Is 800 a Week Good? Exploring the Pros and Cons of this Income Level

Is $800 per week good enough for most people to live on? While the answer to this question may seem obvious, it’s a lot more complex and subjective than you might think. Some might argue that it’s enough to cover the basic necessities, while others may argue that it’s hardly enough to make ends meet.

Let’s take a closer look at what it really means to earn $800 per week. Sure, it’s enough to pay bills, put food on the table, and maybe even save a little bit for a rainy day. But what about if you have a family to support? Or if you live in an expensive city with a high cost of living? Suddenly, that $800 per week may not seem like enough anymore.

Ultimately, the answer to whether $800 per week is good enough depends largely on your individual circumstances. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and it’s up to each person to decide what they consider to be a livable wage. So, whether you’re a freelancer, a student, or someone working a full-time job, it’s important to consider your expenses, lifestyle, and financial goals before deciding if $800 per week is enough for you.

Cost of living factors

When considering whether $800 a week is good or not, it’s important to take into account the cost of living in your area. Here are some factors that may affect your expenses:

  • Housing costs – This includes rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility bills.
  • Food – The cost of groceries, dining out, and any dietary restrictions you may have.
  • Transportation – This can include the cost of a car, gas, insurance, and public transportation fees.
  • Healthcare – The cost of insurance premiums, co-pays, and prescription medications.
  • Entertainment – Whether it’s going to the movies or attending concerts, entertainment expenses can add up quickly.
  • Childcare – If you have children, the cost of daycare or a babysitter can be a major factor in your budget.

Housing costs

The biggest expense for most people is housing. Depending on where you live, the cost of rent or a mortgage payment can vary drastically. For example, if you live in a major city like San Francisco or New York, you can expect to pay significantly more for housing than if you live in a smaller town or rural area.

On top of rent or mortgage payments, you’ll also need to consider the cost of utilities like electricity, gas, and water. These bills can add up quickly, especially in areas with extreme temperatures.


Food costs can also vary widely depending on your location and dietary needs. If you live in an area with high grocery prices, it can be difficult to stick to a budget. On the other hand, if you have strict dietary requirements or prefer to eat out frequently, your food expenses may be higher than average.


Getting around can be a major expense, especially if you live in an area with limited public transportation. Having a car can be expensive when you factor in gas, insurance, and maintenance costs. Alternatively, if you rely on public transportation, you’ll need to budget for monthly passes or individual fares.

Expense Cost per month
Car payment $300
Gas $100
Insurance $75
Public transportation pass $100

As you can see, transportation costs can add up quickly, so it’s important to budget accordingly.


For many people, healthcare expenses are a significant portion of their budget. This can include insurance premiums, co-pays, and prescription medications. Depending on your health needs, you may need to budget more for medical expenses than someone who is in good health.

Ultimately, whether $800 a week is a good income depends on your individual financial needs and the cost of living in your area. By considering all of the factors that affect your expenses, you can make an informed decision about whether this income is sufficient to meet your needs.

Geographical location

The amount of $800 per week may be considered good or not depending on the geographical location of the person. The cost of living varies in different states in the United States, and this will have a significant impact on whether $800 per week is sufficient or not.

For example, living in New York City will require a higher income to cover the high cost of living in the city. On the other hand, living in a rural area in the Midwest may require a lower income to cover the lower cost of living in the area.

Factors to consider regarding geographical location:

  • Cost of living
  • Housing costs
  • Transportation costs

Comparing the cost of living in different states:

According to the 2021 Annual Average Cost of Living Index released by the Council for Community and Economic Research, Hawaii has the highest cost of living, while Mississippi has the lowest. The Index measures the costs of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.

1 Hawaii
2 California
3 Oregon
48 Tennessee
49 Arkansas
50 Mississippi

It is important to note that this list is not an exhaustive list and that the cost of living can vary within states. When considering whether $800 per week is sufficient, it is essential to consider the specific area’s cost of living.

Type of Industry/Job

When considering whether $800 a week is a good salary, it’s important to take into account the industry or job type. Some industries and job types tend to pay higher salaries than others. Here are a few examples:

  • Tech – The tech industry is known for offering high salaries, especially in fields such as software engineering or data science. A software engineer with a few years of experience can easily make over $100,000 a year.
  • Healthcare – Healthcare is another industry that tends to pay well. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals can often make six-figure salaries.
  • Retail/Hospitality – On the other end of the spectrum, jobs in retail or hospitality typically pay much less. A retail worker or server might only make minimum wage or slightly above.

