How Much Is 5 Figures? A Simple Guide

Written by: Alexis Schroeder

Publish Date: June 6, 2023

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission for purchases made through these links, at no cost to you.

5 figures is an amount that refers to a number between or equal to $10,000 and $99,000. This is a 5 digit number that is used in conversations talking about businesses, careers, and finances. 

A 5 figure salary usually includes your annual salary at work, any commissions or bonuses you make, and other earnings outside of your base income.

A large majority of the population in the United States earns a 5 figure salary and lives comfortably, especially if you’re closer to the higher range of 5 figures.

However, how comfortable you are greatly depends on where you live in the U.S., since cities and states can vary widely in cost of living.

For example, a 5 figure salary can be a good salary in a small town in Illinois, versus a major city in California. There are also other important factors to consider such as your lifestyle and spending habits.

Understanding 5 Figures

You may have heard someone say that their income is 5 figures.

What does earning 5 figures mean?

In the next section, we go over what 5 figures are and share some examples to help you further understand this term.

What are 5 Figures?

5 figures refers to a number between $10,000 and as high as $99,999. This is any number that has 5 digits. An example is $12,345. That is a 5 figure number and so is $90,000.

When people say they have a “5 figure salary”, they are saying their yearly income falls within $10,000-$99,999.

There is quite a significant income between a person with a $10,000 salary and a person with a $90,000 salary.

Examples of 5 Figures

Here are a few examples of what 5 figures looks like in different careers:

  • An entry-level receptionist will typically earn around $30,000 a year.
  • A website designer may charge $50/hour, which can result in a 5-figure income if they work full-time hours.
  • A garbage collector has an average salary at $40,000.

Entry-level positions can provide a good income with enough take-home pay for the average single person. However, you may want a higher salary if you have a family or want to reach financial independence. The good news is many full-time jobs that start out at entry level have room for advancement, leading to the kind of money that allows a comfortable lifestyle.

5 figures can also refer to other financial amounts, like the total cost of a car or RV. If you buy a car that is worth 5 figures, this can be between $10,000 and $99,999.

As you can see, there are many jobs that are in the 5 figure area. Knowing this will help you better understand what jobs to look for and how you can negotiate your salary.

5 Figure Careers

Are you looking for a career with a five figure annual income?

Here are a few most common type of 5 figure jobs.

Entry-Level 5 Figure Careers

Entry-level jobs typically start with a 5-figure salary and they are a great way to start your career. These careers typically require almost no experience, no bachelor’s degree required, and can be found in most industries.

Here are some examples of entry-level 5 figure jobs.

  • Sales Associate: You can work in a variety of industries as a sales associate, including retail, real estate, and even insurance. The starting pay for this job is typically between $20,000 and $45,000 a year.
  • Customer Service Representative: A customer service rep is responsible for supporting customers through concerns, questions, and other issues. Starting pay is between $25,000 and $40,000 per year usually.
  • Administrative Assistant: Administrative assistants provide support to people at their company, typically an executive and other professionals. This job typically pays between $25,000 and $40,000 a year.

High-Paying 5 Figure Careers

There are many jobs in the higher five-figure salary area, but you’ll need to have experience and certain qualifications depending on the industry and job.

Some of these jobs can potentially get into the six figure income territory but require hard work and more schooling or training. You may even have to look for a high paying job in a major city like San Francisco or New York.

Here are a few examples of high paying 5 figure jobs.

  • Bartender/server: Many bartenders and servers make 5 figures (with some even making 6 figures) and can make a comfortable income.
  • Medical assistant: Medical assistants are in high demand and have an average income of $40,000.
  • Owning a small business: Many small businesses make a 5 figure income and whether they are on the lower or higher end depends on many factors.

A 5 figure salary might not be enough for you depending on where you live or if you have outstanding debt.

However, it’s a good starting point for most people so they can get experience and time in a certain field.

Cost of Living and 5 Figures

A 5 figure salary can go far depending on how you spend it. One of the most important factors that will affect your spending is where you live. 

Here’s what you should know about 5 figures and cost of living.

Rent and Living Costs

People on a 5 figure salary often have rent as their biggest expense.

If your rent is high and if it’s possible for you to get a remote job, you may want to consider moving to a low cost of living area. This can greatly reduce how much you spend on rent each month and make a huge difference in your annual cost of living.

It’s likely that rent is taking up a significant portion of your income. If you earn a 5 figure salary, no more than 30% of your income should go to rent.

If you’re earning $50,000 a year, you should try to spend less than $15,000 a year on rent, or $1,250 each month.

You also need to consider other living costs such as utilities, food, transportation, entertainment, childcare, etc. All of these things greatly vary depending on where you live.

For example, someone in a big city may need to spend more much money on transportation and entertainment rather than if you lived in a small town.

Budgeting on a 5 Figure Salary

Living on a 5 figure salary means it’s important to stick to a budget, especially if you live in a city like San Francisco or New York.  This will help you spend your money wisely and avoid overspending and going into debt.

Here are a few tips for budgeting on a 5 figure salary.

