Is $150K a Good Salary for a Single Person?

By Jennifer Calonia · June 11, 2024 · 7 minute read

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Is $150K a Good Salary for a Single Person?

Depending on your financial liabilities, a gross annual income of $150,000 is a good salary, especially for a single person.

Keeping tabs on the competitiveness of your income is an essential part of career growth and the financial and life goals you set for yourself. If you’re curious about how your six-figure salary compares to the average worker nationally and in each state, keep reading.

Is $150K a Good Salary?

For a single person, especially one who’s not supporting any dependents, $150,000 is a good annual salary. Consider the average salary in the U.S., which is $65,470, according to May 2023 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A $150,000 annual salary is about 129% higher than the national average.

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Recommended: What Is the Average Pay in the United States Per Year?

Median Income in the US by State in 2024

The median income of workers differs across state lines, often even for the same profession. Typically, this is due to varying costs of living between states. Below are the median household incomes in every U.S. 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

Average Cost of Living in the US by State in 2024

Although $150K is a good salary for a single person, how far it goes depends on multiple factors, including your state’s cost of living (COL). Using a money tracker can offer insight into how to manage your finances no matter where you live.

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of COL by state, as aggregated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

State

Cost of Living Index

Alabama 88.3
Alaska 125.2
Arizona 108.4
Arkansas 89.0
California 138.5
Colorado 105.1
Connecticut 112.8
Delaware 101.1
Florida 100.7
Georgia 90.8
Hawaii 180.3
Idaho 98.6
Illinois 92.1
Indiana 91.0
Iowa 90.3
Kansas 87.1
Kentucky 92.0
Louisiana 91.0
Maine 109.9
Maryland 116.5
Massachusetts 146.5
Michigan 90.6
Minnesota 94.1
Mississippi 86.3
Missouri 88.5
Montana 102.9
Nebraska 90.9
Nevada 101.0
New Hampshire 114.1
New Jersey 113.9
New Mexico 94.0
New York 125.9
North Carolina 95.3
North Dakota 94.6
Ohio 94.7
Oklahoma 86.2
Oregon 114.7
Pennsylvania 95.6
Rhode Island 110.7
South Carolina 95.3
South Dakota 92.4
Tennessee 90.3
Texas 92.7
Utah 103.2
Vermont 115.3
Virginia 101.9
Washington 116.0
West Virginia 87.7
Wisconsin 95.1
Wyoming 92.4

How to Budget on a $150K Annual Salary

There are many budgeting strategies to explore, but one that offers a helpful guideline is the 50/20/30 budget. It buckets 50% of your take-home pay toward need-based expenses, like housing payments, auto loan payments, utilities, and groceries. Thirty percent of your net salary goes toward your wants, like shopping, entertainment, and dining out. Finally, 20% of your net salary is directed to your savings, like a high-yield savings account or retirement fund.

The 50/20/30 guide helps you allocate your take-home salary to your most important financial obligations and future self, while also leaving wiggle room for you to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.

One way to track your progress is with a budget planner app. This tool lets you set custom budget categories and goals for your spending so you see where your dollars go each month.

Maximizing a $150K Salary

A six-figure salary can provide a comfortable life, but how you manage it has just as big an impact. Here are a few ideas to maximize your $150K pay as a single person:

•   Automate your savings. “Paying yourself first” is the first step in maximizing your $150K salary. This includes setting up auto-deposits into a high-yield savings account for a rainy day, and enrolling in your employer’s 401(k) retirement plan so your contributions have time to grow.

•   Pay down existing debt. Letting unpaid revolving debt, like credit card balances, roll over each month keeps you buried in seemingly never-ending payments. If you have a lot of credit card debt, and already have a comfortable emergency fund, focus on paying off your debt. Doing so offers significant savings on interest over the long-term.

•   Explore investments. If you have your savings, retirement, and debt repayment strategy handled, another area that can help maximize your $150K salary is investing. Note that with any investment, there’s always a risk of losing your money.

Is $150,000 a Year Considered Rich?

An annual salary of $150K won’t get you into the upper 1% — that requires an annual wage of at least $785,968, according to the Economic Policy Institute. But a $150,000 annual income will place you just above the 90th to 95th percentile among U.S. earners.

Since “rich” is a subjective description, one way to answer this question is by learning how to calculate your net worth. Your net worth is your total assets minus your total liabilities (e.g., debt, bills, child support, etc.).

You can use a net worth calculator by age to see where your finances stand.

Is $150K a Year Considered Middle Class?

Generally, earning $150K is way more than a good entry-level salary, and can be a comfortable wage for a single professional. If you don’t provide for dependents, your income exceeds the overall national median salary and the median salary in every state.

To further illustrate this point, the Pew Research’s income calculator states that a $150K salary puts you in the “upper income” tier even in high-cost areas like California, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.

Example Jobs That Make About $150,000 a Year

Interested in the highest-paying jobs by state? How much a profession pays is largely subject to the industry you work in and whether there’s a high demand for your skills in your area.

Although annual salaries vary between companies across the country, here are a few jobs that make about $150K annually, according to data from the BLS:

Profession

Median Salary

Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers $156,580
Financial managers $156,100
Physicists and astronomers $149,530
Podiatrists $141,650

Recommended: Low-Stress Jobs for Introverts

The Takeaway

Is $150K a good salary for a single person? Generally speaking, yes, earning $150,000 a year is considered an excellent salary in most places in the U.S. It surpasses the median income across all states, even in areas with high cost of living, like New York. But whether a $150,000 annual salary feels comfortable to you depends on how you budget your money and expenses.

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.

SoFi helps you stay on top of your finances.

FAQ

Can I live comfortably making $150k a year?

Whether you can live comfortably earning $150,000 annually depends on your household size and preferred lifestyle. By comparison, the average pay in the United States is $65,470, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2023 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

What can I afford with a $150k salary?

What you can afford with a $150,000 salary depends on various factors, like the cost of living in your area, household size, current debt, and overall lifestyle. A home is arguably the largest purchase workers have. According to Zillow’s affordability calculator, with a $20K down payment and $250 in monthly debts, you can comfortably afford a home price of $508,202.

How much is $150k a year hourly?

An annual $150K income breaks down to an hourly wage of $72.12 per hour. This figure is your gross hourly salary and doesn’t include taxes and payroll deductions.

How much is $150k a year monthly?

With a $150K annual salary, your monthly gross salary is $12,500.

How much is $150k a year daily?

A gross annual income of $150,000 per year equates to a $576.92 daily salary. This calculation assumes you’re working 40 hours per week and eight hours per day.


Photo credit: iStock/VioletaStoimenova

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