Salary Range by Industry

To get a better idea of what the average salary is for various industries, here is a table showing the median annual wages for some common job categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Industry Job Category Median Annual Wage
Healthcare Physicians and Surgeons $208,000
Tech Software Developers, Applications $107,510
Finance Financial Managers $134,180
Retail Cashiers $23,240

It’s important to note that these are just median wages, and individual salaries can vary widely based on factors such as experience, location, and skill set.

Education Level

The amount of money that is considered good varies based on individual circumstances, including education level. Generally, individuals with higher education levels tend to earn more than those without. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn an average of $1,248 per week, while those with only a high school diploma earn an average of $746 per week. Those with some college education but no degree earn an average of $833 per week.

  • Earning Potential of Higher Education
  • Higher education provides individuals with the skills and knowledge needed for specialized professions, which in turn leads to higher earnings. For instance, those with degrees in engineering, computer science, and healthcare earn some of the highest salaries.

  • Trade School and Vocational Education
  • While higher education is often associated with universities and colleges, vocational education and trade schools also provide individuals with specialized skills. These skills can lead to high-paying jobs in fields such as welding, carpentry, and construction.

  • Income Disparities
  • Despite the advantages of a higher education level, disparities in income exist based on race, gender, and socioeconomic status. For example, women tend to earn less than men with the same education level, and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may face more barriers to education and higher-paying jobs.

Impact of Education Level on Income and Employment

A higher education level is generally associated with higher income and greater employment opportunities. In addition to providing specialized skills, higher education can also improve critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving abilities that are valuable to employers. However, it’s important to note that education level is just one factor that contributes to income and employment outcomes, with other factors such as experience, industry, and location also playing a role.

Salary by Education Level and Occupation

The table below shows the median weekly earnings for full-time workers aged 25 and over, based on education level and occupation:

Education Level Occupation Median Weekly Earnings
Less than a high school diploma Personal care and service occupations $420
Food preparation and serving related occupations $319
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations $433
High school diploma or equivalent Office and administrative support occupations $714
Construction and extraction occupations $731
Healthcare support occupations $518
Some college or associate degree Education, training, and library occupations $890
Computer and mathematical occupations $1,385
Management, business, and financial occupations $1,278
Bachelor’s degree or higher Health diagnosing and treating practitioners and other technical occupations $1,710

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020

Experience level

Your experience level can have a significant impact on whether $800 a week is a good wage for you or not. Someone who is just starting out in their career may find this to be an excellent salary, while someone with 10+ years of experience may feel underpaid.

If you are just starting out in your career or only have a few years of experience under your belt, $800 a week can be an excellent wage. It’s higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour and can provide you with financial stability. It can also allow you to live comfortably, pay your bills, and even save a little bit each month.

However, if you have been working in your field for a while, you may feel like you deserve a higher salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings for someone with a Bachelor’s degree and 5-10 years of experience is $1,277. So, if you fall into this category, you may want to negotiate for a higher salary.

  • If you are just starting out in your career, $800 a week can be a great wage.
  • Someone with 5-10 years of experience may feel like they are underpaid at $800 a week.
  • The median weekly earnings for someone with a Bachelor’s degree and 5-10 years of experience is $1,277.

It’s important to keep in mind that salary negotiations can be tricky. You don’t want to come across as too aggressive, but you also don’t want to sell yourself short. Do your research and come prepared with industry standards and your own accomplishments to justify your desired salary.

Experience Level Weekly Earnings
Entry-level $800
5-10 years of experience $1,277
10+ years of experience Varies – can range from $1,500-$5,000+

If you feel like you are being underpaid, it may be time to start looking for a new job. Use resources like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to research companies and their salaries. You can also network with industry professionals to get an idea of what you should be making.

Time Commitment

When considering whether making $800 a week is good for you, it’s important to also factor in the time commitment required to earn that amount. Are you working a standard 40-hour week, or is this income coming from a side hustle that requires evenings and weekends?

  • If you’re working a traditional 9-5 job, making $800 a week is a good salary and provides a solid income. You have your evenings and weekends free to pursue other interests or hobbies.
  • However, if you’re earning $800 a week from a side hustle or freelance work, the time commitment required is likely higher. You may be putting in long hours after your day job or on weekends to make this amount, which can be exhausting and may lead to burnout if not managed properly.
  • It’s important to also consider the long-term effects of working a side hustle or freelance gig that requires a significant time commitment. Is this sustainable for your lifestyle and wellbeing?

