\$9 an Hour is How Much a Year? Before and After Taxes

The federal minimum wage is currently \$9 per hour in some parts of the country. But what does this equate to annually, monthly, and weekly for both part-time and full-time work? In this article, we’ll break down the potential salaries you could earn making the federal minimum wage of \$9/hour. We’ll look at how taxes impact your take-home pay, converting \$9/hour into estimated yearly, monthly, biweekly, and weekly earnings after tax.

Additionally, we’ll evaluate whether \$9/hour provides a livable wage compared to the cost of living. We’ll explore typical jobs that pay minimum wage and discuss whether it’s possible to live on this salary alone. With rising inflation, we’ll analyze how the purchasing power of \$9/hour has declined over time. Finally, we’ll provide tips to increase your earnings beyond the federal minimum. By the end, you’ll know exactly what someone earning the federal minimum wage of \$9/hour can expect to take home each year and what standard of living this provides.

Convert \$9 Per Hour to Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Salary

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\$9 an Hour is How Much a Year?

If you make \$9 an hour, your yearly salary would be \$18,720. 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(\$9) x Weeks worked per year(52) = \$18,720

\$9 an Hour is How Much a Month?

If you make \$9 an hour, your monthly salary would be \$1,560. We calculated this number by dividing your annual income by 12 months.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$9) x Weeks worked per year(52) / Months per Year(12) = \$1,560

\$9 an Hour is How Much Biweekly?

If you make \$9 an hour, your biweekly salary would be \$720.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$9) x 2 = \$720

\$9 an Hour is How Much a Week?

If you make \$9 an hour, your weekly salary would be \$360. Calculating based on 5 days per week and 8 hours each day.

Hours worked per week (40) x Hourly wage(\$9) = \$360

\$9 an Hour is How Much a Day?

If you make \$9 an hour, your daily salary would be \$72. We calculated your daily income based on 8 hours per day.

Hours worked per day (8) x Hourly wage(\$9) = \$72

\$9 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:

\$9 per hour x 40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$18,720

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 \$18,720 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 \$18,720 .

Part time \$9 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:

\$9 per hour x 30 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = \$14,040

By working 10 fewer hours per week (30 instead of 40), your annual earnings at \$9 an hour drop from \$18,720 to \$14,040.

That’s a \$4,680 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 \$9 an hour:

Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings
40 \$360 \$18,720
35 \$315 \$16,380
30 \$270 \$14,040
25 \$225 \$11,700
20 \$180 \$9,360
15 \$135 \$7,020

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.

\$9 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 \$9 per hour normally, you would make \$13.50 per hour for any hours over 40 in a week.

Here’s an example:

• You work 45 hours in a Week
• 40 regular hours paid at \$9 per hour = \$360
• 5 overtime hours paid at \$13.50 per hour = \$67.50
• Your total one Week earnings =\$360 + \$67.50 = \$427.50

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

\$427.50 per week x 52 weeks per year = \$22,230

That’s \$3,510 more than you’d earn working just 40 hours per week at \$9 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 \$9 an hour:

 Overtime hours per work day Hours Per Week Earnings Per Week Annual Earnings 0 40 \$360 \$18,720 1 45 \$427.50 \$22,230 2 50 \$495 \$25,740 3 55 \$562.50 \$29,250 4 60 \$630 \$32,760 5 65 \$697.50 \$36,270 6 70 \$765 \$39,780 7 75 \$832.50 \$43,290

How Unpaid Time Off Impacts \$9/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(\$9) x Weeks worked per year(50) = \$18,000 annual salary

With 2 weeks unpaid time off, your annual earnings at \$9/hour would drop by \$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 \$360 \$18,720 1 51 \$360 \$18,360 2 50 \$360 \$18,000 3 49 \$360 \$17,640 4 48 \$360 \$17,280 5 47 \$360 \$16,920 6 46 \$360 \$16,560 7 45 \$360 \$16,200

Key Takeaways for \$9 Hourly Wage

In summary, here are some key points on annual earnings when making \$9 per hour:

• At 40 hours per week, you’ll earn \$18,720 per year.
• Part-time of 30 hours/week results in \$14,040 annual salary.
• Overtime pay can boost yearly earnings, e.g. \$3,510 extra at 45 hours/week.
• Unpaid time off reduces your total income, around \$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.

\$9 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 \$9 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 \$9 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 \$18,720 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 12%.

