# \$74 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

In today’s economy, an hourly wage of \$74 is considered a strong pay rate for many occupations. But what exactly could you earn annually, monthly, and weekly when making \$74 per hour? In this article, we’ll break down the potential full-time and part-time salaries for \$74/hour before and after taxes.

We’ll look at how unpaid time off can impact your total yearly earnings at this hourly rate. We’ll also calculate your estimated take-home pay by converting \$74/hour into yearly, monthly, biweekly, and weekly salaries after taxes. Additionally, we’ll evaluate if \$74/hour is a good wage compared to national averages and pay for common jobs. We’ll determine if it’s possible to live comfortably on \$74/hour alone or if extra income may be needed. With rising inflation, we’ll assess how the buying power of \$74/hour stacks up over time. Finally, we’ll provide tips to increase your pay if you currently earn less than \$74/hour. By the end, you’ll know exactly what to expect annually and for your purchasing power when earning \$74 per hour.

## Convert \$74 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.

Salary Calculator

### Salary Calculator

*
\$
Input your wage and hours per week to see how much you'll make monthly, yearly and more.

\$
We calculated this number by taking into consideration your hourly rate, the number of hours you work per week, the number of weeks per year (52 weeks), and the number of months per year (12 months).

\$
We calculate this number by dividing your annual income by the number of months in a year (12 months).

\$

\$

\$
This number is calculated based on 5 working days per week.

### \$74 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$74 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$153,920. 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(\$74) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$153,920

### \$74 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$74 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$12,826.67. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$74) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$12,826.67

### \$74 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$74 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$5,920.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$74) x 2 = \$5,920

### \$74 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$74 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$2,960. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$74) = \$2,960

### \$74 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$74 an hour, your daily salary would be \$592. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$74) = \$592

## \$74 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:

\$74 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$153,920

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 \$153,920 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 \$153,920 .

## Part time \$74 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 35 hours per week instead of 40. Here’s how you calculate your new yearly total:

\$74 per hour x 35 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$134,680

By working 5 fewer hours per week (35 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$74 an hour drop from \$153,920 to \$134,680.

That’s a \$19,240 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 \$74 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$2,960 \$153,920
35 \$2,590 \$134,680
30 \$2,220 \$115,440
25 \$1,850 \$96,200
20 \$1,480 \$76,960
15 \$1,110 \$57,720

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.

## \$74 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 \$74 per hour normally, you would make \$111 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 \$74 per hour = \$2,960
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$111 per hour = \$555
• Your total one Week earnings =\$2,960 + \$555 = \$3,515

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

\$3,515 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$182,780

That’s \$28,860 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$74 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 \$74 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$2,960 \$153,920 1 45 \$3,515 \$182,780 2 50 \$4,070 \$211,640 3 55 \$4,625 \$240,500 4 60 \$5,180 \$269,360 5 65 \$5,735 \$298,220 6 70 \$6,290 \$327,080 7 75 \$6,845 \$355,940

## How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$74/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(\$74) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$148,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$74/hour would drop by \$5,920.

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 \$2,960 \$153,920 1 51 \$2,960 \$150,960 2 50 \$2,960 \$148,000 3 49 \$2,960 \$145,040 4 48 \$2,960 \$142,080 5 47 \$2,960 \$139,120 6 46 \$2,960 \$136,160 7 45 \$2,960 \$133,200

## Key Takeaways for \$74 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$74 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$153,920 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$115,440 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$28,860 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$5,920 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.

## \$74 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 \$74 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 \$74 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 \$153,920 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 24%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$16,290 + (\$153,920 – \$95,376) x 24% = \$30,340.56

So at \$74/hour with \$153,920 gross pay, you would owe about \$30,340.56 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:

\$153,920 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$4,725.34 estimated state income tax

So with \$153,920 gross annual income, you would owe around \$4,725.34 in Pennsylvania state income tax. Make sure to check your specific state’s 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:

\$153,920 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$3,848 estimated local tax

So with \$153,920 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$3,848 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:

\$153,920 x 6.2% + \$153,920 x 1.45% = \$11,774.88

So you can expect to pay about \$11,774.88 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$153,920 in earnings.

