$20 an Hour Is How Much a Year? Can I Live On It?

In today’s highly inflated economic times, the question of whether you can live off earning $20 an hour is quite tricky. With prices of basic groceries, housing, and gasoline reaching the skies, it’s hard to imagine life in the US at $20 earned per hour. 💲💲

For a better estimate, let’s first calculate $20 an hour is how much a year?

Just multiply $20 by the number of hours you work per week. Since most full-time jobs require 40 hours per week, then a $20 earning means $41,600 per year. So, let’s face it; life will be a real struggle with such a low wage.👎💰

However, if you can manage your expenses well, you might be able to go along just fine. We’ll tell you how to make the most of your meager earnings, maximize them, and share alternative options (or secrets) to earn some extra bucks or passive income.💸💸

$20 an hour is how much a year?

To make the most out of your income, we need to know how it looks for different pay periods. That means $20 an hour is how much a year, a day, a week, a month, etc. 

The breakdown will help you schedule your spending and budget and plan according to your earnings.💲💰

So, here’s how it looks for the different pay periods:📅

  • $20 an hour makes: ($20 * 8 hours) = $160 per day ✅
  • $20 an hour makes: ($20 * 40 hours) = $800 per week ✅
  • $20 an hour makes: ($20 * 80 hours) = $1600 biweekly ✅
  • $20 an hour makes: ($20 * 2080 hours/ 12 months) = $3,467 per month ✅
  • $20 an hour makes: ($3,467 * 12 months) = $41,604 per year ✅

Regardless, make note that this is only the gross income. The actual money you pocket is subject to taxes, etc.💰💰

With an income of $41,600+, you may expect taxes to be approximately 15.6%. So out of $41,600, you will pay about $6,489 as tax. 📜💲

This tax constitutes the federal income tax, medicare payment, and social security. Now, if you live in a state where they collect state taxes, you will be charged an additional 3.2% state tax.

So the amount you pocket will be $35,131 annually.💲💰

Is $20 per hour enough to live?🧐🧐

There’s no straight answer to the question. However, depending on various factors, we can safely say it’s a “maybe.”

A lot depends on where you live, your expenses and lifestyle, and other requirements.🧑‍💻🏠🧑‍💼

To understand better, consider the rent, for example. In some states, $20 per hour will only be enough just about to cover your rent. However, if you live away from the posh localities, you can cover a few other expenses on the same income.💰✅

But, with the consistent rise in food prices, utilities, and other overheads, it is essential to consider upping your income or looking for side income streams.

The verdict? 💵⏱️

Yes, you may be able to live making $20 only an hour in most states in the US. However, there is a cost; you may have to let go of luxuries and a few necessities to make it work.

On the contrary, if you live in states like San Francisco, New York, or California, making ends meet on such a tight budget will be hard.❌😥

How can you make more money if $20 an hour is not enough😥🤔

Now, if (and most likely you won’t) you don’t find it easy to live with $20 earned every hour, there are certain other ways of increasing your income. You can try the following:

  • Asking your employer for a raise✅
  • Switch jobs or look for better-paying alternatives ✅
  • Find a second income stream✅
  • Find online alternatives like taking surveys!✅

1. Taking surveys🤑💻

If you wish to make some extra bucks taking surveys online is simple, fast, and an easy way to do so without much effort or expertise! All you have to do is spend a few hours a day on your laptop and take easy surveys on platforms like:

Are you wondering why these platforms would pay you to take surveys? The answer’s pretty simple: these are backed by companies and brands who pay you for your opinions and suggestions as part of an inclusive marketing strategy.

Nevertheless, keep your expectations at a realistic level. You won’t be able to make a fortune out of these sites but may earn enough to make a stable living beside those $20 you make.💷🤑

Let’s take a look at the top three survey sites that’ll get you some hard cash:💸💸

Survey Junkie🤓💻

One of the top legit sites for making money online via surveys is Survey Junkie. The platform has an easy-to-use, attractive interface, and the payment method is simple. The platform has over 20 million members today and lists surveys from various categories to suit diverse consumer groups. 💻

To get started, you must provide information about yourself, your age, location, other demographics, lifestyle details, etc. After that, the platform matches your profile details with the available surveys. 💻📄

If your income, geographical area, and other information match the user profile required for a survey, you will qualify for it.

  • For every survey, you earn 2-200 points🏆🏆
  • One point translates into 0.5 cents.
  • You can earn $1.5 for referring each person who signs up
  • You can redeem your first reward when you earn 500 points; the minimum threshold payout is $5.💸
  • You can redeem your points via PayPal or gift cards🎁

Inbox Dollars💻💵

Inbox Dollars has several surveys and minor tasks that users can complete and get paid for.

