Is 80K a Year Good? (It Can Be but Sometimes It’s Not…)

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While making $80,000 dollars a year sounds like a lot, it may or may not be depending on your personal situation and where you live. So if you’re wondering is 80K a year good, or is 80K a good salary, you’ll have to look a little deeper than a simple yes or no answer.

Is 80K a Year Good?

When you hear that someone is making $80,000 a year most people immediately assume that’s a great salary.

That’s because most people in the United States do not make $80,000 a year or anything even close. 

 In fact, the median salary in the US is between $35,000 and $40,000 dollars per year.

So, while the average household might be making $80,000 a year if there are two adults working an individual typically doesn’t make that.

That’s why $80,000 a year sounds like a lot of money and in some cases it is.

But that’s not true for everyone…

You need to take your own personal situation into account before you can decide whether or not 80 k a lot of money or not much at all.

Take a look at some of these factors to help you decide if this is enough money for you or not nearly enough.

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1. Where You Live

Where you live is going to be one of the major factors on whether or not 80K is going to give you a good lifestyle or you’re just barely getting by.

If you live in the middle of the country or in a smaller city or a rural area $80,000 a year salary is going to go pretty far.

You’ll be able to buy a house for $100,000 to $200,000. And it should be a pretty nice house.

Your daily cost of living will be lower as well.

You may not have to pay for parking like you would in a large city.

Even going out to eat might be cheaper.

Of course, if you live in a super expensive city like San Francisco or New York City, $80,000 is going to be difficult to live on.

You might be able to get by on that amount of money but you’re certainly not going to live a life of luxury.

Some experts say you need to make at least $100,000 a year to live fairly well in one of the big coastal cities.

Also, annual incomes vary widely by location too.

You may find it harder to find a job that pays you $80,000 a year in a rural area or smaller town.

Even so, you can still be better off financially

There are certainly some advantages that come with living in a large city but the cost of living isn’t one of them.

And conversely, there are disadvantages of living in a rural area but the cost of living isn’t one of them either. 

For example, I live in a very small town.

There are only nine thousand people that live in my small, Midwestern town.

There are certainly some disadvantages when it comes to the cultural aspects of life.

But you can buy a house here for $50,000 and it won’t be a run-down shack.

You can go out to lunch for five bucks

So you may not need to make $80,000 a year to live well here. In fact, you don’t.

If you’re single you can live well on 30 or 40 thousand dollars a year. 

2. The Size of Your Family

If you’re single your money is going to go a lot further than if you have children.

And the more children you have the more expenses you have.

So even in the larger cities your $80,000 a year will give you a better standard of living if you’re single than if you have a family.

If you’re living in a smaller city or rural area you’re going to be living very well with this amount of money.

If you have one or two or three children and you’re living in a larger city such as San Francisco or any of the biggest cities in the United States, you’re going to find it very difficult to make ends meet.

You won’t have the money to send your kids to a private school.

You won’t have the money for them to participate in a lot of the activities that are available to them.

Conversely, if you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere like I do there won’t be many activities for them to join. 

Sure we have school sports and a few activities based on farming but that’s about it. 

However, you should be able to have a nice-sized pool in your backyard.

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3. How Much Debt You Have

Your current debt level will play a big part in whether or not you’re going to be able to live well on that $80,000 a year.

The more debt you have the more difficult it will be.

A student loan payment or credit card debt can eat up your monthly income very quickly.

Should think about your debt on top of your living expenses and other monthly expenses and see just how much you’re going to have leftover after you receive your paycheck.

It can take time to pay off student loan debt, so you will have this type of payment to deal with for years.

Credit card payments can chew up a lot of your income quickly.

If you have this type of debt, be sure to pay it off as soon as you can.

4. Your Monthly Expenses

Housing, of course, will be one of your major expenses and the cost of housing goes up dramatically when you’re looking at living in a large city or even in the city center of a medium-sized city.

Housing in cities could easily take up 30 percent of your monthly income.

Beyond your monthly housing cost, you also need to think about your monthly transportation costs such as a car payment, insurance, gas, and parking.

Transportation costs will be the second-largest expense you have each month.

If your company doesn’t pay for health care, you will also have to deal with a large monthly health insurance premium.

You might have to pay a large one even if your company is paying for part of the premium.

Then utility costs are going to take a chunk out of your monthly budget.

Add in any additional expenses such as a gym membership or other monthly payments.

These will reduce your disposable income as well.

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5. Your Future Financial Goals

Are you a saver or a spender?

If you’re a spender then you won’t be able to meet any of your financial goals, and, by the way, you’re not alone.

Recent studies have shown that up to 60 percent of Americans can’t cover a $1,000 dollar emergency.


If you don’t want to be one of them, then you will need to set aside some of your 80k salary for savings and future financial goals.

Figuring up how much to save can be difficult.

You do want to have some life balance so you can enjoy yourself now why you are investing for the future while at the same time having enough money for a financial emergency or a medical emergency.

If you are spending money without paying much attention, you can easily end up with a budget shortfall.

So, if you want to buy a house, put your kids through college, and save for retirement, you’ll need to live in an area where an $80,000 dollar a year salary will go further than it would in a bigger city.

Is 80K a Year Middle Class

Yes, 80 thousand dollars a year is considered middle class.

If you are single you are considered being middle-classed if you make at least $26,000 dollars per year.

For a household of two any income between $37,000 and $111,000 dollars per year.

As you can tell, middle-class incomes are a pretty large range.

And a household of three is considered middle class if they make between $45,000 and $135,500 dollars per year.

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How Much is 80k Per Hour

If you are working 40 hours per week and you make $80,000 dollars per year then you will be making $38.46 per hour.

Is 80k a Year Good for a Family of 4

If you are living in a rural part of the country or a small city then a family of four can do well on this salary.

That is as long as you don’t have a lot of debt and are pretty good about not spending money frivolously.

However, if you are living in a large city or on either coast, then no, it won’t provide you the lifestyle you would want for yourself and your family.

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To Sum it All Up:

80k a year is good and 80k is a good salary and it can be a great salary. It all depends on your debts, where you live, and how big your family is. The median income for a single person is much lower than this, so with an 80 thousand dollar yearly salary, you should do well if you are single.

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