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$21 an Hour Is How Much a Year? Can You Live Off It?

$21 an Hour is How Much a Year?

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While $21 an hour isn’t something to write home about, it’s certainly a decent wage. You’re probably wondering if I make $21 an hour, what would this wage add up to in one year?  Can I live on this wage, or do I need fo find ways to supplement my income? So, $21 an hour is how much a year?

In this post, we’ll discuss in detail how much $21 an hour translates to a year and whether you can live off it. We’ll also break it down to how much it is monthly, weekly, biweekly, and daily.

Let’s dive in!

$21 an Hour Is How Much a Year?

To get how much $21 an hour is per year, we need to calculate how many hours you work in a year. For our calculations, we’ll make the following assumptions. 

You work 8 hours a day, five days a week, translating to 40 hours a week.

From the above assumptions, we can infer that a year has 52 work weeks. This means that you work 2080 hours in a calendar year. 

If one hour is $21, what about 2080 hrs? Multiply 2080 hours by $21 to get $43,680. This means that working for $21 an hour will earn you $43,680 per year, slightly above $47,000 a year. However, you still have to account for taxes. 

$21 an Hour Is How Much a Year After Taxes?

Let’s face it. Taxes can eat up a big chunk of your paycheck. That’s why you need to know how it’ll affect your hourly rate. The amount you’ll pay in taxes varies, depending on various factors, such as your state taxes.

If you earn $43,680 a year, you belong in the 22% marginal tax rate bracket. This means that 22% of your paycheck goes toward taxes. Multiply 22% by $43,680 to get $9,609, the amount you’ll pay in taxes.

After taxes, you only take home $34,070, which is almost $35,000. A considerable difference, but not enough to put you in the minimum wage bracket.

To convert your after-tax salary into an hourly rate, assuming you work 2080 hours a year, you’ll get $16.38 an hour.

$34,070/2080 = $16.38 per hour

$21 an Hour Is How Much a Day?

If you work 8 hours a day, multiply the hourly wage by the number of hours worked to get your daily wage. 

Before taxes: 8 x $21 =  $168/day

After taxes: 8 x $16.38 = $131.04/day

$21 an hour means you earn $168 per day, but after taxes, you get $131.04.

$21 an Hour Is How Much a Week? 

Most people only work five days a week. To get your weekly paycheck, multiply the daily wage by the number of days in a workweek.

Before taxes: $168/day x 5 = $840

After taxes: $131.04/day x 5 = $655.20

Earning $21 an hour will get you $840 weekly. After taxes, you’ll take home $655.20. 

$21 an Hour Is How Much Bi-weekly

Some employers pay their employees every two weeks. For bi-weekly payments, double your weekly pay.

Before taxes: $840 x 2 = $1,680

After taxes: $655.20 x 2 =$1,310. 04

With a $21-an-hour salary, you’ll get a $1,680 paycheck every two weeks. However, after taxes, you’ll only get $1,310.04.

$21 an Hour Is How Much a Month?

To get your monthly paycheck, simply multiply your hourly wage by the number of hours worked in a month. Working 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, translates to 160 hours a month.

$21 x 160 = $3,360 per month

Keep in mind that some months have more days and fewer days than others. For example, in February, you can expect a slightly lower paycheck compared to other months. This 

Jobs That Pay $21 an Hour

$21 an hour is the standard hourly wage for most entry-level jobs. This means if you earn $21 an hour, you can earn more when they climb the ranks. 

Here are some of the most popular jobs that pay $21 an hour:

  • Virtual assistant
  • Proofreader
  • Transcriptionist
  • Small business marketer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Website tester
  • Customer service representative
  • Online tutor
  • Dog walker
  • Landscaper
  • Deliver driver
  • In-store shopper

Platforms like ZipRecruiter and Indeed are great places to find the above career opportunities.

$21 an Hour Lifestyle

$21 an hour can earn you a decent living, provided you manage your finances properly. It’s enough to cover basic expenses like rent, food, and transportation. But you’ll have to stretch your budget if you want enough left to save.

However, living comfortably with $21 an hour can be hard in big cities like New York. That’s because the prices of basic commodities like food, clothing, and housing are pretty high. In that case, you’ll have to find a supplementary income source to eke out a comfortable living.

$21 an Hour Sample Budget

You’re probably wondering if you can live off a $21-an-hour paycheck. This is possible when you have a budget in place and stick to it. 

Here’s a sample budget you could adopt. For this sample, we’ll use your monthly income after taxes ($2,620) because you must pay uncle sam.

Assuming you have no debt, here’s what a $2,620 paycheck monthly budget would look like.

  • Basic expenses 50%: $1,310
  • Recreational 20%: $524
  • Save money 20%: $524
  • Donations and other expenses 10%: $262

This budget may not work for everyone. You can tweak yours to meet your needs. If you want to save more money, work on reducing unnecessary expenses. 

How To Increase Your Income if $21 an Hour Isn’t Enough

If you live in a big city or have a large family, $21 an hour may not be enough to sustain you. In that case, you’ll need a secondary income source to supplement your earnings. 

Here are a few excellent ideas for a secondary income stream.

  • Ride Sharing: Working for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft is a great way to earn some extra income. Uber drivers, for instance, make up to $30 an hour picking and dropping people at their preferred destinations. If you own a car, this is an excellent side hustle to do during your spare time.
  • Delivering food and groceries: If you don’t like strangers in your car, you can always opt for delivering food instead. Sign up for DoorDash or Uber Eats and get paid to deliver food and groceries. You’ll get just as much or more money as you’d with ridesharing.
  • Rent a spare room: If you have a spare room or garage that you don’t use, try renting it out for some extra income. You can rent it out the conventional way or list it on platforms like AirBnB and rent it out for short stays. 
  • Walk dogs: Are you a dog person and have some free time after work? If so, you might want to consider walking dogs for money. Many people are willing to you to walk their dogs. The Rover app connects dog owners to dog walkers, making your job search much easier.
  • Join a focus group: Participating in a focus group is one of the easiest ways to earn extra income. All you have to do is watch a video or taste a product and give your opinion. Websites like Focus Group are great places to find paid focus groups to join.

Is $21 an Hour a Good Wage?

Whether $21 is a good salary depends on several factors, including the size of your family and where you live. However, you can live off a $ 21-an-hour salary with proper budgeting. Now that we’ve answered the question, “$21 an hour is how much a year?” you should be able to budget your salary for the entire year while exploring options to supplement your income.

More Wages:

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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