# \$72 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

Converting hourly wages into annual, monthly, biweekly, and weekly salaries provides useful insight into both pre-tax and post-tax earnings potential. In this article, we’ll calculate the yearly income for a \$72 per hour wage rate, factoring in part-time schedules, overtime, and time off. We’ll also examine how taxes reduce take-home pay, and what lifestyle is affordable at this high income level. While \$72 an hour delivers upper-middle to high earnings beyond national averages, taxes and inflation do cut into its real long-term value. Understanding the full-time, part-time, and after-tax annual earnings equivalents of \$72/hour gives helpful perspective on spending power and budgeting.

## Convert \$72 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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### \$72 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$72 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$149,760. 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(\$72) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$149,760

### \$72 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$72 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$12,480. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$72) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$12,480

### \$72 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$72 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$5,760.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$72) x 2 = \$5,760

### \$72 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$72 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$2,880. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$72) = \$2,880

### \$72 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$72 an hour, your daily salary would be \$576. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$72) = \$576

## \$72 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:

\$72 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$149,760

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 \$149,760 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 \$149,760 .

## Part time \$72 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:

\$72 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$112,320

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$72 an hour drop from \$149,760 to \$112,320.

That’s a \$37,440 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 \$72 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$2,880 \$149,760
35 \$2,520 \$131,040
30 \$2,160 \$112,320
25 \$1,800 \$93,600
20 \$1,440 \$74,880
15 \$1,080 \$56,160

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.

## \$72 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 \$72 per hour normally, you would make \$108 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 \$72 per hour = \$2,880
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$108 per hour = \$540
• Your total one Week earnings =\$2,880 + \$540 = \$3,420

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

\$3,420 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$177,840

That’s \$28,080 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$72 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 \$72 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$2,880 \$149,760 1 45 \$3,420 \$177,840 2 50 \$3,960 \$205,920 3 55 \$4,500 \$234,000 4 60 \$5,040 \$262,080 5 65 \$5,580 \$290,160 6 70 \$6,120 \$318,240 7 75 \$6,660 \$346,320

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$72/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(\$72) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$144,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$72/hour would drop by \$5,760.

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 \$2,880 \$149,760 1 51 \$2,880 \$146,880 2 50 \$2,880 \$144,000 3 49 \$2,880 \$141,120 4 48 \$2,880 \$138,240 5 47 \$2,880 \$135,360 6 46 \$2,880 \$132,480 7 45 \$2,880 \$129,600

## Key Takeaways for \$72 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$72 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$149,760 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$112,320 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$28,080 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$5,760 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.

## \$72 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 \$72 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 \$72 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 \$149,760 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 24%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$16,290 + (\$149,760 – \$95,376) x 24% = \$29,342.16

So at \$72/hour with \$149,760 gross pay, you would owe about \$29,342.16 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:

\$149,760 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$4,597.63 estimated state income tax

So with \$149,760 gross annual income, you would owe around in \$4,597.63 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:

\$149,760 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$3,744 estimated local tax

So with \$149,760 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$3,744 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:

\$149,760 x 6.2% + \$149,760 x 1.45% = \$11,456.64

So you can expect to pay about \$11,456.64 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$149,760 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

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

Federal tax: \$29,342.16

State tax: \$4,597.63

Local tax: \$3,744

FICA tax: \$11,456.64

Total Estimated Tax: \$49,140.43

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$72 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$149,760 gross pay – \$49,140.43 Total Estimated Tax = \$100,619.57 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$72 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$100,619.57 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 \$72 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$72 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$149,760 .

The \$149,760 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 \$72 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$149,760 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 24 %.
• 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 \$49,140.43 , Your Take Home Pay is \$100,619.57 , Total tax rate is 32.81%.

So next we’ll use 32.81% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$72 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 \$149,760 32.81% \$49,140.43 \$100,619.57 Monthly Salary \$12,480 32.81% \$4,095.04 \$8,384.96 BiWeekly Salary \$5,760 32.81% \$1,890.02 \$3,869.98 Weekly Salary \$2,880 32.81% \$945.01 \$1,934.99

### \$72  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 32.81% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$149,760
• Estimated tax rate: 32.81%
• Taxes owed (32.81% * \$149,760 )= \$49,140.43
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$100,619.57
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$72 40 52 \$149,760 32.81% \$49,140.43 \$100,619.57

### \$72 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 \$72 per hour: \$149,760
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$149,760 / 12 = \$12,480 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$72 per hour is \$12,480 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 32.81% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$12,480
• Estimated tax rate: 32.81%
• Taxes owed (32.81% * \$12,480 )= \$4,095.04
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$8,384.96

Monthly Salary Based on \$72 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$72 \$149,760 12 \$12,480 32.81% \$4,095.04 \$8,384.96

### \$72 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$72 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$72
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$72 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$5,760 biweekly

Applying the 32.81%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$5,760
• Estimated tax rate: 32.81%
• Taxes owed (32.81% * \$5,760 )= \$1,890.02
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$3,869.98

Biweekly Salary at \$72 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
\$72 40 2 \$5,760 32.81% \$1,890.02 \$3,869.98

### \$72 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: \$72
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$72 * 40 hours = \$2,880 per week

Accounting for the estimated 32.81% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$2,880
• Estimated tax rate: 32.81%
• Taxes owed (32.81% * \$2,880 )= \$945.01
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$1,934.99

Weekly Salary at \$72 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$72 40 \$2,880 32.81% \$945.01 \$1,934.99

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$72 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$149,760 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 32.81% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$100,619.57 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$72 per hour equals \$12,480 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$8,384.96 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$72 per hour is \$2,880 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$1,934.99 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$72 per hour is \$5,760 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$3,869.98 .

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 \$72 an Hour a Good Salary?

Looking purely at national averages, an hourly salary of \$72 is over 3.5X higher than the overall median wage across all occupations, which sits around \$20 per hour currently. So by that measure, \$72 per hour is an excellent income compared to typical earnings. However, the average living wage in the U.S. accounting for realistic costs like housing and healthcare is approximately \$21.50 per hour across counties. Given inflation above 7%, the true living wage today likely exceeds \$21.50 substantially.

In moderate cost-of-living parts of the Midwest, South and Southwest, \$72 per hour affords a comfortable upper-middle class lifestyle. You’ll have solid income for a nice home, reliable cars, regular vacations and savings. But in high cost coastal cities, this wage only provides a middle-class lifestyle based on expensive local costs. Geographic differences in prices play a large role in its purchasing power.

## Jobs that pay \$72 an hour

Here are some examples of occupations and roles that typically earn around \$72 per hour or more:

• Nurse Practitioner – The average NP nationwide earns approximately \$57 per hour, with those in cardiology, oncology and other specialties earning up to \$75 per hour or more.
• Physician Assistant – Experienced PAs working in specialty practices like surgery can earn \$70 – \$90 per hour at the middle to upper end of compensation.
• Data Scientist – As demand grows for analytics, data scientists with 5+ years experience make \$70-\$100 per hour at major companies.
• Software Architect – Highly skilled software architects and engineering managers can earn \$75-\$95 per hour at thriving technology firms.
• Strategy Consultant – Experienced consultants at firms like McKinsey, BCG, and Bain charge clients roughly \$100-\$250 per hour for strategic advice and analysis.
• Finance Manager – Finance managers leading teams at large corporations earn approximately \$85-\$115 per hour at middle to senior levels.
• CPA – Partners at top accounting firms generate \$75-\$150 per hour through client billable hours and firm ownership profits.
• Attorney – Lawyers with 8-15 years experience at law firms bill clients \$150-\$300+ per hour depending on expertise and specialty.
• Dentist – Experienced dentists earn \$80-\$120 per hour through their practice before expenses. Specialists earn towards the higher end.

## Can You Live Off \$72 An Hour?

Assuming full 40 hour work weeks, an income of \$72 per hour equates to about \$150,000 annually. This salary provides a very comfortable lifestyle with abundant discretionary income for recreation, entertainment and leisure in most parts of the country. While not enough for true luxury, that level of pay affords financial flexibility.

At approximately \$150,000 per year, a single or couple earner ranks among the top 10-15% of incomes nationwide. The median household income is only around \$70,000 in the U.S. So this income definitely allows living well in most regions while prudently saving/investing portions of earnings.

However, to protect long-term wealth, avoid overspending just because this salary allows it. Be prudent with budgets and financial planning for retirement. Overall, \$72 an hour affords an upper-middle class lifestyle in most of the country with room for discretionary spending on top of essentials.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$72 an hour

Despite providing solid spending power today, even a high income of \$72 per hour still suffers from declining real-world purchasing power as inflation reduces the value of each dollar over time. With inflation above 7% in 2022, common living expenses are rising much faster than wage growth for most.

This means your \$72 per hour buys significantly fewer goods and services than just a short time ago before prices surged. Your paycheck doesn’t go quite as far at the store due to inflation exceeding wage growth. Gas, groceries, dining out and more all cost considerably more, straining budgets.

If elevated inflation persists in coming years, then \$72 per hour will gradually purchase less and less each year. To maintain the same standard of living, your income must increase annually at least by the real inflation rate rather than official CPI.

Over a 10-20 year period, even small annual inflation compounds to destroy purchasing power. Protecting your finances long-term despite earning \$72 hourly now requires maximizing savings/investments and limiting debts. Inflation threatens all incomes over time.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

For those currently earning less than \$72 per hour, here are some proven tactics to boost your income over the years:

• Ask for cost of living raises each year and negotiate salaries aggressively when changing jobs.
• Gain degrees, certifications, and specialized credentials to enhance your skills value.
• Take on leadership roles and pursue management opportunities to expand scope and impact.
• Relocate strategically if other metro areas pay far more for your niche skillset.

However, breaking beyond \$72 per hour remains challenging without entering highly paid fields like specialized medicine, law, engineering, data science, consulting, or finance leadership roles. This income level is only reachable for a minority of occupations.

## Buying a car on \$72 an hour

With income of about \$72 per hour, or \$150,000 annually, buying a quality used or new car is readily affordable. Experts recommend limiting auto purchases to no more than 15% of your gross annual income.

Based on that advice, someone earning \$150k annually should allocate around \$22,000 for vehicle purchases. This provides many great options such as:

• New SUV – A new Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Honda CR-V or similar mainstream crossover SUV fully loaded.
• Used luxury car – A certified pre-owned BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class, Lexus IS, or Audi A4 priced under \$30k.
• New truck – A new Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger or similar mid-size truck with add-ons while staying under budget.
• Lightly used minivan – A Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey or Kia Sedona model a few years old with 30k-60k miles priced around \$25k.
• Used sports car – A lightly used Ford Mustang GT, Subaru WRX or Mazda Miata priced affordably.

While vehicles costing \$40k+ seem attainable, sticking to planned spending limits leaves ample money for other goals. But overall, \$72 hourly income definitely allows purchasing quality used and new cars comfortably.

## Can You Buy a House on \$72 An Hour?

Earning approximately \$72 per hour translates to around \$150,000 in annual salary if working regular 40 hour work weeks year-round. With that healthy income, whether you can comfortably afford a home largely depends on housing prices and your down payment savings in that particular area.

As a general rule of thumb, total house prices around 3 times your gross annual income are reasonable at maximum. On \$150k salary, your maximum home buying budget would be about \$450,000. Here is what this allows in different markets:

• In many affordable Midwest, South and Southwest areas, this budget comfortably affords nice family homes priced \$300k to \$400k, assuming 10-20% down.
• In moderately costly suburbs near cities like Atlanta or Dallas, you can find quality homes \$400k to \$500k, with 20% down keeping monthly payments reasonable.
• In expensive coastal areas, condos and townhomes \$450k and under may be your best options, rather than lavish single family houses.

While buying is certainly possible in many markets, carefully weigh monthly costs like mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, utilities and maintenance against renting. Buy only if it meets your financial goals. Save up a proper downpayment as well.

## Example Budget For \$72 Per Hour

Here is a sample monthly budget for someone earning about \$72 per hour while working full-time:

Monthly Take Home Pay: \$8,160 (after taxes, 401k, insurance)

• Mortgage or Rent: \$2,200
• Utilities: \$400
• Car Payment: \$500
• Car Insurance: \$200
• Gas: \$250
• Groceries: \$700
• Dining Out: \$600
• Entertainment: \$500
• Vacations: \$600
• Pet Care: \$150
• Internet + Cell Phone: \$250
• Lessons/Classes: \$200
• Retirement Savings: \$1,200
• Medical Costs: \$400
• Debt Repayment: \$500
• Miscellaneous: \$400

Total Expenses: \$8,050

Money Remaining: \$110

This allows for a comfortable lifestyle while saving, though careful budgeting is required based on your specific circumstances. Your actual figures will vary based on local costs and lifestyle. But this illustrates solid spending power from an \$72 hourly wage.

## In Summary

While an income of \$72 per hour is well above national averages, it provides an upper-middle class lifestyle with financial flexibility and ample savings in most areas. This salary allows living comfortably while prudently managing budgets and investments. However, inflation still gradually erodes purchasing power over long periods. Overall, this level of income affords a nice lifestyle across most regions but not necessarily luxury.