### Total Estimated Tax Payments

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

Federal tax: \$30,340.56

State tax: \$4,725.34

Local tax: \$3,848

FICA tax: \$11,774.88

Total Estimated Tax: \$50,688.78

### Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$74 /hour:

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$153,920 gross pay – \$50,688.78 Total Estimated Tax = \$103,231.22 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$74 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$103,231.22 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 \$74 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$74 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$153,920 .

The \$153,920 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 \$74 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$153,920 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 \$50,688.78 , Your Take Home Pay is \$103,231.22 , Total tax rate is 32.93%.

So next we’ll use 32.93% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

### \$74 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 \$153,920 32.93% \$50,688.78 \$103,231.22 Monthly Salary \$12,826.67 32.93% \$4,224.07 \$8,602.60 BiWeekly Salary \$5,920 32.93% \$1,949.57 \$3,970.43 Weekly Salary \$2,960 32.93% \$974.78 \$1,985.22

### \$74  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 32.93% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$153,920
• Estimated tax rate: 32.93%
• Taxes owed (32.93% * \$153,920 )= \$50,688.78
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$103,231.22
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$74 40 52 \$153,920 32.93% \$50,688.78 \$103,231.22

### \$74 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 \$74 per hour: \$153,920
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$153,920 / 12 = \$12,826.67 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$74 per hour is \$12,826.67 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 32.93% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$12,826.67
• Estimated tax rate: 32.93%
• Taxes owed (32.93% * \$12,826.67 )= \$4,224.07
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$8,602.60

Monthly Salary Based on \$74 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$74 \$153,920 12 \$12,826.67 32.93% \$4,224.07 \$8,602.60

### \$74 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$74 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$74
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$74 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$5,920 biweekly

Applying the 32.93%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$5,920
• Estimated tax rate: 32.93%
• Taxes owed (32.93% * \$5,920 )= \$1,949.57
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$3,970.43

Biweekly Salary at \$74 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
\$74 40 2 \$5,920 32.93% \$1,949.57 \$3,970.43

### \$74 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: \$74
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$74 * 40 hours = \$2,960 per week

Accounting for the estimated 32.93% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$2,960
• Estimated tax rate: 32.93%
• Taxes owed (32.93% * \$2,960 )= \$974.78
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$1,985.22

Weekly Salary at \$74 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$74 40 \$2,960 32.93% \$974.78 \$1,985.22

### Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$74 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$153,920 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 32.93% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$103,231.22 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$74 per hour equals \$12,826.67 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$8,602.60 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$74 per hour is \$2,960 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$1,985.22 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$74 per hour is \$5,920 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$3,970.43 .

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 \$74 an Hour a Good Salary?

The average hourly wage in the lowest-paying state, Mississippi, is under \$16 per hour. Therefore, \$74 an hour likely seems like an almost unimaginably high income there. However, in high cost coastal cities like San Francisco and New York, \$74 an hour would be considered relatively average or even low paying for professional roles. The same income results in different lifestyles depending on location.

To put \$74 an hour in perspective nationally:

• It is approximately 1.5x the median household income of around \$67,000 annually. Certainly above average, but far from wealthy.
• Total annual income on \$74 an hour with full time hours is about \$150,000. This reaches the lower end of the top 10% of all earners.
• \$74 an hour provides 3.7x the minimum salary considered to be a “living wage” in the average U.S. community of about \$20/hour.
• Someone earning \$74/hour would need to work full time for 5 years before exceeding the average total 2022 compensation for an S&P 500 CEO at \$15.5 million.

Overall, while \$74 an hour is a well above median U.S. wage, it affords merely a comfortable middle class lifestyle in most regions. It is far from an exorbitant “elite” income level.

## Jobs that pay \$74 an hour

Which occupations and careers offer average pay at or exceeding \$74 per hour? Here are some examples:

• Registered nurses – Average RN pay is around \$77,000 annually or about \$37 per hour. Experienced nurses in specialized roles or high cost regions can earn \$70-\$90 per hour.
• Electrical engineers – Median salary around \$100,000. Senior roles at major firms or in metro areas can reach \$70-\$80 per hour.
• Software developers – Average software developer earns \$110,000 annually. Senior programmers at major tech companies can reach \$75-\$100 per hour total compensation.
• Project managers – Median around \$75,000. IT project managers or construction project managers in major cities can earn up to \$70-\$80 hour.
• Electricians – Average salary about \$55,000. Master electricians and union contractors in expensive markets bill over \$70 an hour for labor.
• Plumbers – Median plumber salary is around \$55,000. High demand and union scale wages in some cities push top earners over \$70 per hour.
• Accountants – Average salary is \$77,000. CPAs and senior managers at top accounting firms can bill out over \$70 per hour.

Overall, these middle to senior level roles across respectable professional occupations demonstrate the upper-middle earnings bracket \$74 per hour fits under in most areas nationwide.

## Can You Live Off \$74 An Hour?

Determining if \$74 an hour is reasonably “livable” depends greatly on variables like where you live and family size. A single person without children can live quite comfortably in many low cost Midwest or Southern metro areas on this income. However, for a family of four in a high expense city like New York or San Francisco, \$74 an hour would likely mean a much more modest, average lifestyle requiring budget tradeoffs.

Some key considerations on whether \$74 an hour is sufficient to live comfortably:

• Housing costs relative to income are generally the largest constraint. In low cost cities, \$74 an hour can support a decent suburban home. In New York or San Francisco, expect a modest apartment requiring commuting.
• Healthcare costs need to be budgeted carefully after accounting for insurance. Even modest co-pays and prescription costs add up with a family.
• Essential costs like groceries and gas take a larger bite out of budget for bigger families on a fixed income.
• Educational goals for kids like saving for college require sacrifice at \$74 an hour income level compared to higher earning households.
• Little room for discretionary luxuries like frequent travel or expensive hobbies after covering basic household expenses.

Overall, \$74 per hour should provide solidly middle class means in most of the country. But prudent budgeting and money conscious decisions would still be required, especially supporting a family long-term.

## The impact of inflation on the value of \$74 an hour

With inflation currently running at 40-year highs over 9%, an hourly wage of \$74 has diminished purchasing power. Assuming historical inflation averages of 3-4%, in 5 years that \$74 will be equivalent to around \$64-\$68 in today’s dollars. And if high inflation persists, the erosion of value will be even greater.

Some ways inflation impacts those earning \$74 per hour:

• Non-discretionary costs like food, gas, utilities become a higher burden with rapid inflation that outpaces wage growth.
• Essential purchases like replacing a 10 year old car become more strained as sticker prices rise.
• Expenses for travel, dining out, entertainment must be cut back as these discretionary costs inflate.
• Ability to save for goals like retirement, college and home down payments reduced by inflation drag on fixed income.
• May need to downsize housing, take on roommates, or move farther from city center to cut costs as rents and home prices swell.

To maintain standard of living, those earning \$74 an hour need consistent annual raises at least matching inflation. Failing to budget carefully risks major lifestyle cutbacks.

## 5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

How can someone now earning less eventually increase their income to \$74 per hour? Here are some potential strategies:

• Develop specializations within your field that command pay premiums. Become an expert in new technologies and high-demand skills.
• Take on leadership roles like project or team management that build capabilities beyond individual contributor work.
• Obtain advanced certifications, training, and educational credentials that validate specialized expertise.
• Relocate to larger, more economically vibrant metro regions where pay scales are higher.
• Switch companies or fields entirely to reboot earnings. Leverage transferable skills rather than starting over.
• Negotiate raises aggressively and change jobs as needed. Don’t just wait and hope for pay to organically increase.
• Start side businesses or freelancing income streams that provide supplemental earnings and flexibility.

Substantially growing income requires a combination of developing niche skills, seeking roles with greater responsibility, networking and job-hopping strategically, and relentlessly enhancing your value and reputation in the job market.

## Buying a car on \$74 an hour

The average price paid for a new car in America is around \$47,000 as of late 2022. For the typical worker earning \$74 an hour, affording a well-equipped new car is achievable by making it a budget priority, but still requires careful planning. Some tips:

• Opt for a practical used car under \$20,000 to keep costs low. This allows more cash flow for savings goals versus tying up income in a depreciating asset.
• Put at least 20% down on a new car purchase to get the best rates and limit debt burden. Finance a maximum of \$30,000 based on income.
• Extend loan terms to 5-6 years to keep payments manageable but pay off balance early once able. Don’t just opt for lower monthly payments.
• Consider leasing a cheaper new car to keep the latest features and technology while minimizing depreciation risk.
• Maintain good credit (700+) for access to prime auto loan rates below 5%. Check rates from banks/CUs before dealer financing.

Overall, those earning \$74 an hour must balance their desire for a nice new car with reasonable affordability. But with prudent planning, an economically rational purchase is quite achievable.

## Can You Buy a House on \$74 An Hour?

The standard home affordability guideline says to limit house purchase prices to 3x your annual income. Someone earning \$74 an hour full time would make around \$150,000 annually. That means a home up to \$450,000 should be reasonably affordable. This range would allow a moderate starter home in many U.S. metro areas. In expensive coastal cities, options may be limited to condos, townhomes and fixer-uppers.

When buying a home on \$74 an hour, it’s wise to:

• Save aggressively for a 10-20% downpayment over several years to reduce mortgage payments and avoid PMI.
• Buy well below the maximum 3X income affordability limit to allow financial breathing room. Don’t become “house poor”.
• Opt for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate as low as possible. Lock in rates when favorable.
• Make sure your “front-end ratio” of housing expenses to income does not exceed 28% as a maximum.
• Consider adding a roommate or accessory dwelling unit to help cover housing costs.

While \$74 an hour income is sufficient for prudent home ownership in most regions, buying a costly “forever home” right away may not be realistic. Focus on smart budget tradeoffs.

## Example Budget For \$74 Per Hour

Below is a sample monthly budget for an individual earning the equivalent of \$74 an hour or about \$150,000 annually assuming a net take-home pay of around \$94,000 after taxes:

• Rent/mortgage: \$1,600
• Modest apartment or starter home
• Utilities: \$250
• Groceries: \$400
• Dining out: \$200
• Car payment + insurance: \$450
• Gas: \$150
• Cell phone: \$100
• Internet + cable: \$100
• 401k/IRA savings: \$800
• Healthcare costs: \$300
• Entertainment/self-care: \$400
• Vacation/travel: \$250
• Emergency fund savings: \$500
• Total Monthly Expenses: \$5,500

This sample budget would allow saving over \$35,000 annually towards retirement and longer term financial goals while maintaining a reasonable standard of living. However, housing costs and other fixed expenses would need to be reduced for those supporting families on the same \$74 per hour income.

## In Summary

An income of \$74 an hour certainly exceeds median wage levels across the United States. However, the actual lifestyle supported will depend greatly on variables like where someone lives, their current expenses and debts, and family size. This income level affords financial stability for individuals or smaller households in most markets, but luxuries would need to be balanced carefully, especially when inflation reduces purchasing power over time. In high-cost coastal cities, \$74 an hour may mean just a modest middle-class lifestyle. Overall this income allows for a comfortable life when managed prudently, but is far from unlimited wealth.