Is $50K a Good Salary for a Single Person in 2024?

By Marcy Lovitch · June 03, 2024 · 7 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

Is $50K a Good Salary for a Single Person in 2024?

If you’re single and making $50,000 a year, you likely have enough to live on comfortably in just about any state in the U.S. This is particularly true in suburbs and smaller cities, like Jacksonville, FL, Birmingham, AL, and Toledo, OH, where the cost of living is lower than the national average. However, if you’re planning to live in a major metropolis like San Francisco, New York, or Boston, making ends meet on a $50,000 salary could be more of a challenge.

Is $50K a Good Salary?

While $50,000 a year isn’t a six-figure salary, it’s often enough for a single person to be able to afford the basics — think housing, utilities, food, and insurance — and still have cash left over for fun and savings.

If you’re just entering the job market after graduating college, $50,000 can be a good entry-level salary, especially if you decided to live at home for a while. Doing so can help you build up your bank account, so when it comes time to find a place to live, you’ll have a financial cushion to show potential landlords.

And remember, whether you’re earning $50K a year at your first job or less, your income will likely increase with time and experience. As your earning potential grows, a money tracker can help you keep an eye on where your paycheck is going.

Check your score with SoFi Insights

Track your credit score for free. Sign up and get $10.*


Average Median Income in the US by State in 2024

According to the latest data from the Social Security Administration, the average salary in the U.S. is $63,795. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median average salary, which represents the midpoint of salaries in the U.S., was $59,540 in 2023.

The chart below shows the list of the average median income in each U.S. state according to USA Today and Blueprint, based on BLS data:

State Average Median Income
Alabama $57,564
Alaska $66,820
Arizona $65,780
Arkansas $53,716
California $84,448
Colorado $74,152
Connecticut $78,572
Delaware $64,896
Florida $64,168
Georgia $64,844
Hawaii $62,296
Idaho $53,976
Illinois $70,564
Indiana $57,304
Iowa $56,264
Kansas $56,212
Kentucky $57,200
Louisiana $56,836
Maine $58,396
Maryland $72,904
Massachusetts $86,840
Michigan $63,440
Minnesota $68,380
Mississippi $48,048
Missouri $59,800
Montana $55,744
Nebraska $57,784
Nevada $61,828
New Hampshire $72,124
New Jersey $76,128
New Mexico $57,564
New York $84,292
North Carolina $62,296
North Dakota $61,568
Ohio $60,320
Oklahoma $54,704
Oregon $66,612
Pennsylvania $66,404
Rhode Island $63,492
South Carolina $56,108
South Dakota $53,820
Tennessee $62,140
Texas $68,744
Utah $61,516
Vermont $61,100
Virginia $71,292
Washington $85,748
West Virginia $55,900
Wisconsin $58,552
Wyoming $56,992

Average Cost of Living in the US by State in 2024

The term cost of living refers to the amount of money someone needs to cover basic necessities. Based on data from Forbes Advisor, here’s the average cost of living per state in 2024:

State Average Cost of Living
Alabama $33,654
Alaska $48,670
Arizona $39,856
Arkansas $32,979
California $53,171
Colorado $45,931
Connecticut $46,912
Delaware $44,389
Florida $40,512
Georgia $38,747
Hawaii $55,491
Idaho $37,658
Illinois $41,395
Indiana $36,207
Iowa $35,871
Kansas $35,185
Kentucky $35,508
Louisiana $35,576
Maine $39,899
Maryland $48,235
Massachusetts $53,860
Michigan $37,111
Minnesota $41,498
Mississippi $32,336
Missouri $35,338
Montana $37,328
Nebraska $37,519
Nevada $41,630
New Hampshire $45,575
New Jersey $49,511
New Mexico $34,501
New York $49,623
North Carolina $36,702
North Dakota $35,707
Ohio $35,932
Oklahoma $33,966
Oregon $46,193
Pennsylvania $40,066
Rhode Island $44,481
South Carolina $34,826
South Dakota $36,864
Tennessee $34,742
Texas $37,582
Utah $40,586
Vermont $43,927
Virginia $43,067
Washington $47,231
West Virginia $34,861
Wisconsin $37,374
Wyoming $37,550

Recommended: The 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.S.

How to Live on a $50K Salary

To make sure you can live on a $50,000 salary without being stretched too thin, you’ll want to review your overall spending and create a budget. Online tools like a budget planner app can help with that.

When it comes to defining “living comfortably,” your salary would ideally be able to fit the guidelines of a 50/30/20 budget. This method suggests that 50% of your earnings covers your needs, such as housing, utilities, groceries and healthcare costs, 30% goes toward your wants, such as entertainment, hobbies and travel, and 20% goes toward savings and paying off debt.