To make the most of your time, consider following the 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto Principle. This principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Identify the 20% of actions that generate the most income for you and focus your efforts on those.

Additionally, optimize your time by minimizing distractions and interruptions. Limit time spent on social media or scrolling through emails to increase productivity and focus on income-generating tasks.

Time Commitment Income
40 hours a week $800 is a good salary
Side hustle or freelance work High time commitment can lead to burnout

Overall, earning $800 a week can be a good income depending on your time commitment and lifestyle. It’s important to find a balance between earning a living and maintaining your health and wellbeing.

Benefits package

When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to consider the entire compensation package, not just the salary. A comprehensive benefits package can make a significant impact on your overall financial wellbeing and job satisfaction. Here are some of the benefits you should pay attention to when considering a job that pays $800 a week:

  • Health insurance: Access to decent health coverage can make all the difference when it comes to managing your healthcare expenses. Employers who offer health insurance typically pay a portion of the premiums, making it more affordable for you. Look for plans with low deductibles, extensive coverage, and a wide provider network.
  • Retirement plan: Even if retirement feels like a long way off, it’s never too early to start thinking about it. A solid 401(k) or IRA plan offered by your employer can help you save for your future and take advantage of compound interest. Some employers will even match a portion of your contributions, effectively giving you free money towards your retirement.
  • Paid time off: It’s important to take breaks from work to recharge and avoid burnout. Paid time off (PTO) can help you do just that. Consider how many vacation days, sick days, and personal days are included in the benefits package. Some employers also offer paid holidays, which can be a nice perk.

Other benefits to look out for include life insurance, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and commuter benefits. These perks can go a long way towards enhancing your quality of life and helping you achieve financial stability.

It’s also important to note that while some of these benefits may be provided by your employer, you may still be responsible for covering a portion of the cost. For example, you may need to pay a portion of your health insurance premiums or contribute to your retirement plan. Make sure you carefully review the details of the benefits package before accepting a job offer.

Benefit Description
Health insurance Covers a portion of your healthcare expenses
Retirement plan Helps you save for retirement and take advantage of compound interest
Paid time off Gives you time off to recharge and avoid burnout

Remember, a benefits package can make a significant difference in your overall compensation. Be sure to review the details carefully and consider all aspects of the package when evaluating a job offer.

Income compared to national average

Earning $800 a week puts someone on an annual salary of $41,600, which is slightly above the 2019 national average of $39,810 per year. However, it is important to note that the cost of living and the average salary in each state can vary significantly.

For example, $41,600 is below the average salary in states like Massachusetts and New York, but above the average in states like Mississippi and West Virginia. Additionally, the cost of living in cities like New York and San Francisco is much higher than in cities like Dallas and Atlanta, which can significantly impact one’s ability to afford necessities and enjoy a good quality of life.

Pros and cons of earning $800 a week

  • Pros:
    • This salary can provide a comfortable living for individuals and families in many parts of the country.
    • It may be relatively easy to find entry-level jobs that pay this amount or more.
    • It can serve as a stepping stone to higher-paying jobs and career advancement.
  • Cons:
    • In some states and cities, $800 a week may not be enough to cover basic expenses like housing, food, and healthcare.
    • Individuals with significant debt or financial obligations may struggle to make ends meet.
    • There may be limited opportunities for career growth or higher salaries in certain industries or locations.

Factors that impact earning potential

There are several factors that can impact one’s earning potential, including:

  • Education level and type of degree
  • Years of experience in a given field
  • Industry and job market demand
  • Geographic location and cost of living

Comparison of salaries in different industries

The table below shows the median salaries for some common industries in the United States:

Industry Median Annual Salary
Healthcare $71,500
Technology $81,000
Finance $64,300
Retail $29,400

These figures highlight the wide disparity in salaries based on industry and job type. While $800 a week may be considered a good salary in some industries, it may fall short in others.

Income compared to state/local minimum wage laws

Knowing how your income compares to state or local minimum wage laws can give you an idea of how well you are doing financially. If you are earning $800 a week, that breaks down to approximately $20 an hour based on a 40-hour workweek.

  • In the United States, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.
  • Many states have their own minimum wage, which is often higher than the federal minimum wage. For example, California’s minimum wage is $14 an hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $13 an hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Some states’ minimum wage rates increase annually based on inflation. For instance, in Florida, the minimum wage increased to $8.65 as of January 1, 2021, and will increase by $0.10 each year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2026.

