$17 An Hour Is How Much A Year? Can I Live On It?

Have you just taken a new job and are wondering how much your yearly salary is? Perhaps you have applied for a job paying $17 an hour and want to know what that will be for the year? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know how stressful it can be working out how much your yearly income is based on an hourly rate. Sure, $17 an hour sounds like a lot, but what does that give you every week, month, or year?

Is it enough for you to live on? Before taking any job you find yourself asking these questions and wondering how far $17 an hour will stretch. 

But no matter how much searching and budgeting you do, you just can’t seem to find the answer you need. You find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, and wondering if you can survive on this wage or not. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out how much $17 an hour is in a year and if you can live on that wage or not. Get ready to become a budgeting expert and know all you need to do about how you can make $17 an hour last! 

$17 An Hour Is How Much A Year Can I Live On It

How Much Do You Earn A Year On $17 An Hour? 

Let’s get straight into it! When working out a yearly wage based on your hourly wage ($17) you will need to know how many hours that you work in a week.

We have made our calculations with the average working week of 40 hours per week. If you work part-time then you will want to use the number of working hours you do a week, such as 20 hours. 

Once you have how many hours you work a week, you can work out how much you will earn for the year. Let’s take the typical 40-hour working week. On the assumption that you work 52 weeks a year, you would be working 2,080 hours for the year (40 x52). 

You will then take the hourly rate of $17 and multiply that by your hours worked (2,080) to get your yearly salary. This calculation gives those working a 40 hour week a total pay of $35,360.

Remember to change the number of hours if you work part-time and multiply that number by 17 to get your yearly wage. 

It is worth noting that this yearly wage is a gross income, it’s unlikely that you will see the full amount! This gross income will have taxes, insurance, 401k, and other deductibles taken from it before the final net income is placed into your account. 

As everyone has different deductibles it is difficult for us to tell you what your net income will be for the year. You would need to deduct a year’s worth of tax, insurance, and any 401k contributions to see your yearly total after tax.

For those that work part-time on say 20 hours, you will need to multiply 20 by 52 (weeks of the year worked), which gives you a total of 1,040 working hours.

You can then multiply this by the hourly wage of $17 to get a total of $17,680 for the year. 

How Much Is $17 An Hour Every Month?

Now that we have covered your yearly salary, you might be wondering how it will look on a monthly paycheck. Sometimes this can vary depending on how your employer pays you.

Some companies will pay you the same amount every month, especially if you have worked the same amount of hours. Other companies will determine your pay based on the number of days in the month, meaning your pay might be less in February than in July.

It is worth checking how your employer calculates a monthly pay period first to be sure you know how much you are getting paid and how many days you are getting paid for!

You will also want to consider the day of the month that you get paid. This applies to whether you are paid weekly, fortnightly, or monthly.

Some months your pay might have to stretch further due to the day payday has fallen on and how many days it is until the next payday. You can discuss all this in more detail with your employer to get you the information that you need. 

Generally speaking though, someone working full time on $17 an hour could expect a monthly pay of $2,947. Remember, this is before taxes and any other deductions. To work this out we have divided the yearly amount we got earlier by twelve.

It is worth noting that this salary does not include any bonuses, holiday pay, or sickness absences that can change your salary every month. These factors will vary depending on your employment. 

If you are taking on a new role, it’s worth speaking to your potential employer about the holiday pay, sickness pay, and any bonuses to help give you a better idea of how much money you will be living on every month. 

For those working part-time on 20 hours a week contracts, you can expect a monthly amount of $1,743. Remember this is subject to the deductibles, holiday and sick pay, and any bonuses you might be entitled to.

It’s worth considering how often you get bonuses and whether you want to factor them into your budget planning or leave them as disposable income or additional savings.

If bonuses aren’t a regular occurrence, then we think it’s best to leave them out of your budgeting and instead enjoy a little treat or boost your savings when they arrive! 

How Much Is $17 An Hour Every Fortnight?