How to Budget for a $50K Salary

Before you can create a budget, it helps to estimate how much you bring home. Here’s a breakdown of a $50,000 annual salary (40-hour work week, 52 weeks a year):

•   Monthly income: $4,166.93

•   Biweekly paycheck: $2,083.46

•   Weekly income: $961.60

•   Daily pay: $192.32

The figures above do not factor in taxes, so someone with an annual salary of $50,000 may actually end up taking home closer to $41,860.

Once you crunch the numbers and figure out how much you’ll need for your basic needs, you can see how much money you’ll have for the other 50% to cover your wants and savings.

Maximizing a $50K Salary

A person with a $50,000 salary can afford to spend about $1,250 a month on rent, which can be tough if you want to live alone. The average monthly rent in the U.S. is about $1,515, according to Apartments.com. Sharing an apartment or renting a house with another person can save you money on housing, allowing you more room to put your money toward other necessities.

Other ways to maximize making $50,000 a year include limiting dining out, shopping smartly when it comes to buying groceries, being mindful of utility usage, and riding your bike, walking, or taking public transportation to save on fuel costs.

Recommended: How to Calculate Your Net Worth

Is $50,000 a Year Considered Middle Class?

Yes. According to the Pew Research Center, people who have annual incomes between $39,693 and $119,080 in 2023 are considered middle-income or middle class.

While $50,000 a year may not be considered rich, you’re certainly living well above the poverty line, which for a single person household is between $12,880 and $16,090, depending on the state.

Examples of Jobs that Make About $50,000 a Year

Per the BLS, here are some of the occupations where you can earn $50,000 a year, some of which would be good jobs for introverts:

•   Automotive service technician and mechanic

•   Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerk

•   Construction laborer

•   Correctional officer

•   Dental assistant or laboratory technician

•   Event planner

•   Firefighter

•   Makeup artist

•   Massage therapist

•   Mortician

•   Paramedic

•   Postal service mail carrier

•   Real estate sales agent

•   Secretary and administrative assistant

•   School bus driver

•   Social worker

•   Travel agent

•   Veterinary technician

•   Welder

The Takeaway

Is $50k a good salary for a single person? Generally speaking, yes. An annual salary of $50,000 is considered a middle-class income, and can be a comfortable wage for a recent graduate or a person starting a new career. A single person may not be able to live large in some areas of the country, but that doesn’t mean they can’t live comfortably elsewhere.

Depending on the cost of living in your area, making ends meet on $50,000 a year might require sharing a living space, keeping close tabs on your spending, and forgoing some luxuries. However, you should still have enough to take care of your basic needs with some left over to put toward your future.

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 $50K a year?

It depends on where you live. People making $50,000 a year can find a place to live easily in every state in the U.S., though it will be challenging if you decide to live in one of America’s largest cities. Still, a $50,000 annual salary is above the median cost of living in most states, so it’s possible to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle within your means.

What can I afford with a $50K salary?

With a $50,000 a year salary, you’d need between $20,000 and $35,000 for basic needs, including housing, groceries, healthcare, transportation, and other fixed expenses. That means you may have less than $15,000 for everything else. What you can afford will depend heavily on your geographical location and other factors, such as having a car payment and student loans.

How much is 50K a year weekly, hourly and daily?

Based on a 40-hour work week, the average weekly pay for someone who makes $50,000 a year (before taxes) is $961.60. Someone making $50,000 earns $24 an hour and approximately $192 a day.


Photo credit: iStock/Delmaine Donson

SoFi Relay offers users the ability to connect both SoFi accounts and external accounts using Plaid, Inc.’s service. When you use the service to connect an account, you authorize SoFi to obtain account information from any external accounts as set forth in SoFi’s Terms of Use. Based on your consent SoFi will also automatically provide some financial data received from the credit bureau for your visibility, without the need of you connecting additional accounts. SoFi assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, deletion, non-delivery or failure to store any user data, loss of user data, communications, or personalization settings. You shall confirm the accuracy of Plaid data through sources independent of SoFi. The credit score is a VantageScore® based on TransUnion® (the “Processing Agent”) data.

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer is only available to new SoFi users without existing SoFi accounts. It is non-transferable. One offer per person. To receive the rewards points offer, you must successfully complete setting up Credit Score Monitoring. Rewards points may only be redeemed towards active SoFi accounts, such as your SoFi Checking or Savings account, subject to program terms that may be found here: SoFi Member Rewards Terms and Conditions. SoFi reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SORL-Q224-1840767_V1

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender