Just to provide a plain answer 18 Dollars an hour equates to 157,680 dollars and 158,112 dollars in a leap year thanks to the extra calendar day in the month of February.
The question of whether you can live of it is rather dependent on more than Just 18 Dollars per hour. Based on the face of it, a perfect world and taking just a basic lifestyle a six figure per annum is amounts to a comfortable life not worth complaining of.
However, this is not how the world is and there so many factors that come into play when considering what is comfortable for a living and also what 18 dollars per hour actually equates to per annum in the real world and not in eutopia.
There are so many factors that one must consider when doing this kind of calculation and trying to get a realistic conclusion to this conundrum.
Among them but not limited to include: age, gender, responsibilities, lifestyle, country of living, whether living in an urban or rural set up, goals, personality and also the place where you are in life just to mention a few.
18 Dollars an hour is how much a year: Let’s do the Math.
Now with all these factors in hand let’s do the math and determine whether one can live on 18 dollars per hour.
For our calculation we shall use a single male who has just finished college and has no other responsibilities living in The United States of America, a minimalist and an ambitious individual living in the urban area; Oklahoma City.
We shall also consider him to be working online for twelve hours per day to try and maximize his returns and five days in a week eleven months per annum.
Be aware while working online it’s not each and every platform that you work with that will subject you to taxation but for consistency, we shall consider our individual to be paying tax off his wages.
18 dollars per hour for twelve hours equates to (18 * 12) = 216 dollars per day.
Multiplied by 5 days will give you (216 * 5) = 1080 dollars per week.
Multiply 4 weeks per month (1080 * 4) = 4320 dollars on average every month.
It’s obvious that apart from February with 28 days we have a surplus of days beyond the 4 weeks.
For accounting for these extra days, we shall subtract 4 weeks from the 52 weeks in a year to less the one month giving us 48 weeks to account for a full year’s earning. (1080 * 48) equates to 51,840 dollars every year.
For taxation 51,840 dollars for a single individual in America is liable for 22 percent tax.
The amount after tax will be 40,435.20 dollars per annum.
Rent in a basic apartment in Oklahoma City goes for an average $873 a month based on a few online sources.
This will equate to 10,476 dollars per annum. 40,435.20 minus 10,476 will be 29,959 dollars (ignore the cents).
The golden rule is usually don’t subject yourself to paying rent which is more than a third or 33 percent of your earning and in this case it’s about 26 percent so it’s a thumbs up here.
The basic utility bill equates to an average of 157 dollars per month in Oklahoma City and that’s 1,884 dollars per annum.
This will cater for electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage collection.
Our balance now is 29,959 minus 1,884 (29,959 – 1,884) = 28,075 dollars. So far not bad.
For food the average price of meal in an inexpensive hotel in Oklahoma City is 10 dollars per meal.
Taking two meals per day with a light meal or snack in between would translate to an average of 25 dollars considering you might have most of your meals indoors as you are a home worker.
This would translate to (25 * 365) = 9,125 dollars. Our balance now is 18,950 dollars.
Most of our basic necessities are already covered by now.
The average American spent 5000 dollars per annum on medical bills for the year 2019.
Oklahoma had a health index of 96 in relation to the entire country which would translate to 4,800 dollars. 18,950 minus 4,800 equates to 14,150 dollars.
Let’s less the 4,150 dollars for miscellaneous also considering that you can cut back on the expenses mentioned given that that was just an average and you can cut cost by either cooking, looking for a cheaper apartment and the medical bill might not be that high for a healthy young man.
As we had mentioned earlier some online jobs don’t attract tax and also there are some tax reliefs that will add extra income to your wallet.
This will have you saving 10,000 dollars every year and this is 19.3 percent in savings which is quite a good figure.
You can have the 9.3 percent saved as an emergency fund and the 10 percent invested to earn some extra cash.
Stocks, share or even bonds will give you a return of an average of 7 percent while not being overly optimistic.
Can you live off of $18 an hour?
Now to answer your question, YES you can indeed live on 18 dollars per hour.
Let’s dissect this difficult issue of money, how much is enough and what kind of life 18 dollars per hour can give you.
By the wise words of Benjamin Franklin – Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
On the face of it 18 dollars can seem like a lot when plainly computed to a six-figure annual income.
Nevertheless, as we ascertained this is merely a façade to most people unless you are among the few who earn a constant income even in your sleep.
It’s not a doubt that there are a few who earn a constant income even when they are not working, either by automation, a salary which when divided normally equates to a constant figure per hour which ideally is not ideally an “hourly rate”, or through other means such as patent where you can be paid a constant figure at a defined rate which can be hourly.
For the sake of the rest who actually work for the hourly income let’s see if 18 dollars per hour is actually something one can actually live off.
The average worker:
An average worker works 9.00 am to 5.00pm per day with about a half hour for lunch and around a half hour attributed to short breaks translating to about eight hours of productive work daily.
In some special cases the productive hours can add up to ten hours per day depending on your working environment and type of job such as customer care jobs in the airline industry or communication business.
While working from home you can stretch it to twelve to sixteen hours per day for the extreme workaholics.
The number of hours worked per day depends on the type of work being done and also the environment where one works under.
For our example today we shall be working with a worker working 10 hours per day as we try to solve our question on the 18-dollar worker.
The 18-dollar worker:
Basic examples of an 18-dollar worker include an individual employed in a café to be paid based on the number of hours worked, one working in a nursing home as a nursing assistant, working in a baby day care, being a baby sitter, customer care, warehouse package handler among others.
These jobs are associated with one leaving the comfort of their home and move to a place of work either nearby or distant where one has to factor transportation fee.
One can also become a freelancer for online jobs such as programming, article writing, some content creators and not forgetting a number of Youtubers.
The nursing assistant:
According to a popular site glassdoor.com jobs in this category paid in the range of 16 dollars to 30 dollars per hour meaning you can comfortably secure a job paying you 18 dollars per as your wage.
There are a number of nursing homes across the country offering this job as a full time or a part time job.
Students including foreign students benefit from this kind of venture that gives them an extra income as they study, a better way to improve their living standards and meet their day-to-day expenses.
Some in fact use the extra income to foot the bill towards part of their tuition fees.
At times not much experience nor training is required to secure this kind of job.
A few sessions at the nursing home of training and supervision is all that is required to be a nursing assistant.
This kind of work requires extreme discipline and dedication.
It’s not for every Dick and Jane. Its nature requires heart and a liking to interact with the elderly.
You might need to be likeable to sustain your employment as your clients being the elderly are the ones most likely to give a review of your performance which in turn impact your continued employment and a possible raise.
The daycare worker:
This is a specialized job that requires special skills and qualifications.
It requires a special touch and talent as one is required to be dealing with kids, from infants to a few years old children.
A “motherly” touch is required to be well suited and to be considered to posses the necessary set of skills.
A few institutions offer training in daycare depending on whether you want to be an employer or an employee.
For our bracket we shall consider an employee who is the one eligible to an average wage of 18 dollars per hour.
For an entry-level infant day care worker, one is most likely required to have achieved 12-16 credits of relevant college coursework, an associate's degree in childhood development or early childhood education.
Being a babysitter in the USA has become a common way of earning a few quick bucks as long as you can be trusted with kids and a few set of rules.
The task involves taking care of minors in home settings either one belonging to the employer or your own if you happen to own an accommodation that is acceptable by your employer.
Other times you can babysit in an outdoor setting like taking the kids to a mall for a movie or theme park to enjoy themselves.
According to a popular baby sitters’ or nannies’ finder site sittercity.com, the average wage of a nannie per hour is 17.50 dollars for the year 2021.
This means you can comfortably achieve 18 dollars per hour.
The gig has become a popular and a fast way to earn for most people and since it involves mainly just watching kids who most likely are just being watched as per the law concerning minors, you might find it just a pass time event where you can earn something.
Who knows the kids might just be capable of taking care of themselves if it were not for the law.
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Most people prefer to call in a relative or a close friend to babysit their kids in their house.
Mind you, you are not only taking care of their kids but it might involve staying in their homestead which is also a huge responsibility that must come with great trust.
A few online sites also offer individuals qualified and properly vetted for this type of occupation.
Here the company offering these employees is a registered corporation and licenses by the government.
It is also a requirement for the company to offer insurance in case of any eventuality in their scope of duty.
The customer care:
One is required to own the caller experience by providing exceptional service to increase loyalty, boost retention, and meet company best-in-class service aims and outcomes.
Full accountability for effectively interacting with customers to resolve their questions and problems.
Additionally, uses suitable resources to efficiently and accurately understand consumer enquiries and problems; when needed, utilize interpretation services to help members.
The most important skill for a customer service representative is excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Strong organizational skills, including the ability to multi-task and prioritize a large frequency of modification requests is an additional benefit.
Finally, working from home is possible if you have a high-speed internet connection.
The best part about this job is that you can simply work from the comfort of your own home and easily earn $18 per hour.
Also, based on your demonstrated knowledge, abilities, and performance, you may be able to advance in your title and income. High-performance and improvement are highly recognized and rewarded.
The warehouse package handler:
This a task that requires more brawns in addition to brains.
This kind of work requires one to involved physically as it entails loading, unloading, and sorting items of all sizes are all part of the warehouse's responsibilities.
Many companies offer and advertise for these jobs requiring casual laborers for the task.
Since it doesn’t need to much training a willing and dedicated individual who is hired for the job can just be taught what is required of them and how to do it on day one when they come to work.
With minimal supervision one can complete most of the required tasks for the day.
All employees have access to employee networks as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.
Each employee is paid up to $18.50 per hour on tasks accomplished.
The freelancer: Programming
This is a venture enjoyed by most at the comfort of their homes.
Just a laptop and some good set of skills in programming will have you set to qualify for an online job offered by quite a number of online freelancing markets.
Sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Codeable, Credo, FreeeUp, Freelancer, Guru among others offer a huge pool of online jobs for freelancers and more so programmers.
Here you advertise your skills and expertise on these online platforms as you bid for jobs suited for you.
I personally my online business journey as a freelance writer on Fiverr for quite some time and made quite a lot of money.
Fiverr is my recommended freelance website for anyone that is serious about making money online while working from the comfort of their homes.
The wage rage here varies depending on the scope of work that requires to be done that is in terms of magnitude, duration and complexity.
Depending on your skills you can easily make 18 dollars per hour.
The beauty about programming is that there are so many fields in it and with this the possibilities are massive.
They range from android and IOS mobile app development, website programming both front end and back end and desktop applications among others.
Other roles associated with programming is networking and system management.
These roles can be handled by one sitting in an office but for our study as a freelancer we shall just consider one where one is paid by working remotely.
Gaining some of these skills involves either enrolling to a technical school or for others YouTube and online schools and documentation will just do fine.
A good number of freelancing programmers are the self-taught kind.
Either way one must keep on replenishing their skills and seeking clarification to some issues or seeking solutions to some problems online.
All in all one must know where to seek this kind of information online.
The online community does not in any way disappoint as long as you are looking in the right direction.
The freelancer: Article writing
This hustle can only be compared to the freelancer programmer.
Similarly, it involves advertising your skills on an online platform.
There are different disciplines in which individuals perfect some of which include dissertation, academic writing which can be subdivided into different disciplines also such as mathematics, physics, economics, business, literature et cetera, article writing, data entry, translating and proof reading among others.
You can as well get work from a local individual or a company.
This would be through a company advertising a set of required skills for a particular task.
A good example is a company willing to transform all its manual paper files to digital content.
Here a data entry individual would need to be hired to transfer information from paper file to digital content to be stored in softcopy.
When it comes to article writing one can also be hired by a firm such as a media house to write articles for them.
These are not so common as a part time hire since most companies prefer to have a permanent employee handle article for them for reliability’s sake.
Fiverr is a great place to start your freelance writing business and make over 18 dollars per hour.
The content creator:
This is a field with multiple possibilities of jobs that go with this field.
Let’s look at video content creator for our example.
This involves coming up with creative content for customers stories , internal company announcement videos, external promotional social videos, product marketing videos, recruiting videos, corporate training and other projects.
This requires a lot of research in order to come up with good and reasonable information.
Establish project deliverables both independently and as part of a team.
Using the Company YouTube channel and other social media platforms to release and promote your public videos. Adherence to social media and sponsorship standards.
Professional cameras (SLRs), Web cameras, multiple HD and SD formats, pre-production/planning, lighting/grip, scriptwriting, storyboarding, and photography are all examples of video skills.
The advantage about this job is that it is very flexible and you earn $18 per hour.
The most important skill is engaging screen presence. Additionally, vlogging camera with high-definition video and a studio environment.
Possession of necessary filmmaking equipment, such as lighting, microphones, and editing software.
The best part about this job is fully remote.
Today YouTube has opened up a new form of employment.
One can only be limited to their own imagination and as long as it’s legal and complies with YouTube terms and conditions and guidelines the rest is up to you.
Your creativity, ability to capture attention and to persuade people to click you’re your link by use of proper click baits will get you earning a fortune.
The type of content posted on YouTube is limitless.
One can earn nothing to millions of dollars just from YouTube.
Revenue here is not just from YouTube itself but also the so-called affiliate adverts.
As a matter of fact, these have been proven to pay even more by far than YouTube itself.
Most youtubers require only a camera and internet to get started.
A phone with a good camera can prove to be a very useful tool in creating your content in case you are limited on resources.
Something as simple as you posting your day in the kitchen or at the park can have you amassing plenty of viewers leading to some good gains.
You would be surprised at what content people earn from on YouTube.
Whatever you imagine you have a very high chance of finding it on YouTube from educational videos to most ludicrous video you can imagine.
There are a good number of videos show casing similar items or similar topics done by different people. Just take a stroll and discover for yourself.
When it comes to money your age plays a role to it.
This may be tied to responsibilities but also it may just be merely exposure and the desires that come with a given age bracket.
In the modern world people have proven to earn a living even at a very young age all the way to an old age.
It all depends on the venture that you might decide to indulge in.
Hollywood for example is known to employ individuals of all ages from infants to the elderly.
Social media also has a way of offering an earning to individuals of all ages.
In a world of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, people are known to make a living regardless of age.
However, given your age the way you spend varies in a group of people in a similar economic and similar living standard.
As a young person all you might want is just some fancy clothing, going out to the movies and enjoying awesome meals outdoors.
As an elderly the things you enjoyed as a young individual are no longer fascinating and what excites you is investing your money and buying property.
The impact 18 dollars per hour will be different for both individuals.
The older you get the more expensive your wants get given a standard setting.
Gender also plays a role when it comes to spending.
This ranges from different wants to different cultures.
As a guy or a man there is a stronger feeling of responsibility especially when it comes to footing bills.
An example is going out on a first date, a guy is sort of expected to pay for the first date.
On the other hand, as a girl or as a lady it’s not cheap to afford make up, pretty and classy clothes and jewelry while trying to look attractive and keeping up with competition.
It does cost a fortune to afford these items.
Looking at cultures, some cultures demand for dowry for marriage and in most cultures, this is paid by the man in the relationship.
It is expected and it’s customary for a man to pay a certain figure to his in laws as dowry.
This in itself takes some effort to be able to afford although this kind of tradition is become rare in the first world countries like the USA.
Nevertheless, when it comes to buying of property and in this case a house for the family to live in, the man mainly takes up this responsibility.
Also, he is expected to pay for the day to day and monthly bills as they come.
In a good marriage the wife does assist where they can if the man of the house seems to be straining and the wife has the capability to assist.
When it comes to responsibilities a huge part of where your money is spent is determined here.
This is the main reason for earning a living and it’s unforgiving as there’s no way to avoid responsibilities unless you pull a crazy move like getting thrown into jail where this is just an avoidance tactic but the responsibilities you upheld are still yours you are just being in denial.
Responsibilities tend to be unique for each individual but most of the them are common such paying for school fees for your children, paying for a mortgage, buying food, paying medical insurance, transport money or paying for gas and if existing paying for a car loan and many more.
These responsibilities depend on the stage at which you are at in life.