Your estimated federal tax would be:

\$1,100 + (\$18,720 – \$11,000) x 12% = \$2,026.40

So at \$9/hour with \$18,720 gross pay, you would owe about \$2,026.40 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:

\$18,720 gross pay x 3.07% PA tax rate = \$574.70 estimated state income tax

So with \$18,720 gross annual income, you would owe around \$574.70 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:

\$18,720 gross pay x 2.5% local tax rate = \$468 estimated local tax

So with \$18,720 in gross earnings, you may owe around \$468 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:

\$18,720 x 6.2% + \$18,720 x 1.45% = \$1,432.08

So you can expect to pay about \$1,432.08 in Social Security and Medicare taxes out of your gross \$18,720 in earnings.

Total Estimated Tax Payments

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

Federal tax: \$2,026.40

State tax: \$574.70

Local tax: \$468

FICA tax: \$1,432.08

Total Estimated Tax: \$4,501.18

Calculating Your Take Home Pay

To calculate your annual take home pay at \$9 /hour:

1. Take your gross pay

2. Subtract your estimated total tax payments

\$18,720 gross pay – \$4,501.18 Total Estimated Tax = \$14,218.82 Your Take Home Pay

n summary, if you make \$9 per hour and work full-time, you would take home around \$14,218.82 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 \$9 Per Hour to Yearly, Monthly, Biweekly, and Weekly Salary After Taxes

If you make \$9 an hour and work full-time (40 hours per week), your estimated yearly salary would be \$18,720 .

The \$18,720 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 \$9 An Hour Is How Much A Year After Taxes, we assumed the following conditions:

• You are single with \$18,720 gross annual pay, your federal tax bracket is 12 %.
• 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 \$4,501.18 , Your Take Home Pay is \$14,218.82 , Total tax rate is 24.04%.

So next we’ll use 24.04% as the estimated tax rate to calculate your weekly, biweekly, and monthly after-tax income.

\$9 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 \$18,720 24.04% \$4,501.18 \$14,218.82 Monthly Salary \$1,560 24.04% \$375.10 \$1,184.90 BiWeekly Salary \$720 24.04% \$173.12 \$546.88 Weekly Salary \$360 24.04% \$86.56 \$273.44

\$9  an hour is how much a year after taxes

Here is the adjusted yearly salary after a 24.04% tax reduction:

• Yearly salary before taxes: \$18,720
• Estimated tax rate: 24.04%
• Taxes owed (24.04% * \$18,720 )= \$4,501.18
• Yearly salary after taxes: \$14,218.82
Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Weeks Worked Per Year Total Yearly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Yearly Salary
\$9 40 52 \$18,720 24.04% \$4,501.18 \$14,218.82

\$9 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 \$9 per hour: \$18,720
• Divided by 12 months per year: \$18,720 / 12 = \$1,560 per month

The monthly salary based on a 40 hour work week at \$9 per hour is \$1,560 before taxes.

After applying the estimated 24.04% tax rate, the monthly after-tax salary would be:

• Monthly before-tax salary: \$1,560
• Estimated tax rate: 24.04%
• Taxes owed (24.04% * \$1,560 )= \$375.10
• Monthly after-tax salary: \$1,184.90

Monthly Salary Based on \$9 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Yearly Salary Months Per Year Before-Tax Monthly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Monthly Salary
\$9 \$18,720 12 \$1,560 24.04% \$375.10 \$1,184.90

\$9 an hour is how much biweekly after taxes

Many people are paid biweekly, meaning every other week. To calculate the biweekly pay at \$9 per hour:

• Hourly wage: \$9
• Hours worked per week: 40
• Weeks per biweekly pay period: 2
• \$9 * 40 hours * 2 weeks = \$720 biweekly

Applying the 24.04%estimated tax rate:

• Biweekly before-tax salary: \$720
• Estimated tax rate: 24.04%
• Taxes owed (24.04% * \$720 )= \$173.12
• Biweekly after-tax salary: \$546.88

Biweekly Salary at \$9 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
\$9 40 2 \$720 24.04% \$173.12 \$546.88

\$9 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: \$9
• Hours worked per week: 40
• \$9 * 40 hours = \$360 per week

Accounting for the estimated 24.04% tax rate:

• Weekly before-tax salary: \$360
• Estimated tax rate: 24.04%
• Taxes owed (24.04% * \$360 )= \$86.56
• Weekly after-tax salary: \$273.44