  • Use apps for saving money: Ibotta and Rakuten are great ways to get cash back on everyday items you purchase.
  • Use a meal plan when shopping for groceries.
  • Buy generic items over name brand.
  • Use a budget app to keep track of your finances.
  • Read books on finances and get comfortable with managing your money
  • Meet people who also have financial goals and don’t keep up with the Joneses
  • Instead of going on vacations every few months, try to incorporate staycations in your area

Everyone’s financial situation is different so what works for one person may not work for another.

What is important is finding ways to save money that work for you and your family.

Side Hustles for 5 Figure Incomes

You can work a side hustle even if you have a full-time job, and often the schedule is quite flexible.

Here a few of my favorite side hustles that can earn you a 5 figure income, no college degree needed.

Selling printables on Etsy

Whether you want to make an extra $1,000 a month or earn a five-figure income, selling printables on Etsy is one of the best side hustles to do that.

This side hustle is perfect for someone wanting to start a fun and profitable side hustle or run their own business. You don’t need any graphic design experience and you don’t even need to be tech savvy to do this.

Here is a free printables training that will teach you:

  • What printables you should sell to make money
  • What you need to start an Etsy shop
  • What will help you make your Etsy shop a success



Creating a website

You can make a lot of money on a niche website with advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and selling your own products. I started this website back in 2012 and it’s still my full-time job! I work for myself and I’m my own boss.

Here is a free training that teaches you:

  • How you can earn four figures a month with a niche site
  • Five real life examples of highly successful niche sites
  • 3 key mistakes new bloggers make
  • Six-figure niche site framework to get you started

Making dog treats from home

You can earn a high income selling dog treats depending on how much time and energy you put into your business.

A dog treat business is a great idea for someone who enjoys baking and working with dogs. After all, dogs will be your taste testers! My friend Kristen ran a dog bakery business for awhile and now teaches other people how to successfully do the same.

She even has a free training that teaches you:

  • The most popular kinds of dog treats
  • Where to sell your dog treats
  • How much to charge for dog treats
  • Examples of many people who run their own dog treat business

Get the free training here.

It’s helpful to choose a side hustle you enjoy. It’ll be less stressful, and it can even turn into your full-time job.

You can achieve your financial goals faster by increasing your income with a side hustle. Many side hustles even have the potential to grow to six-figure incomes.

How Much Is 5 Figures? Common FAQ

What does net worth mean?

Net worth is the total value of your assets minus your liabilities. So if you’re earning a 5 figure income, you can increase your net worth by getting rid of debt and increasing assets. 

How do I invest on a 5 figure salary? 

One of the best ways to build wealth is by investing. You can start with small amounts and they will grow over time. There are many investment options available including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate. 

I learned how to invest via the course “Build Wealth By Investing In Index Funds“. This course makes it incredibly easy to understand what to do and helps you make informed decisions on your wealth building strategy. 

Can I get wealthy on a five figure salary?

The best way to get wealthy on a five figure salary is by keeping your spending in check and saving money. Don’t fall into lifestyle creep on a five figure salary.

If or when you make a six figure income, stay responsible with your personal finances by budgeting, maintaining an emergency fund and keeping credit cards paid off.

What are some deductions I can claim on a five figure income?

Here are a few common deductions for people earning 5 figures.

  • Standard deduction: This is a deduction that any taxpayer can claim. In 2023, the deduction for singer filers is $12,550. For example, if you’re income is $30,000, you can deduct $12,550 from your income, leaving you with a taxable income of $17,450.
  • Retirement contributions: If you contribute money to a qualified retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA, you can deduct the contributed amount from your taxable income. 
  • Student loan interest: If you’re paying off student loans and paid off interest, you can deduct up to $2,5000 from your taxable income.
  • Charitable donations: If you donate to a qualified charitable organization, you can deduct the amount of your donation from your taxable income.

How much you pay in taxes will depend on your filing status, income level, and other things. Reduce your taxable income by claiming certain deductions that you are qualified for.

It’s important to talk to a qualified tax professional regarding all of the deductions you can qualify for.

Final thoughts

5 figures is a term used a lot, and some people don’t understand what it means, but now you do. You can use this term when you’re in a conversation about business, career building, your salary, and more. 

Now that you know what this term means, it can even help you make important decisions about finances.

Depending on a persons income and cost of living, a 5 figure salary may be enough to cover their basic needs, but they may need more insurance coverage to protect certain assets or to protect their family in case of an unexpected loss.

Understanding this term can help you make informed decisions regarding your finances and future. Next time you hear someone saying 5 figures, now you’ll know what they mean and how it applies to their situation.

Best side hustles to start right now

  • Sell printables on Etsy – Selling printables is the #1 side hustle to make money. This can be done on your own schedule and turn into passive income! You can earn over $10,000 a year selling printables.
  • Sell dog treats – Make $1,000+ selling dog treats from the comfort of your home. Be your own boss and make your own schedule.
  • Proofreading – Earn $20+ an hour proofreading from home. Great for people who enjoy editing and working from a computer.
  • Surveys – Make money filling out surveys. You can take as many surveys as you want and earn up to $5 per survey.

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