. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.
Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage($42) = $1,680
$42 an Hour is How Much a Day?
If you make $42 an hour, your daily salary would be $336. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.
Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage($42) = $336
$42 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:
$42 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $87,360
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 $87,360 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 $87,360 .
Part time $42 an hour is How Much a Year?
Your annual income changes significantly if you work parttime and not fulltime.
For example, let’s say you work 30 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:
$42 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $65,520
By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at $42 an hour drop from $87,360 to $65,520.
That’s a $21,840 per year difference just by working parttime!
Here’s a table summarizing how your annual earnings change depending on how many hours you work per week at $42 an hour:
Hours Per Week  Earnings Per Week  Annual Earnings 

40  $1,680  $87,360 
35  $1,470  $76,440 
30  $1,260  $65,520 
25  $1,050  $54,600 
20  $840  $43,680 
15  $630  $32,760 
The more hours per week, the higher your total yearly earnings. But parttime work allows for more life balance if you don’t need the full salary.
$42 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 $42 per hour normally, you would make $63 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 $42 per hour = $1,680
 5 overtime hours paid at $63 per hour = $315
 Your total one Week earnings =$1,680 + $315 = $1,995
If you worked 45 hours each week for 52 weeks, here’s how your annual earnings increase thanks to overtime pay:
$1,995 per week x 52 weeks per year = $103,740
That’s $16,380 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at $42 an hour.
Overtime can add up! But also consider taxes and worklife 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 $42 an hour:
Overtime hours per work day  Hours Per Week  Earnings Per Week  Annual Earnings 
0  40  $1,680  $87,360 
1  45  $1,995  $103,740 
2  50  $2,310  $120,120 
3  55  $2,625  $136,500 
4  60  $2,940  $152,880 
5  65  $3,255  $169,260 
6  70  $3,570  $185,640 
7  75  $3,885  $202,020 
How Unpaid Time Off Impacts $42/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($42) x Weeks worked per year(50) = $84,000 annual salary
With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at $42/hour would drop by $3,360.
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  $1,680  $87,360 
1  51  $1,680  $85,680 
2  50  $1,680  $84,000 
3  49  $1,680  $82,320 
4  48  $1,680  $80,640 
5  47  $1,680  $78,960 
6  46  $1,680  $77,280 
7  45  $1,680  $75,600 
Key Takeaways for $42 Hourly Wage
In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making $42 per hour:
 At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn $87,360 per year.
 Parttime of 30 hours/week results in $65,520 annual salary.
 Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. $16,380 extra at 45 hours/week.
 Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around $3,360 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 takehome pay after deductions like taxes.
$42 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 $42 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 $42 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 $87,360 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 22%.
Your estimated federal tax would be:
$5,147 + ($87,360 – $44,726) x 22% = $14,526.48
So at $42/hour with $87,360 gross pay, you would owe about $14,526.48 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 StatebyState Comparison of Income Tax Rates
STATE  TAX RATES  LOWEST AND HIGHEST INCOME BRACKETS 

Alaska  0%  None 
Florida  0%  None 
Nevada  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:
$87,360 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = $2,681.95 estimated state income tax
So with $87,360 gross annual income, you would owe around in $2,681.95 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 13% 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:
$87,360 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = $2,184 estimated local tax
So with $87,360 in gross earnings, you may owe around $2,184 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:
$87,360 x 6.2% + $87,360 x 1.45% = $6,683.04
So you can expect to pay about $6,683.04 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross $87,360 in earnings.
Total Estimated Tax Payments
Based on the examples above, your total estimated tax payments would be:
Federal tax: $14,526.48
State tax: $2,681.95
Local tax: $2,184
FICA tax: $6,683.04
Total Estimated Tax: $26,075.47
Calculating Your Take Home Pay
To calculate your annual take home pay at $42 /hour:
1. Take your gross pay
2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments
$87,360 gross pay – $26,075.47 Total Estimated Tax = $61,284.53 Your Take Home Pay
n summary, if you make $42 per hour and work fulltime, you would take home around $61,284.53 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 $42 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes
If you make $42 an hour and work fulltime (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be $87,360 .
The $87,360 per year salary does not account for taxes. Federal, state, and local taxes will reduce your takehome pay. The amount withheld depends on your location, filing status, dependents, and other factors.
Just now during our calculation of $42 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:
 You are single with $87,360 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 $26,075.47 , Your Take Home Pay is $61,284.53 , Total tax rate is 29.85%.
So next we’ll use 29.85% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly aftertax income.
$42 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  $87,360  29.85%  $26,075.47  $61,284.53 
Monthly Salary  $7,280  29.85%  $2,172.96  $5,107.04 
BiWeekly Salary  $3,360  29.85%  $1,002.90  $2,357.10 
Weekly Salary  $1,680  29.85%  $501.45  $1,178.55 
$42 an hour is how much a year after taxes
Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 29.85% tax reduction:

 Yearly salary before taxes: $87,360
 Estimated tax rate: 29.85%
 Taxes owed (29.85% * $87,360 )= $26,075.47
 Yearly salary after taxes: $61,284.53
Hourly Wage  Hours Worked Per Week  Weeks Worked Per Year  Total Yearly Salary  Estimated Tax Rate  Taxes Owed  AfterTax Yearly Salary 

$42  40  52  $87,360  29.85%  $26,075.47  $61,284.53 
$42 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 $42 per hour: $87,360
 Divided by 12 months per year: $87,360 / 12 = $7,280 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at $42 per hour is $7,280 before taxes.
After applying the estimated 29.85% tax rate, the monthly aftertax salary would be:

 Monthly beforetax salary: $7,280
 Estimated tax rate: 29.85%
 Taxes owed (29.85% * $7,280 )= $2,172.96
 Monthly aftertax salary: $5,107.04
Monthly Salary Based on $42 Per Hour
Hourly Wage  Yearly Salary  Months Per Year  BeforeTax Monthly Salary  Estimated Tax Rate  Taxes Owed  AfterTax Monthly Salary 

$42  $87,360  12  $7,280  29.85%  $2,172.96  $5,107.04 
$42 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes
Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at $42 per hour:
 Hourly wage: $42
 Hours worked per week: 40
 Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
 $42 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = $3,360 biweekly
Applying the 29.85%estimated tax rate:
 Biweekly beforetax salary: $3,360
 Estimated tax rate: 29.85%
 Taxes owed (29.85% * $3,360 )= $1,002.90
 Biweekly aftertax salary: $2,357.10
Biweekly Salary at $42 Per Hour
Hourly Wage  Hours Worked Per Week  Weeks Per Pay Period  BeforeTax Biweekly Salary  Estimated Tax Rate  Taxes Owed  AfterTax Biweekly Salary 

$42  40  2  $3,360  29.85%  $1,002.90  $2,357.10 
$42 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: $42
 Hours worked per week: 40
 $42 * 40 hours = $1,680 per week
Accounting for the estimated 29.85% tax rate:
 Weekly beforetax salary: $1,680
 Estimated tax rate: 29.85%
 Taxes owed (29.85% * $1,680 )= $501.45
 Weekly aftertax salary: $1,178.55
Weekly Salary at $42 Per Hour
Hourly Wage  Hours Worked Per Week  BeforeTax Weekly Salary  Estimated Tax Rate  Taxes Owed  AfterTax Weekly Salary 

