Is $125K a Good Salary for a Single Person?

By Jason Steele · July 05, 2024 · 7 minute read

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Is $125K a Good Salary for a Single Person?

For some workers, earning a six-figure salary can feel like clearing a major professional — and financial — hurdle. And generally speaking, $125,000 is considered a good income for a single person, especially one with no dependents.

However, your cost of living, existing debt, financial obligations, personal spending habits, and inflation could all impact how far your dollar goes. Here’s a closer look at how a $125K salary measures up.

Is $125K a Good Salary?

One way to determine whether a $125,000 salary is “good” is to compare it to what a typical worker makes. According to the latest data from the Social Security Administration, the average salary in the U.S. is around $63,795. And the national median household income is $74,580, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey data for 2022. By most people’s measure, $125,000 per year would be considered a good salary.

But no matter how much money you bring home, tools like an online money tracker can help you monitor your spending and ensure you’re making progress on financial goals.

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Average Median Income in the U.S. by State in 2024

Wages differ by region, often due to varying costs of living per state (more on that in a minute). The chart below shows the median household income in every state, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

State

Median Household Income

Alabama $59,609
Alaska $86,370
Arizona $72,581
Arkansas $56,335
California $91,905
Colorado $87,598
Connecticut $90,213
Delaware $79,325
Florida $67,917
Georgia $71,355
Hawaii $94,814
Idaho $70,214
Illinois $78,433
Indiana $67,173
Iowa $70,571
Kansas $69,747
Kentucky $60,183
Louisiana $57,852
Maine $68,251
Maryland $98,461
Massachusetts $96,505
Michigan $68,505
Minnesota $84,313
Mississippi $52,985
Missouri $65,920
Montana $66,341
Nebraska $71,772
Nevada $71,646
New Hampshire $90,845
New Jersey $97,126
New Mexico $58,722
New York $81,386
North Carolina $66,186
North Dakota $73,959
Ohio $66,990
Oklahoma $61,364
Oregon $76,362
Pennsylvania $73,170
Rhode Island $81,370
South Carolina $63,623
South Dakota $69,457
Tennessee $64,035
Texas $73,035
Utah $86,833
Vermont $74,014
Virginia $87,249
Washington $90,325
West Virginia $55,217
Wisconsin $72,458
Wyoming $72,495

Recommended: Highest Paying Jobs by State

Average Cost of Living in the U.S. by State in 2024

Want to see how the cost of living in your state compares to other places in the nation? The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) list of personal consumption expenditures — which looks at how much residents in each state spend on necessities like housing, utilities, food, and health care — can be a helpful place to start. The latest data from BEA is in the chart below.

State Personal Consumption Expenditure
Alabama $42,391
Alaska $59,179
Arizona $50,123
Arkansas $42,245
California $60,272
Colorado $59,371
Connecticut $60,413
Delaware $54,532
Florida $55,516
Georgia $47,406
Hawaii $54,655
Idaho $43,508
Illinois $54,341
Indiana $46,579
Iowa $45,455
Kansas $46,069
Kentucky $44,193
Louisiana $45,178
Maine $55,789
Maryland $52,651
Massachusetts $64,214
Michigan $49,482
Minnesota $52,849
Mississippi $39,678
Missouri $48,613
Montana $51,913
Nebraska $37,519
Nevada $49,522
New Hampshire $60,828
New Jersey $60,082
New Mexico $43,336
New York $58,571
North Carolina $47,834
North Dakota $52,631
Ohio $47,768
Oklahoma $42,046
Oregon $52,159
Pennsylvania $53,703
Rhode Island $52,820
South Carolina $46,220
South Dakota $48,997
Tennessee $46,280
Texas $49,082
Utah $48,189
Vermont $55,743
Virginia $52,057
Washington $56,567
West Virginia $44,460
Wisconsin $49,284
Wyoming $52,403

How to Budget for a $125K Salary

Since $125,000 is double or triple the cost of living in most states, you may find that the salary provides more than enough for what you need. Still, it’s a good idea to have a spending plan in place to help with things like starting an emergency fund, paying down debt, or making progress on short- and long-term financial goals.