Weekly Salary at \$9 Per Hour

Hourly Wage Hours Worked Per Week Before-Tax Weekly Salary Estimated Tax Rate Taxes Owed After-Tax Weekly Salary
\$9 40 \$360 24.04% \$86.56 \$273.44

Key Takeaways

• An hourly wage of \$9 per hour equals a yearly salary of \$18,720 before taxes, assuming a 40 hour work week.
• After accounting for an estimated 24.04% tax rate, the yearly after-tax salary is approximately \$14,218.82 .
• On a monthly basis before taxes, \$9 per hour equals \$1,560 per month. After estimated taxes, the monthly take-home pay is about \$1,184.90 .
• The before-tax weekly salary at \$9 per hour is \$360 . After taxes, the weekly take-home pay is approximately \$273.44 .
• For biweekly pay, the pre-tax salary at \$9 per hour is \$720 . After estimated taxes, the biweekly take-home pay is around \$546.88 .

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 \$9 an Hour a Good Salary?

An income of \$9 an hour is very low compared to typical incomes in the United States. The current federal minimum wage is \$7.25 per hour. But in many states and cities, the minimum wage is now between \$10 and \$15 per hour.

The estimated median hourly wage for all occupations in the US is around \$20 per hour. So an income of \$9 an hour is less than half of what a typical worker earns. It is barely above the absolute legal minimum that employers are required to pay.

At \$9 per hour, if you worked full time year-round, your pre-tax annual income would be around \$18,720. That is below the \$20,000 – \$25,000 federal poverty guidelines for a family of 3-4 people. It is also not much higher than the approximately \$16,000 in basic benefits that a single parent with two children could receive from programs like SNAP, WIC, Medicaid and Section 8 housing assistance.

Overall, it is very challenging to provide even a basic quality of life on \$9 per hour without relying heavily on aid programs or sharing expenses with others. An income at this level would be considered very low and unlivable by most standards.

Jobs that pay \$9 an hour

There are certain low-skilled entry level jobs that commonly pay around the \$9 per hour rate:

• Fast food workers – Fast food chains and other restaurants/retail often hire entry level staff at minimum wage. Some states still use the federal \$7.25 rate.
• Grocery clerks – Baggers, stockers and cashiers at local supermarkets often start around \$9 per hour.
• Hazmat cleaners – Environmental service workers doing hazardous materials cleanup are often paid around \$9 per hour.
• Car wash workers – Car wash attendants earn around the minimum wage in many states.
• Childcare assistants – Entry level daycare workers and nannies may earn \$8 – \$11 per hour depending on location.
• Home health aides – Inexperienced in-home caregivers often start around \$9 – \$10 per hour.
• Agricultural workers – Farm workers, fruit pickers and animal handlers are often paid hourly wages in the single digits.

Many of these roles pay at or near the minimum wage. They require little formal education or prior experience. While essential jobs, they come with low pay as a tradeoff.

Can You Live Off \$9 An Hour?

It is extremely challenging but theoretically possible to get by on \$9 per hour. The reality is you would need to rely on government assistance, subsidies, charity and help from family to afford basics like food, housing and healthcare. Or you would need multiple earners contributing to the household expenses.

To put \$9 an hour in context, if you worked 40 hours per week year-round, you would earn around \$18,720 per year. Here is a rough breakdown of typical costs:

• Taxes – Federal tax: \$500 (with Earned Income Credit). Payroll tax: \$1,400. Effective total tax rate: 10%.
• Take home pay – \$16,820 per year / \$1,402 per month.
• Rent – Average 1 bedroom apartment – \$1,100 per month.
• Food – \$300 per month for cheap essentials.
• Utilities – \$150 per month average for electric, water, phone.
• Transportation – Public transport costs around \$50 per month.
• Healthcare – Medicaid provides free coverage if eligible.

This budget leaves almost nothing left for any other basic expenses like clothing, toiletries, laundry, etc. You would rely on food stamps, school meal programs, community food banks and other aid. Overall, it is incredibly difficult to pay for the basics on a \$9 per hour income.

The impact of inflation on the value of \$9 an hour

Inflation – the rising prices of goods over time – further erodes the small buying power that a \$9 an hour wage provides.

For example, \$9 per hour in 2015 equals about \$10.50 per hour in 2022 dollars after adjusting for inflation. Yet the federal minimum wage has remained unchanged at \$7.25 over that timeframe.

