Stills from TikTok video discussing cost of living
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

TikToker Breaks Down Why Making $25 An Hour Isn't Enough To Get By, Sparking Debate

How much money do you need to make in order to get by? Answers will vary based on many variables, but in general, most of us can probably pinpoint a certain amount — whether it's weekly or hourly.

A TikToker has gone viral for his videos on what constitutes a living wage. According to Ryan Halbert, anyone who makes less than $25 an hour should be concerned.

Minimum wage is incredibly varied.

A dollar bill with assorted coins on top
Unsplash | Kenny Eliason

Within the United States alone, things can vary in big ways: Georgia and Wyoming both have a low minimum wage of $5.15, while Washington State tops the list. In Seattle, employees are paid $17.27 per hour at minimum.

A TikToker brought up some sobering numbers.

TikToker discusses cost of living
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

Ryan Halbert, who goes by @digitalsolutionss on TikTok, recently shared a video in which he said that anyone earning less than $25 an hour should be worried. He crunched a few numbers to underline his point.

He looked at cost of living across the United States.

Still of a cost of living spreadsheet
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

Halbert says he averaged things out and put them in a spreadsheet.

"You're looking at $3,285 a month just in your cost of living expenses, which means to break even and just squeeze by paycheck to paycheck, you have to be making $3,285 every four weeks," he explained.

So how does that break down?

Comments on a TikTok video about cost of living
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

While it's possible to work overtime or multiple jobs, Halbert wanted to keep things within the framework of a 40-hour work week. Long story short, it's necessary to make $25 an hour just to break even, and that's assuming no unexpected expenses.

Bills are a thing as well.

Comments on a TikTok video about cost of living
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

Halbert says that even if you eliminate cell phone, streaming and internet services — something that most of us aren't willing to do — it results in only $200 or so extra a month, or just $50 a week.

Is there an answer?

TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

Other than taking on a side hustle and committing more hours to work, Halbert says the only answer is to invest.

"You have to invest, make more money so you can invest the money to make yourself better off in the future," he concludes.

Not everyone is able to invest.

TikToker discusses passive income
TikTok | @digitalsolutionss

If you have thousands of dollars in savings, it's easy enough to start investing. But for those living paycheck-to-paycheck, there's simply no extra money to play with. Halbert explained in a follow-up video that even if you're not able to invest, it's all about finding some way to make passive income.

What can we do with this information?

A piggy bank with coins
Unsplash | Andre Taissin

While Halbert has gone to some effort in compiling the numbers, his advice — invest and everything will be fine — is the same financial advice we've been hearing for generations. With so many people having so little excess money, this doesn't seem particularly helpful.

What do you think?

Make sure to check out the original video above and let us know what you think. Do you have any side hustles or sources of passive income? If so, we want to hear all about it!