$42  40  $1,680  29.85%  $501.45  $1,178.55 
Key Takeaways
 An hourly wage of $42 per hour equals a yearly salary of $87,360 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
 After accounting for an estimated 29.85% tax rate, the yearly aftertax salary is approximately $61,284.53 .
 On a monthly basis before taxes, $42 per hour equals $7,280 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly takehome pay is about $5,107.04 .
 The beforetax weekly salary at $42 per hour is $1,680 . After taxes, the weekly takehome pay is approximately $1,178.55 .
 For biweekly pay, the pretax salary at $42 per hour is $3,360 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly takehome pay is around $2,357.10 .
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 takehome 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 fulltime 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 $42 an Hour a Good Salary?
At over double the national median hourly wage of around $20, $42 an hour is undoubtedly a wellaboveaverage salary. It surpasses what threequarters of American workers make. However, relative to your local area, this pay may either equate to a comfortable middle class income, or still come up short of affordability.
For example, in low costofliving states like Kansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, $42 an hour affords a quality of life on par with making over $60 per hour in coastal cities like San Francisco and New York based on cost of living differences. Yet it’s certainly not “rich” in high expense areas.
According to the Living Wage Calculator, $42 per hour provides an adequate income to support two adults and one child comfortably in the majority of U.S. counties. So for dualincome households without kids, this wage level enables financial flexibility. But for single earner households with multiple dependents, expenses may still prove challenging in major metropolitan areas.
Overall, $42 an hour means earning well above what typical households bring home. But inadequate savings, high debt levels, and costs driven by your specific location and lifestyle may still make it feel like paychecktopaycheck.
Jobs that pay $42 an hour
Here are examples of jobs with average hourly earnings around $42:
 Registered Nurse – The average RN makes $35$50 per hour depending on specialty, experience and location. High demand exists nationwide.
 Software Developer – Software developers earn $40$60 on average. This job is projected to grow 22% over the next decade.
 Electrical Engineer – Electrical engineers make around $40$45 per hour. 5+ years experience is key.
 Cybersecurity Analyst – Cybersecurity analysts average around $40$50 per hour. Demand is skyrocketing.
 Radiologic Technologist – Radiology techs earn $28$48 per hour depending on certifications.
 Technical Writer – Experienced technical writers make $35$50 per hour. Jobs exist at technology firms and contractors.
 Project Manager – IT project managers average $40$60 per hour once established. certification adds earning potential.
 Accountant – CPAs and senior accountants can expect to earn $35$50 per hour at minimum.
The occupations on this list require at least a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s degree or specialized certifications. Lucrative hourly pay reflects higher skills and training. Those willing to invest time into advancing their education and abilities can access $40+ per hour careers.
Can You Live Off $42 An Hour?
At $42 an hour full time, your pretax annual income will be around $87,000. After estimated taxes and deductions, net takehome pay approximates $5500 per month or $66,000 annually. healthcare.
Whether or not this income level provides a comfortable or difficult lifestyle depends on three main cost factors:
1.Location – $42/hour goes much further in low cost Midwest and Southern cities than the Northeast or West Coast. Adjust expectations based on regional costs.
 Household Size – Single or dual income households without kids have abundant financial flexibility at this wage level. Families with multiple dependents face greater costs.
 Existing Debt Obligations – Student loans, credit cards, personal loans and other debt take a significant toll on cash flow and savings ability if balances are high. Avoid taking on excessive debts.
While housing and childcare are typically the two highest expenses for households, other costs also quickly add up:
 Housing – Limit to 30% of net income. Aim for $1600$2000 per month depending on location. Rent or buy more modestly sized homes only.
 Transportation – Owning 2 cars plus insurance, gas and repairs generally runs $700+ per month.
 Food – Groceries, dining out and work lunches for families average $600$800 monthly or more. Individuals can manage for much less.
 Utilities – Electricity, cell phone, cable/internet, water cost ~$400 per month typically.
 Entertainment/Vacation – Limit nonessential expenses like concerts, movies, trips, hobbies to 5% of income or around $400 monthly to save sufficiently.
 Retirement Savings – Max 401k contributions plus additional savings recommended to retire timely. ~20% of gross income.
Overall, $42 an hour provides nice financial flexibility. But you still must budget diligently and make smart trade offs to afford housing, transportation, insurance, utilities, loans, and other fixed costs in high COL areas while maximizing savings and meeting retirement goals.
The impact of inflation on the value of $42 an hour
