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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


104 comments… add one

  • suhash jain Feb 23, 2015 Reply

    Hi all,hope you’r doing very well.I’ve a employer via one of my closest friend in san jose,CA offering me 65k.As being a current & 6 year experienced employee of reputed firm alike Amazon & owner of yearly package of allmost 8 lacs(take home),should I took a chance to go on H1 this year with this employer !I know Everything is not gold that glitters (US) according to my friend based in Sanjose,but still for an american exposure should I pack my bags with my nuclear family of one daughter & wife !Please let me know asap,I’m in little dillema,Thanks anyways,Hope you guys have good one.

    • Dhruv patel Feb 25, 2015 Reply

      single person earning (own experience)65k

      3791 PM-500 min rent(share)-200 food(min)=3091 PM take home.

      PS number comes down with car,internet,cell phone,electricity,going out for food,Drinks at bar,cabs,visit to india (1500-2000)*60=hope I helped well.good luck.

  • LoveT Feb 23, 2015 Reply

    Dear Sirs,

    I got an H1B offer with $60K/yr in NJ, I’m going there with my wife and my kid in 5 years old, would you please help to give some guide on how much could we save based on this situation?


  • Amit Feb 22, 2015 Reply

    I got an offer from a well known US based company. They are offering 60000$ fixed and 5% as bonus. My joining location would be either Chicago or Charlotte. I need to know is it good / ok or a decent compensation for a 4.5 year experience Java developer.My Indian salary is 9 lacs and being a single guy how much I can look forward to save.

  • Ravi Feb 18, 2015 Reply

    My New employer un US offering 75000$ fixed and 10% as bonus so it would 82000$ my joining location would be either chicago or Charlotte. I need to know is it very good / good or a decent compensation for a 7 year experience Java devloper.My Indian salary is 12lacs and being a single guy would i be able to save enough money.

    • TJ Feb 20, 2015 Reply

      I can talk only about Charlotte – I lived and worked around NC for about 4 years before moving. Charlotte is a beautiful, pretty inexpensive city and pretty as in beautiful city to live in. With 75K a year, you are looking at a Gross Pay of about 2.9K every two weeks – this doesn’t include all your deductions. Expect to loose about 900 to 1K in tax (Federal, State, Insurance) which, will leave about 1.9K every two weeks (after taxes & deduction). Now, as for expenses, you can find a nice – single bed apartment for about $850 a month, certain places pay your utilities and some do not. Even though I would like to keep the expenses a little low, I usually prefer to stay at an apartment that predominantly houses white collared professionals. You are looking at about $200 a month for electricity / water / trash. Internet – the cheapest was about $50. Food – depending on how you manage, cooking would be the most cost effective thing to do! A single Indian could expect to spend about $200 a month on groceries. So, here’s your final letdown: (1.9 x 2 paychecks a month) – (850 + 200 + 50) – (200 for food) – ( $400 for transportation which includes car payments, insurance and fuel) – ($100 for medical insurance) = $2,000. in your hands. You will be saving about $1500 to $2000 a month.

      Keep us posted on what you decide!

  • Kumar Jan 11, 2015 Reply

    Hi All,

    I am currently in Fargo, ND. My company has offered me 65k per annum. Could you please tell me how much I can save if I am living with spouse?


  • Arun Jan 9, 2015 Reply

    Hi, Can anyone please tell me how much can i save with family at Bethesda.
    My Consultancy has offered me 72k/Year.

    • TJ Feb 15, 2015 Reply

      With 72K p.a, that breaks down to 6K p.m. Here are the issues with living near Bethesda, descent & safe neighborhoods start at approx. 1.8 to 2.4 p.m for rent (2bb). Are you willing to stay farther, take the metro line into work everyday? If thats the case, you might be able to find a place you can move away to greenbelt or even further south near lanham (no metro here), where you might be able to find a place for about 1.5K a month. The last thing you need to remember about MD is that, you have your Fed taxes, State Taxes and County taxes… so you often stand to lose more out of your monthly paycheck.. if you decide to live in VA/DC and work in MD, you are charged a non-resident tax rate. Please keep us posted on what you decide!

  • Rahul Dec 9, 2014 Reply

    Can anyone , Pls tell me the cost living in DETROIT MI .
    My employer is offering 56K PA.
    I plan to go with my wife and 3yr old son
    1. What will be the tax , how much we can get take home salary.
    2. How much we can save ?

    Please revert asap….

    • Senthil Dec 26, 2014 Reply

      Hi Rahul,

      Your Salary is very low for family.Please ensure your Staffing Company is reliable in Paystubs and Salary.If you are more desperate in US then come alone(you can manage in sharing rooms with this salary) and make yourself comfortable and bring your family later.Some consultancies are not reliable please be aware.

      All the Best.

      • Rahul Jan 9, 2015 Reply

        Thanks @ Senthil for your guidance.

  • dixi Dec 5, 2014 Reply

    Which staffing consultancy ?

  • Hi Freinds,

    I offered with H1B Sponsorship by some Staffing Consultancy company at 85K $/year without bonus and health insurance but they are paying Employer taxes(I don’t know what this means though). I am single.

    My query is does this 85K $ should remain enough after 2015 October based on annual inflation index in US.
    I don’t know the State as of now as it will depend upon the project at that point of time, So don’t know the applicable state tax.
    Putting in simple words what would be the average take home salary monthly and what could be possible savings.
    Note: they are charging 1.8 INR Lakh as sponsorship fee where they claim 1.2 INR Lakh is refundable in event of non selection in Lottery.

    Hoping to hear from you experienced people as my decision to accept there H1B sponsorship is based on this.


    • Senthil Dec 26, 2014 Reply

      Hi Vishu,

      Make sure your Consultancy is Reliable in Paystubs and Salary.
      85k$ Should be enough for you. If you want more salary you can Move to different jobs later in US.

      All the Best.

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