One approach is the 50/30/20 budget, which suggests using 50% of your earnings to pay for your needs, such as housing, utilities, groceries, and healthcare costs. You would then spend another 30% on discretionary items such as entertainment, hobbies and travel, with the final 20% going toward savings and debt repayment.

Need help tracking your progress? Consider using a budget planner app, which allows you to create a budget, review spending, and monitor your credit score.

Maximizing a $125K Salary

Since someone earning $125,000 per year is receiving double or even triple the average income in most states, it’s quite possible to have a high quality of life at that income level. After all, it’s far more than what’s considered to be a good entry-level salary.

But there are ways for a single person to get even more from a six-figure salary. Here are a few strategies to consider:

•   Build up an emergency fund. Not sure you have enough saved for a rainy day? A general rule of thumb is to have at least three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses socked away in the bank.

•   Pay down your debt. If you’re carrying a lot of credit card debt — and you’ve already built up a comfortable emergency fund — focus on paying off your debt.

•   Step up your retirement savings. If you have a 401(k) retirement plan with your employer, crunch the numbers and see if you can bump up your monthly contributions. You could possibly get an employer match as well, if one is available.

Is $125,000 a Year Considered Rich?

A single person with no dependents who earns $125,000 a year may find that they’re well on their way to affording the life they want. That said, people who live in an area with a high cost of living may find that $125,000 per year doesn’t go as far as they had hoped.

One way to consider if someone is rich is by looking at their net worth. Calculating net worth is fairly straightforward: It’s the value of all your combined assets minus any outstanding debts or liabilities. If your assets are worth more than your liabilities, you have a positive net worth. If your liabilities outweigh your assets, you have a negative net worth.

Recommended: Net Worth Calculator by Age

Is $125K a Year Considered Middle Class?

Middle class is defined as households with a salary that’s two-thirds to double the national median income. That means a middle-class household has an income that falls between $47,189 and $141,568. A $125,000 salary falls squarely in that range.

Example Jobs that Make About $125,000 a Year

There are many jobs that pay about $125,000 per year, including several in information technology (IT) such as senior Java developers, which are computer programmers, as well as data scientists and data architects. Other jobs include pharmacist, optometrists, sales managers, lawyers, and marketing managers. Some of the positions that offer $125,000 per year also would be ideal jobs for introverts.

The Takeaway

Is $125k a good salary? To help you answer that question, it can help to look at the average pay in the United States and in each state. Cost of living, personal spending habits, inflation, and individual debt load are also factors you may want to consider. However, by and large, a single person with no dependents who earns $125K per year should be able to afford the basics with enough left over for enjoyment and saving.

Take control of your finances with SoFi. With our financial insights and credit score monitoring tools, you can view all of your accounts in one convenient dashboard. From there, you can see your various balances, spending breakdowns, and credit score. Plus you can easily set up budgets and discover valuable financial insights — all at no cost.

See exactly how your money comes and goes at a glance.

FAQ

Can I live comfortably making $125K a year?

A single person with no dependents should be able to live comfortably on a salary of $125,000 a year. However, just how well they can live on that income depends on a number of factors, including their cost of living and existing debt.

What can I afford with a $125K salary?

A salary of $125,000 should be enough to cover necessities, like housing, transportation, food, and healthcare, with discretionary funds potentially left over.

How much is $125K a year hourly?

If you work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks, and earn $62.50 per hour, then that will add up to $125,000 per year.

How much is $125K a year monthly?

A $125,000 annual salary works out to around $10,417 per month.

How much is $125K a year daily?

Generally speaking, a person who earns $500 per day and works 250 days per year can earn around $125,000 per year.


Photo credit: iStock/South_agency

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