Assuming an average annual inflation rate of 5%, $42 an hour today would only equate to about $31 in real terms ten years from now. This demonstrates how your purchasing power declines over time as prices rise faster than static wages.
While $42 per hour feels comfortable today, expenses will continue increasing over the years. If your earnings don’t rise commensurately, you may find money feeling much tighter in the future even though your nominal wage stays the same.
Asking for periodic raises and negotiating higher salaries as you gain experience helps offset inflation to some degree. Boosting income through promotion opportunities, career changes, and side work also enables you to maintain your lifestyle.
Remaining flexible and open to reinventing your skills is key to ensuring income keeps pace with expenses over decades. Never take $42 an hour for granted, because inflation works against you.
5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage
While $42 an hour is healthy today, you’ll likely need to continue increasing income over your career through some combination of:
 Asking for raises/bonuses – Quantify achievements to negotiate higher compensation during reviews. Get fair pay for your contributions.
 Working overtime – Occasional extra hours or shifts can make a meaningful addition to your earnings.
 Pursuing promotions – Take on more responsibilities and earn job titles with higher pay levels.
 Switching companies – Leverage experience to get hired elsewhere for 1020%+ pay bumps every few years.
 Monetizing skills independently – Freelancing, consulting, or entrepreneurship lets you earn income beyond your day job.
 Continuing education – Training, certification and higher degrees expand earning potential as you gain expertise.
Striving to incrementally improve your earnings yearoveryear compounds to grow your income significantly over decades. Don’t settle at $42/hour indefinitely.
Buying a car on $42 an hour
The buying power afforded by $42 an hour income allows flexibility in your vehicle purchases, but still warrants smart decisions.
At 3% interest over 5 years, you could comfortably afford financing $30,000 while keeping monthly payments under 10% of your takehome income. This enables you to buy new or lightly used cars priced within the $25,000$35,000 range.
However, just because you can afford a car at this price point doesn’t mean you should spend so much. Carefully assess wants versus needs and how car costs impact other financial goals.
Opting for used vehicles around $15,000$20,000 makes it easier to accelerate paying off loans faster while directing more money to savings. But at $42 per hour, you have plenty of budget room for reasonable transportation.
Can You Buy a House on $42 An Hour?
The buying power of $42 an hour income allows flexibility to purchase real estate in many markets, but entrylevel homes or downsizing may be required in ultra highcost cities.
As a benchmark, limit your home price to 3x annual income, or around $261,000 on $42 per hour fulltime. This keeps mortgage payments comfortable relative to your earnings.
In expensive coastal metros, condos and townhomes near $300,000$400,000 may be the only options without stretching your budget too thin. Whereas in cities like Phoenix, Atlanta, Dallas, or Raleigh, homes can be purchased for under $250,000.
While affording the actual mortgage is reasonable at your income, also consider property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities. Carefully choosing an affordable neighborhood and home size prevents house poor scenarios.
If purchasing in ultracompetitive markets, opt for lower cost suburbs or relocating entirely to lower your housing costs and improve quality of life.
Example Budget For $42 Per Hour
Here is an example monthly budget for a two adult household with no kids living in an average costofliving metro like Dallas or Atlanta earning $42 per hour:
 Gross Monthly Income ($42/hour x 2 fulltime earners) – $14,000
 Taxes and Deductions – $3,000
 Mortgage/Rent – $1,800
 Car Payments – $650
 Utilities – $500
 Cell Phones – $200
 Groceries and Dining – $800
 Entertainment/Vacations – $500
 Retirement Savings – $2,000
 Total Expenses: $9,450
 Remainder/Savings: $4,550
This budget allows over $4,000 per month that could be allocated flexibly for additional savings goals, travel, hobbies, or improved standard of living. In high costofliving metros, budgets would be tighter but still reasonable.
This example illustrates the potential comfortable lifestyle and financial flexibility available to dual income households without children earning $42 per hour. Discretionary spending room improves substantially if kids and childcare costs are avoided.
In Summary
On the whole, $42 an hour provides above average earnings that facilitate financial stability for individuals and dual income households in most areas of the country. While those with high debt burdens or in ultra highcost cities may still struggle, this income allows comfortable middle class living in low to moderately priced regions.
Maximizing 401k and additional savings is crucial to make earnings at $42 per hour translate into longterm prosperity. Avoid overspending on large fixed costs like housing to retain income flexibility.
Boost income through raises, promotions and skill development to maintain a steady improving lifestyle over decades. $42 an hour is an excellent starting point to provide security and opportunities for those willing to save and budget diligently.