If you get paid fortnightly, or bi-weekly, then your pay will look a little smaller than the others mentioned. It still works out as the same wage but is deposited into your account more frequently. If you work full time, then you will have a bi-weekly pay of $1,360. 

We got this number by multiplying 40 hours by 2 weeks and $17 an hour. You can make adjustments here depending on the number of hours you worked and if you had any unpaid leave during these two weeks.

Checking how much you are getting paid like this can be a good way to see how your money is looking after any leave of absence and help you adjust your budget to ensure you can still cover your bills and enjoy your life too. Remember, there is more to life than paying bills! 

If you work part-time on a 20-hour contract, you would have half the amount mentioned earlier, leaving you with $680 to play with. Remember, this wage can still be subject to tax, deductibles, and can vary depending on any leave you have taken in those two weeks. 

It is always worth checking with potential employers whether or not you have paid leave to ensure you are covered should you need to take a leave of absence due to sickness or other personal reasons. 

How Much Is $17 An Hour Every Week? 

For those that are paid weekly, or just want to know what their weekly wage works out as we have the answers for you! To work out how much you are going to be paid at the end of the week, multiply your hours worked by the hourly wage. So for those working full time, you would do the following: 

40 hours x $17 = $680 per week. 

Again, this salary is before any tax, deductibles, and does not include any sickness or holiday time. If you have had to take any unpaid leave during the week, deduct the hours lost from your weekly total for a more accurate salary.

For example, if you lost one eight-hour working day, you will multiply $17 by 32 instead of 40. 

For those working part-time on a 20-hour contract, your weekly salary would be $340. We used the same calculation to get this number, changing 40 hours to 20.

Again, if you have lost any working hours that week, be sure to deduct them from the hours before doing your calculation.

Your weekly salary might still be taxed or have other deductions, so be sure to factor these in before making your budget and spending any money. 

How Much Is $17 An Hour A Day?

Are you paid daily? Or perhaps you want to know what you are earning every day? Maybe it’s a paid trial shift and you want to know how much is sitting in the envelope?

There are lots of reasons why we want to know what our daily pay works out as, and luckily for you, we have the answer. 

To calculate your daily wage, simply multiply the number of hours you work in a day by $17. If you work the typical eight-hour day, then your daily wage will be $136.

For those that work a longer 10 hour day over four days, then you would multiply ten by $17 to give you a total daily wage of $170. Again, this wage can be subject to tax and other deductibles. 

For those that work part-time, say four hours a day, then your daily wage would be $68. Don’t forget to adjust the number of hours worked to what you have worked that day for an accurate figure.

If you have unpaid breaks and lunches, you will need to remove these from the hours worked to offer an accurate salary.

For example, if you worked a ten-hour shift, but had an hour’s unpaid lunch, then you will only be paid for nine hours. You will need to multiply nine by $17 to get your accurate daily wage. 

Be sure to speak to your employer or potential employer if you are unsure about paid or unpaid breaks. Usually, we see a lot of unpaid breaks, but this can vary depending on the industry that you work in and your employer. 

What About Overtime?

Overtime Pay

If you work overtime, then first you need to check that it is paid over time. Some industries will offer different rates of overtime pay, especially if it is over the holidays.

For example, if you work as a waitress on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving, your employer might pay you double pay, changing your hourly wage from $17 to $34.

Other common overtime rates are time and a half, which would be $25.50, or triple pay, which would be a whopping $51 per hour! 

Speak to your employer about overtime rates or check your contract, as this information is usually stated there. If overtime is unpaid, ask if there is a different benefit for this.

For example, it might be a paid day off or a gift certificate. You will need to decide whether this is worth your time before agreeing to any overtime. Remember to make sure that you are getting paid, you don’t want to be giving your time to work for free! 

You will next want to check when your overtime payment will arrive. Most employers will have a cut-off date during the middle of the month to ensure that payroll is processed correctly and on time for everyone.

For example, if you are paid on the 28th of the month, your overtime cut-off period might be the 21st. That means any paid overtime that you do after the 21st will appear on next month’s paycheck instead. 

Your overtime period should be stated on your payslip, though this can vary from employer to employer. It’s best to check when your overtime period is so that you can budget accurately for every month’s pay.

Usually, overtime will be listed separately on your pay and will say whether it is paid at your usual rate (1.0) or a double rate (2.0). If you have any questions about this it is best to speak to your employer or HR department directly. They will be able to explain any overtime periods or pay to you. 

To keep track of your overtime payments and when you can expect them, we recommend keeping a record. Whether that is in your diary or an app on your phone, record the current overtime period and the shifts completed.

It will help you keep track of what overtime payments you can expect in this pay, and what ones will be rolled onto your next paycheck. Doing this can help keep you organized and prevent any panic when your pay doesn’t look quite as it should.

A record will also help you notice if your pay is incorrect and help you get this rectified quickly. Your line manager should be your first port of call should your pay not be correct, although depending on your company, you might need to speak to payroll or HR. 

Should you choose to do any overtime and want to know how much you will be paid, simply add the additional hours to your usual hours worked and multiply that by $17. For example, if you work 40 hours one week, but pick up an additional 5, simply multiply 45 by $17 to get your new weekly wage of $765. 

If your overtime is charged at a different rate of pay, for example, double, you will multiply your usual 40 by $17 to get $680.

Next, you would do a separate calculation of your double-time overtime of say 10 hours (10 x $34) to get an additional payment of $340. You would then add this to your original salary, to have a new weekly wage of $1,020. 

Remember, overtime payments are also subject to tax and other deductibles. As an overtime payment will push you over your usual earnings, you might end up paying more tax.

You can use various tax calculators online to work out how much tax you will pay that week or month now that you have some additional income. 

For those that get paid monthly, it is best to calculate your monthly wage as we showed you earlier, and then add up the total amount over overtime hours you have completed that month. Multiply these by your hourly wage of $17, or more if you earn extra money for overtime and add that to your monthly wage.

Remember this will be your gross wage and will be subject to tax and other deductibles, the net payment you receive will look different from the gross payment we have calculated. 

How Much Tax Will I Pay?

Now, this is a tricky one to answer, but something we must address as it will determine how much of your pay you receive. So to help you work out how taxes will impact your paycheck, we have some sums that you can use.

We have worked with average taxes here, but you can adjust this yourself depending on how much tax you pay. If you are unsure how much tax you pay, it’s worth looking at your paycheck or speaking to a financial professional who can help walk you through this! 

On a basic level, we will work with the assumption that you pay a 12% federal tax rate and a 4% state rate. A percentage is also taken out for Social Security and Medicare (FICA) of 7.65%.

Remember, these numbers might be slightly different for you, be sure to check to see how much tax you pay. 

If you have a gross annual salary of $35,360, then your taxes could look like the following: 

  • State tax charged at 4% – $1,414
  • Federal tax charged at 12% – $4,243 
  • Social Security and Medicare charged at 7.65% – $2,705 

After taxing those taxes out of your wage you would be left with an annual salary of $26,997. Remember you might be paying other taxes and deductibles, but this number should give you an idea of what to expect. 

So how does this compare to the $17 an hour you are making. Well, if we use $26,997 and divide it by 2,080 working hours, you are left with $12.98 an hour. That

S a lot less per hour than you initially thought you were bringing home! This is why you must plan your budget based on your net income rather than your gross, to ensure that you can live within your means. 

Now, as we said earlier, these numbers can vary depending on the tax that you pay. You will want to do these calculations based on the amount of tax that you pay to get an accurate number.

Don’t forget to include any healthcare insurance that comes out of your pay. As these taxes will be deducted from your paycheck, you can expect to see a smaller number than your gross income. 

Can You Live On $17 An Hour? 

So, can you live on $17 an hour? We know how difficult it can be to live off a budget. Even earning more than the minimum wage can still be challenging and leaves many people and families struggling.

To help you, we have some top tips to help you create a budget and live off $17 an hour. Remember, everyone’s budget will look a little different depending on their situation and if they work part-time or full-time. 