It is essential to note that some areas may have even higher minimum wage rates due to local ordinances. For example, in Seattle, the minimum wage for large employers is $16.69 an hour, while the minimum wage in New York City is $15 an hour for companies with more than 10 employees.

Overall, earning $20 an hour is generally considered a decent wage, especially in areas where the minimum wage is less than that. However, it is crucial to factor in other expenses, such as taxes, housing, transportation, and healthcare, when determining how well you are doing financially.

State Minimum Wage
Alabama $7.25
Alaska $10.34
Arizona $12.15
Arkansas $11
California $13-$14
Colorado $12.32
Connecticut $12
Delaware $9.25
Florida $8.65
Georgia $5.15 (Employers subject to Fair Labor Standards Act must pay the $7.25/hour FLSA minimum wage.)

Source: Department of Labor

Opportunities for growth/promotion

When considering a job that offers $800 a week, it’s important to think about the potential for growth and promotion within the company. A job that pays well but offers no room for advancement could quickly become dull and unfulfilling. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Training and Development Programs: Look for companies that invest in their employees by offering training and development programs. These opportunities can help you learn new skills and gain valuable knowledge that can not only improve your performance in your current position but also make you a more attractive candidate for promotions in the future.
  • Clear Career Paths: It’s important to know what the possible career paths are within the company, and what you need to do to achieve the next level. Look for companies that provide a clear roadmap for advancement, so you know exactly what you need to do to grow.
  • Performance-based Promotions: Companies that offer promotions based on performance are more likely to value their employees and create an environment where hard work is rewarded. This can motivate you to work harder and strive for success.

Of course, not every company will offer these opportunities, but it’s worth looking for one that does – especially if you plan on staying with the company for a while.

Here are some additional factors to consider when it comes to growth and promotions:

Factor Description
Company Culture The company culture can impact your ability to grow within the company. Look for a culture that values teamwork, collaboration, and innovation.
Industry Growth Consider the growth potential of the industry. If the industry is growing, there may be more opportunities for growth and promotions within the company.
Workload and Performance To be promoted, you will likely need to demonstrate that you can handle a higher workload and perform at a higher level. Make sure you’re ready to take on more responsibilities.

By considering these factors when looking at opportunities for growth and promotion, you can make a more informed decision about whether a job that pays $800 a week is a good fit for you.

Is 800 a week good? FAQs

1. Is $800 a week a good salary?

Yes, $800 a week is a decent salary for an entry-level position or a part-time job. It can cover your basic expenses and leave some room for savings or leisure activities.

2. How much is $800 a week annually?

If you earn $800 a week, your yearly salary will be around $41,600 before taxes. However, this may vary depending on your benefits, deductions, and other factors.

3. Can you live comfortably on $800 a week?

It depends on several factors such as your location, lifestyle, and family size. In some areas, $800 a week can cover your housing, utilities, transportation, food, and other essentials, leaving some funds for entertainment or savings. However, in high-cost regions or if you have dependents, you may need a higher income to live comfortably.

4. Is $800 a week a good hourly rate?

To calculate your hourly rate based on a weekly salary, divide your salary by 40 hours (assuming you work full-time). Therefore, $800 a week is an equivalent of $20 per hour, which is above the federal minimum wage but may vary depending on your industry, experience, and job responsibilities.

5. How can I make $800 a week from home?

There are various ways to earn $800 a week from home, such as freelancing, online tutoring, or selling goods on e-commerce platforms. However, this may require specific skills, equipment, or marketing strategies, so it’s important to research the opportunities and risks before starting.

6. How can I negotiate for a higher salary?

To negotiate for a higher salary, you need to demonstrate your value and skills to your employer, research the market average for your job, and provide clear reasons why you deserve a raise. It’s also essential to approach the conversation professionally and respectfully, and be prepared to compromise or explore other benefits or opportunities if necessary.

7. How can I plan my budget with $800 a week?

To plan your budget with $800 a week, you can start by tracking your expenses and income, setting priorities and goals, and allocating your funds accordingly. You may also consider using budgeting apps, seeking financial advice, or joining online communities to share tips and experiences.

Closing: Thanks for Reading!

We hope this article has helped you gain some insights into whether $800 a week is a good income and how to manage your finances accordingly. Remember, your financial situation is unique, and what works for someone else may not work for you. However, by staying informed and proactive, you can make smart choices and achieve your financial goals. Thanks for reading, and feel free to visit us again for more tips and resources!