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Written by Roger Wohlner on August 20, 2023
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Is $50,000 Per Year A Good Salary In 2023?

You’ve done it. You have landed a job in your field at a salary of $50,000.

But you may quickly be asking yourself a pivotal question; is $50,000 a good amount of annual income?

The answer, of course, is not that simple. It has a lot of variables.

Right off the bat, the median American worker brings home an estimated $54,132 a year.

So, $50,000 is a below-average starting salary, but not far off from the norm. Here are some other important considerations.

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1. Taxes

Taxes are going to take a big chunk out of your take-home pay. After taxes, you will probably take home $32,000.

However, this depends on what state you live in. For example, New York has very high state taxes while Florida has no state income tax.

2. Location

Your geographic location is significant when you look at your salary.

Across the U.S. costs of living vary enormously!

Check out this breakdown:

Most Expensive

  1. Hawaii
  2. California
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. Alaska

Least Expensive

  1. Mississippi
  2. Arkansas
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Michigan
  5. Tennessee

I'm sure this goes without saying, but a $50,000 salary will get you more in rural Mississippi than it will in NYC.

That is why it is important to consider what the base salary is in your geographical area.

3. Cost Of Living

Let’s say you’re living somewhere in between the most and least expensive states. What will you be spending for basic necessities?

This includes costs such as:

  • Rent/Mortgage Cost - Do you rent/own something cheap or expensive?
  • Food/Groceries - Do you eat out at restaurants a lot or at home? Where do you buy groceries?
  • Entertainment - What is your form of entertainment and how much does it cost?
  • Vehicle Cost - Do you have an auto payment? How much is insurance?

Your personal spending level will have a huge impact on how far your salary gets you.

The Verdict

So, let’s revisit the original question; is $50,000 a good salary to earn? The answer lies with you.

If you live within your means, keep your spending for “needs” rather than “wants,” and follow a strict budget, you will have control over your money and have a good lifestyle.

In general, you should look at this salary as a starting point. Hopefully, you have a job that has some upward mobility allowing you to earn more down the road.

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Article written by Roger Wohlner
Roger is a financial writer who brings his extensive experience as a financial advisor to his writing. His work has been featured in TheStreet, Investopedia, Morningstar Magazine, Go Banking Rates, US News & World Report, Yahoo! Finance, The Motley Fool, and a number of other sites. His blog The Chicago Financial Planner provides information on a wide range of financial topics.

Read more

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