Thankfully, many people find that they can live off $17 an hour and manage to put some money aside for the future. To show you what a budget could look like, we are working with $17 an hour looking like $12.98 after taxes.

On a full-time wage, that leaves you with $2,947 a month after taxes. 

So how could this look on a budget? Let’s use one of our formulas to show you what you could do with the money. 

  • Basic expenses of 50% – $1,124.89 
  • Savings of 20% – $449.96 
  • Donations of 10% – $224.98
  • Recreational spending of 20% – $449.96
  • Debt payments of 0% – $0 

Now, this obviously would need to be adjusted, especially if you are living on the poverty line or have debts that need to be paid. In these cases, you will want to swap out your donations and use this money to tackle your debt.

The goal when creating a budget and sticking to it is always to live within your means. If you have debt, you will want to reduce the debt and clear it as quickly as possible. 

But you don’t want to do this at the expense of your happiness. Even if you have debts to pay, you still need to enjoy your life where you can. If that means setting aside some of your budgets to treat yourself to a coffee and a cake or meeting your friends for drinks, then do that.

Often, we end up in debt because our wages cannot cover living expenses, or we have an unexpected bill to pay. These situations aren’t avoidable and can hit those on the lowest wages the hardest. 

But that doesn’t mean you need to spend the next few months or years as a recluse doing all you can to shift the debt. Yes, it should be a priority, but be sure you still find time to enjoy your life.

You could use the money you would donate to tackle your debt or reduce your savings to 10% of your wage to help tackle your debt. Doing so can help reduce your debt and get you debt-free quicker.

Doing so will give you more money to save and spend on recreational activities like hobbies and holidays. 

If you are concerned about your debt and how to clear it, there are many options that you can explore by consolidating your debt. Debt experts can help you do this, so be sure to speak to a professional if you have any questions.

Doing so can help work through your debt and even avoid some of those heftier interest charges! Paying more than the minimum payment can also help you work through the debt quickly. You can adjust the budget we laid out earlier to help you tackle your debt and still live within your means! 

There are many ways that you can live on $17 an hour. A good budget can help (don’t worry, we have an example of a budget you can use), along with changing your money mindset. Working out a tight budget that can help you avoid debt and live within your means is possible. 

Whether that means having one less cocktail when you are out or inviting a roommate to live with you, there are many creative ways that you can save some money and live within your means. For most of us, we can live on $17 an hour, you just might need to be a little creative! 

Budget Example Of $17 An Hour 

So how could this budget look for you? To help you, we have an example of these percentages and how they would look as your monthly wage. Remember, we are working with a full-time monthly wage here. You will need to make adjustments if you are working with a part-time wage.

You will also need to consider any unpaid time off that you might have had that month. Here any savings can come in handy to boost your wage. Alternatively, you can also adjust the percentages to ensure that you can still pay your bills.

Remember to speak to a financial expert should you want tailored advice or have any questions about your wage and budgeting. 

Let’s take a look at how your budget could look. 

  • 10% Giving – $147
  • 15-25% Savings – $442 
  • 20-30% Housing – $796
  • 4-7% Utilities – $147
  • 5-12% Groceries – $236
  • 1-4% Clothing – $29 
  • 4-10% Transport – $118
  • 5-12% Medical – $147
  • 1% Life Insurance – $15
  • 1-4% Education – $29
  • 2-7% Personal – $55
  • 3-8% – Entertainment and Recreation – $88
  • 0% Debt (goal) – $0
  • 15-25% Government Tax – $697 

This budget shows you how your gross income of $2,847 can be divided and spent. Remember, here we are working with the goal of zero debt, it could take you a while to reach this goal.

Don’t worry, you can adjust your budget to suit your lifestyle and any debts. The numbers used today are generalizations and averages, you might find that your housing or bills cost more than the numbers listed here. 

In these cases, you might need to reduce your savings, or giving percentage to pay for your debt instead. It is worth remembering that debt does not need to overwhelm your life.

This is merely a temporary moment, and that the stress you might be feeling won’t last forever. Don’t worry about your debt in silence. There are many people out there that can help you and offer support where needed. 