As a kid you definitely don’t expect any responsibilities that you are expected to pay for but as you grow up you end taking up responsibilities to maintain yourself and live a life that you desire.
Some people even at college level already take up responsibilities to take care of themselves and at times pay for their own tuition when their parents can’t afford or for some unfortunate event, they don’t have parents or guardians to pay for their college tuition.
The elderly also find themselves with a few bills here and there hoping that they have paid most of their bills in the various stages of life such as loans and mortgages.
Even at this age they need money for groceries, electric bills, water bills and insurance policies just to mention a few.
With this they either need to have made good investments earlier in life or they will have to work for a living.
Of all the stages in life the married couple who are starting a family need the most amount of money to survive given that no extreme bills are required maybe due to illness or a disadvantage such as a college student taking care of his entire family.
You choose the kind of life you want to live however at times nature chooses for you.
Being a young person living among rich kids you may also want to match that kind of lifestyle and with this bumping up your living standards.
On the other hand, life as minimalist doesn’t require you to spend much.
This is often a personal preference and the math of whether you can afford to live within a certain budget is at times dependent on you of course after considering that you’ve met the bare minimum.
It’s hard to put a cap on this since it’s mainly based on a personal preference which is in turn based on previous lifestyle, a choice to a new beginning or just simply a wish.
Country of living:
The country in which one is living plays an important role when it come to managing finances.
Different countries have different taxation policies, different government subsidies and also different services and benefits offered by the government such a free education, free healthcare community public transportation among others.
These items usually have a huge impact on one’s spending activity.
Take for example countries such as Sweden, France, Belgium and Germany which offer free education.
This has a very huge impact when it comes to an individual’s expenditure when compared to countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia that offer pricy education.
When living in the United States of America or China be ready to cough a fortune when it comes to medical care as opposed to a country such as Canada.
Tax will also impact your take home also known as your net salary.
Different countries have different taxation brackets with different rates depending on how much you earn.
The United States of America for example taxes your income depending how much you earn and also depending on your filing status ranging from 10 percent if you are earning $0 to $19,750 as a single individual or $0 to $19,750 if you are married and so on.
There are seven tax brackets in total for a person living in The United States of America all depending on your annual income which are 10 percent, 12 percent, 22 percent, 24 percent, 32 percent, 35 percent and 37 percent.
As we mentioned earlier the tax also depends on filing status that is single, married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er), married filing separately and head of household.
A good lesson on taxation can always be found online since these brackets tend to be reviewed over time.
Always consult with the latest tax brackets and tax rules while determining how much tax you are obliged to pay.
They are also quite different for different counties.
Do note that it’s not only wage tax that will affect you but also tax imposed on goods and services which will now affect your already taxed income.
Living in an urban or rural set up:
Urban life tends to be a bit pricy that life in the rural areas.
However, more services are easily accessible to people living in the urban areas and to access the same while living in the rural areas may cost you more.
These are services such as banking services, insurance services or even major hospitals.
Not to say that you cannot have them readily available in the rural areas but they just seem to be uncommon.
It is true with modern technology and in the era of the internet most of these services can be accessed online however there are some services that require you to visit the physical building offices especially for the case of major hospitals.
Something also to consider is the availability of jobs. Urban areas tend to have more jobs than the rural areas hence why most people migrate to the urban areas in search of work.
Online jobs on the other hand can be accessed from any place provided there is internet access.
Depending on your venture you might be forced to move to an urban center or you might just decide to stick to a rural setting and minimize your expenses whenever you can.
It is true that your goals are your future. The goals that you set for your life shape the amount of money that you are targeting to have in the future and the kind of a lifestyle that you will live now depending on how much you are earning.
They also give you the motivation to work either extra or less.
Motivation however is key to achieving your goal as long as they realistic.
This tends to relate to your personality too.
Some goals are common among individuals while others are specific to individuals.
Goals such as getting married and raising a family tend to be common among many individuals so one has to factor the impact this will have on their income.
Medical bills, tuition fee, food and accommodation plus entertainment money for the family needs to be well factored.
In conclusion, to answer the question, “Can you live off of $18 an hour?”
Yes indeed you can live off of $18 an hour.