First, you must sign up on the site (which is simple and easy). Then, you get to pick and choose the tasks available on the site. Various options include watching videos, playing games, product reviews, questionnaires, and short opinion polls.🎮📃

  • You get a signup bonus of $5 on the site.✋💶
  • You can earn $1 to $5 per task.
  • Payment is made via Paypal, gift cards (redeemable at Target and Walmart), and checks.🏦🎁
  • They also have a referral program to increase your earnings.
  • The minimum threshold for payout is $30.💹


Another popular platform for earning money via surveys and a host of other activities is Swagbucks. You can play games, stream ads, watch videos, write product reviews, and even be part of focus groups to maximize your earnings. 

  • You get a $5 bonus simply for becoming a member.
  • Earn cashback and discounts by undertaking different online tasks via their app.
  • You can also get discounts shopping from brands that partner with Swagbucks.
  • Payment is made through PayPal and gift cards🎁

2. Playing games🎯🎮

If you’re still low on the thought that $20 an hour is how much a year? For really it isn’t much! So here’s another way to earn money while having fun: Get paid to play games!

Here are some known platforms you can check out and earn while you have fun.

Bingo Cash💵

Bingo Cash is a legit game for making actual money by playing games. The app has a 5-star review and has millions of active players. Earnings are cashed via Paypal, and you can earn as much as $83 for every win!

You can play in tournaments or match numbers and win.


Another place to make easy money is Swagbucks. Take a few minutes to create your profile and start playing games, taking surveys, or browsing hundreds of tasks to earn money.

You can watch videos, download certain apps, make Swagbucks your search engine, etc., and get paid for all the tasks.

3. Browsing the web – Earn free BAT crypto🪙🪙

There are platforms like ‘Brave’ where you can earn BAT, a Basic Attention Token, and Brave’s cryptocurrency. 

To earn, all it takes is to watch a few ads. Some of these ads are anonymous, and others are private.

Just download the Brave browser on your device, and you’ll start receiving push notifications for the ads. In the end, your earnings will be stored in the Brave wallet and can be traded for other cryptocurrencies or used for purchases.💳

4. Reading emails📨

Yes, you can also make money on the go by reading emails! Some top sites you can access are InboxDollars, Branded Surveys, and Inbox Pays. Again the sites are backed by brands who pay the users for simply reading emails they send.📩

After signing up for any of these platforms, you’ll receive emails with various offers or winnings for filling out the details. But, of course, all these emails are paid for reading, and they keep coming!

Payments are made through Paypal and gift cards.💝🎁

Is $20 an hour good?🤔🤔

If we look at $20 an hour is how much a year, we’d say you are making slightly under the national average income level. But again, these are relative comparisons; it all depends on your situation and requirements. ✅

So, while you alone can make ends meet on this pay rate, it may also be difficult if you have mouths to feed.😋😋

Tips to living on $20 an hour🤔💡

If you’re stuck with $20 an hour, there are some changes you can make to your lifestyle and still make the most of it. 

  • If the cost of living in your locality is high, move to other places where the cost of living is lower. 
  • Make your meals as much as possible; limit eating out to weekends only.🍲🥙
  • Break up your budget according to the 50/20/30 rule by Sen- Elizabeth Warren. The rule states:✍️💻
    • Your main expenses should be covered by 50% of your income. 📊📊
    • Keep 20% aside for paying debts and save the rest.
    • Keep the remaining 30% for miscellaneous spending.💸💸
  • You may also try Dave Ramsey’s budget and divide the income according to the following:
    • Housing 25%🌍🏠
    • Insurance 10 – 25%
    • Food, giving, savings 10% each🥞
    • Health and utilities 5 – 10%🏥
    • Transportation 10%🚗
    • Recreation, personal spending, and miscellaneous 5 – 10% each🏖️
  • You may also look up other options to save where you can via carpooling, finding roommates, and using coupons.🧑‍🤝‍🧑📄
  • Try free hobbies instead of expensive ways to spend time. For example, you can try cycling, going to the library, jogging, playing sports, or joining a club.🏃📚
  • Use a budget planner to keep track of expenses.🗓️
  • Look up the best and most affordable insurance services
  • Minimize all your major expenses and rentals✅
  • Find free and less expensive ways for entertainment and other activities⛹️🏊

Final words😁

Now that we know $20 an hour is how much a year, is it a liveable amount in the US? There’s no easy answer to it. There are many variables involved that either make it a good or a hardly livable wage. 💲

However, with some planning and budgeting, you can make the most of what you have. As discussed in the article, you can also make some additional bucks by taking surveys or other tasks.🧑‍💼💻

So, with some thought and work put in place, making $20 an hour can work!✅


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