Tips For Living On $17 An Hour 

Before we go, let’s take a look at some tips you can use to live on $17 an hour. Now, not all of these tips will apply to everyone, but there is sure to be one or two that you can use. Keep reading to see some of our tips today! 

  • Spend less than you make 

This may sound like an obvious one, but where possible, spending less than you make is a good way to make your money go further! Spending less than your net income will help you put more money aside in savings or to tackle your debt.

It might be difficult for some people to spend less than their wage, but where possible, spending less on your outgoings can help your wage stretch further. Whether it’s making a coffee at home or walking instead of the bus, there are plenty of ways you can spend less than you make!

  • Make saving fun 

This can be tricky for some people, but where possible, try to make saving money fun. Setting yourself a challenge, turning saving into a game, or setting small achievable targets can help keep you motivated to continue saving. 

Here are some examples that you can use to make saving more fun for you: 

  1. Challenge your friends to not go to Target for a week
  2. Changing your habits (try to cook and plan meals rather than ordering takeout).
  3. Participate in a no-spend challenge for a month

Whatever it is, turn your saving goals into a challenge or a game and you are sure to have more fun this way! 

  • Live below your means 

There are plenty of studies that prove less is better. So why not try it out? Owning less stuff will not only keep your house tidier but can be better for you. Living below your means will leave you with more money, but can also make you happier. 

Take a step back and consider, do I need the newest car or phone? If your items work, do they need to be replaced? Or can you make do with what you have? Considering these questions and looking at your life will help you to live within your means and can avoid unnecessary spending. 

  • Pay off your debt quickly 

We have mentioned this throughout the article today, but finding ways to consolidate your debt or shift through it quickly can go a long way to helping you live within your budget.

The less debt you have, the more of your budget that you can dedicate to savings, living expenses, or some fun activities. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Whether it’s an appointment at your local bank, or consulting a financial advisor, there are plenty of people out there that can help you reduce your debt and still live within your means.

These professionals can also help you pay your debt and avoid those higher interest rates that can cripple families. 

  • No state taxes 

State taxes will take up part of your wage and can be crippling depending on where you live. Thankfully, there are some states where there are no state taxes imposed on wages.

If you were already considering a move, then moving to one of these states could help you save money! The following state doesn’t pay state income taxes on their wages: 

  1. Florida
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Tennessee
  4. Washington
  5. Alaska 
  6. Nevada
  7. South Dakota
  8. Wyoming 
  9. Texas 

If moving to a whole new state isn’t feasible for you, then consider moving to a lower cost of living area. Depending on where you live in your state, you could be paying more than others in income taxes.

States like Hawaii, California, New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia all come with higher state income taxes of 7.65-13.3%. Finding somewhere to live with slightly lower taxes can help you see more of your income and save some money! 

  • Stick to a budget

It can seem boring and like all the fun has been taken from your life, but by sticking to a budget, you can avoid debt and ensure that you always have enough money.

You can use the budget template that we showed you earlier, or work out a different budget that would better suit your family and your needs. 

Be sure when setting a budget that you have enough money to cover your expenses, make contributions to your debt, and save a little. Whatever is left can be used for recreations or as you please.

There are plenty of budget models out there that you can use if you would like some further inspiration. Or you can speak to a financial advisor that can help you create the best budget for you! 

Final Thoughts 

And just like that, we have come to the end of our journey today. As you can see, $17 an hour can work out at slightly different amounts depending on the number of hours that you work, any time off you take, and the amount of taxes that you pay.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a living wage. There are plenty of people out there that are living happily on $17 an hour.

Whether it might take some creative budgeting to successfully do this, or spending time looking at how you can consolidate your debt, there is no reason why you can’t live on $17 an hour and still enjoy your life. 

Remember to use our tips and budgeting advice given and tailor it to best suit your lifestyle and needs. No two budgets will look the same, so be sure that yours works for you!

And don’t forget to reach out if you are struggling or need any help, there are plenty of people that can support you and help you with any financial difficulties you might have. Do not suffer alone.

Deborah White