Can you Save Money in USA on H1B or L1 Visa ? Cost of Living ?

Cost of Living in USA on H1B or L1 Visa

One of the many drivers for many internationals to work in America on H1B or L1 Visa is the monetary benefits and savings they can make. The big question is how much money can you save in America ?   What are the typical expenses ?  How much is the cost of living in USA ?  Let me shed some light on these and give you some numbers for getting a high level idea.

Cost of Living in USA on H1B or L1 Visa ?

The below expenses are based on a big assumption that “You are married and living with your spouse, renting your own apartment”.


Item Description

Cost in USD ($)


Additional Notes on expenses

Rent ( double bed)


This can vary a lot by location you live. In bigger cities, this could be double.  In smaller cities, this could be like about $800 or less.


Typical car down payment, if you buy a decent car on loan.
Car Insurance


Car insurance varies a lot by driving record and place you live.
Car Gas


Average, if you have less commute. It can vary a lot by your travel.


If you have family plan with mobile carrier.


All the vegetables, snacks, etc. for cooking food.


Electricity + Cooking Gas + Water. This varies by region, in cold places, make sure you take where heat is included.
International Calling


Calling home and others in home country
Eat Out


This varies by your food habits. Assuming you take a lunch box to office, this is just for eating out in weekends or occasionally
Movies, shopping, other misc. expenses


This again varies. If you buy lot of clothes and other items, it will be very high.
Total Expense




You can even save more or spend more based on your lifestyle. I have not included any expenses related to your travel, buying clothes, other home setup things like Sofas, dining tables, chairs, etc.  Also, if you have kids, you will encounter some more expenses, which are not included in above.

If you make about $60,000 USD per year in USA, which is $5000 per month (Gross Salary).

For instance, if you live in a state like Wisconsin, your take home Net Salary  would be $3,700 per month ( approximate)

Approximate Savings in State like WI

Gross Salary  ( Per month)$5000
Net Salary   ( after taxes, per month)$3,700
Monthly Expenses$2345
Net Saving $1355


All the above numbers are highly indicative and can vary based on state. Also, the take home or net salary varies by state with state taxes.

It is important that you understand the baseline savings that you can make, when you work on H1B Visa or L1 visa.  Just looking at 60,000 USD per year, without considering taxes and your expenses, will give you wrong perceptions about savings and your financial planning.

Did I miss any expenses ? How are your expenses living in US ?

You can also read Cost of living in USA as Student on F1 Visa


241 comments… add one

  • Need some urgent Tips to save maximum per diem for my US visit .
    Hi All,

    This is chitresh from TCS Hi tech city Hyderabad. TCS is sending me to New Jersy for Johnson & Johnson Project. I want to save maximium per diem allowance. What should I do?
    I have already done the following things:

    1) I have packed 7 kgs of Rice , 7 bottles of Pickels and 2 dozen maggy noodles.
    2) I have packed 2 dozen of medimix bath soap.
    3) 6 tubes of shaving cream.

    How much does a hair cut costs in America?
    Without taking bath, how many days I can go on? I hope this will cut down my consumption of soap and shampoo.
    My colleagues told me visit Mac Donalads for Lunch and dinner. Is it cheap?
    Whether pirated telugu movies are available in New Jersy?
    Can I access at client site?
    Can I get curd rice and rassam in new jersy?

    What else I need to take with me?

    • Ramesh Oct 8, 2015 Reply

      Are you serious ? With this .. Your trying to save soap by skipping bath ? And coming here you want pirated movies also ? I am speechless after reading this comment from you

    • Saurabh Oct 8, 2015 Reply

      Troll ALERT!!!

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