If you were trying to live on \$9 per hour today, you would need your wage to rise to \$10 or \$11 per hour just have the same standard of living in 5-10 years due to inflation.

While everyone experiences price increases, inflation disproportionately hurts low income households. When virtually your entire budget goes towards rent, food and transport, there is little room to cut back when prices rise. Asking for periodic raises is crucial to not losing buying power.

5 Ways To Increase Your Hourly Wage

While \$9 per hour provides a very minimal standard of living, there are some potential steps to increase your earnings over time:

• Develop new skills – Take classes to gain certifications or expertise that commands better pay.
• Work more hours – Overtime, second jobs and gig work can supplement wages.
• Ask for raises – Demonstrating exceptional skill and value may lead to pay increases.
• Apply for promotions – Moving into roles with more responsibility may provide better pay.
• Find a new higher paying job – Switching employers tends to be the fastest way to increase pay.

Building a track record, joining a union, networking, and improving skills are all crucial to moving beyond entry level minimum wage roles. But it requires substantial effort given limited free time on a \$9 an hour schedule.

Buying a car on \$9 an hour

Trying to buy and own a vehicle while earning just \$9 an hour would be extremely difficult. Just covering ongoing costs like auto insurance, gas and repairs would likely be unaffordable with basic living expenses eating up nearly your entire paycheck.

Let’s consider some estimated costs for owning an inexpensive used car on an annual basis:

• Used car price (5+ years old): \$5,000
• Annual insurance: \$1,000
• Gas: \$1,200
• Maintenance and repairs: \$500

That comes out to over \$8,000 in total annual costs. On an income of \$18,720, this would completely be unaffordable along with rent, food and other expenses.

The only viable options would be:

• Leasing the cheapest car possible.
• Doing a long 7+ year loan to spread payments out.
• Receiving an older used car as a gift from family.
• Saving up for years before buying a beater in cash.

Overall, owning a car on \$9 per hour is essentially impossible without major tradeoffs or outside help. Public transportation or very cheap used vehicles acquired for free may be your only options.

Can You Buy a House on \$9 An Hour?

Buying a house is not realistic on an income of \$9 per hour. The mortgage, taxes, utilities and home maintenance costs would be far beyond reach on a \$18,000 annual salary.

Some rough estimates annually:

• Mortgage payment on a \$100,000 home: \$12,000
• Property tax: \$2,000
• Home insurance: \$1,000
• Utilities: \$2,400
• Maintenance: \$1,000

Total: \$18,400

As you can see, the housing costs alone would essentially equal your entire pre-tax income. This does not even factor in essentials like food, transportation, healthcare and clothing.

Unless you had a large inheritance or gift for the down payment, home ownership would not be possible on \$9 per hour. Renting a room or seeking subsidized housing would be your only likely options.

The reality is you need an income of at least \$20 per hour to begin reasonably affording a mortgage with today’s home prices and interest rates. And you would need significantly more saved up for a down payment and closing costs.

Example Budget For \$9 Per Hour

Here is what a sample monthly budget would look like on an income of \$9 per hour or \$1,260 per month after taxes:

• Gross Income: \$9/hour full time = \$1,440 pre-tax
• Taxes: -\$180
• Rent: -\$600 (shared apartment)
• Food: -\$200 (inexpensive staples only)
• Utilities: -\$80
• Phone: -\$40
• Transport: -\$50 bus pass
• Healthcare: Medicaid
• Clothing, toiletries, household items: -\$100
• Leftover each month= \$10

As you can see, the budget is extremely bare bones with only \$166 leftover each month for any additional expenses. Purchasing clothing, toiletries, household items or medicines would require sacrificing another basic necessity like food. Relying on food assistance programs would be essential.

While technically possible to survive on \$9 per hour with government subsidies, the quality of life would be very low. Finding ways to increase your income would be critical for not just getting by but actually thriving.

In Summary

An income of \$9 per hour provides a very minimal standard of living compared to typical earnings. It would require depending on government aid programs or cutting back severely on living costs. While some entry level jobs pay such low wages, it is nearly impossible to afford normal household necessities without subsidies.

Inflation only worsens the buying power of already low wages over time. Finding ways to develop your skills in order to increase your earnings is crucial for escaping wage poverty. While doable in the short term, living on \$9 per hour is extremely difficult and limiting for any extended period of time.