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


140 comments… add one

  • SK May 14, 2015 Reply

    My org is offering me 100K$ salary. would be placed in Verginia
    I have 2 kids 9 and 12 yrs old
    post tax deduction, schooling and all other cost…what would be average savings per month

  • Arp May 12, 2015 Reply


    My organisation is giving me an option of H1b with 92k, location California.
    Also, other offer I’m getting out here with company X is 18lpa.

    My wife HR role would be planning to study for fetching job there.

    1) what are your genuine advice in this context.
    2) switching job with some other organisation there after sometime can increase and enhance situation?

    Kindly help me

  • Arun Apr 9, 2015 Reply

    Hi folks,

    I got an offer from my company at 155K in east cost (Nashua/New hamshire). My current CTC is 28.5L in India.
    I have home loan and paying total EMI of 80K in India.

    I would need to relocate with my wife and two kids (5 and 2 years) old.
    Do you think I should consider the offer.


    • Arun Apr 9, 2015 Reply

      Take home is expected to be around 9K

    • ramesh Apr 9, 2015 Reply

      Not sure how much schooling would cost, but expect you will be spending a minimum of 3k and schooling of your 5yr old kind excluded.. so that should leave you with quite decent figure to save.

      My opinion, you can go for it !

    • googlre10 Apr 30, 2015 Reply

      NH is pretty cheap cost of living state when compared to other North east States. so , you should be good. go ahead.

    • googlre10 Apr 30, 2015 Reply

      but beware, NH is most freakiest cold weather state most of the year. I live in MA.

  • Samarth Mar 27, 2015 Reply

    I got an offer from a well known US based company. They are offering 65000$ fixed and 5000 as bonus depend on My joining location would be either California. I need to know is it good / ok or a decent compensation for a 10 year experience UI Developer/ Graphic Desginer .My Indian salary is 11 lacs

    My Queries are:
    1. Is this a good offer comparing to my total experience and current profile and current annual Indian salary?
    2. How much can I save a month (considering stay in California) with my wife and 4 year old son?

  • SKG Mar 26, 2015 Reply


    I read lots of negative reviews of “Xenon infotek”, N J. I personally feel that somebody has spent hell lot of time in posting those comments. Sometimes I feel that same person has posted the reviews by different ids and name due to personal enmity or rage.

    I am in a great confusion as what to do. According to the reviews this desi consultancy is not good in paying salary on time and there are many bad things. According to the blog, they are running many consultancies at the same address by same person. I have not been able to find anybody who is working in IT profile with this company in FB or Linkdin.
    Can you guys kindly guide me what to do ? is it a common problem with most desi companies, if yes then how should we deal with it? Are all desi companies run the payroll on bench to save the status ?
    Should I go ahead with this consultancy for H1 Filing?


    • H1B applied May 7, 2015 Reply


      Even I have applied this year. Have you got any update from them???

      Please let me know.

  • ravi Mar 25, 2015 Reply


    I have around 10 yrs of experience. My employer is ready to file my H1. At my role I except around 95k in a major city. I also have an offer in Hyderabad for 19 lpa. What would you suggest?


    • ramesh Mar 26, 2015 Reply

      If Living in US is not a dream for you then go for 19lc package.
      -Close to Family and friends
      -Standard of living in hyd is good for living, pollution might be more but we are habitual of that
      – per month max of 1.5lc what would can save in US ( this does not cover any flight tickets to India ! nor any vacation not even once a year) which you can easily give to your family in India
      – In india if u do not have any loan i see you can easily save 1.1lc

  • Punit Mar 24, 2015 Reply

    Looks like US dream has no more popularity,I really feel brain drain has finally started as I spot lump numbers of US-indo Techies either choosing indian companies or other developed nations alike australia & canada.

  • Amit K Gangurde Mar 16, 2015 Reply

    Hi my company is sponsors H1B visa with $64 k salary, but the state or city is not fixed. could you please help out what will be expenditure and how much i can save if i take my wife over there.


    • Kumar Mar 24, 2015 Reply

      Amit, the above article exactly outlines answer to your question.

    • ramesh Mar 26, 2015 Reply

      I see you saving around 90-95k INR

  • Murthy Mar 14, 2015 Reply

    I am currently employed in India and have H1B.I am married with a 3 month old son. My current employer is paying around 100k in the Bay Area(Sanjose, Sanfrancisco) and around 95k in Seattle.
    I got another offer from another firm which is paying me 20 lpa in Hyderabad. Please let me know which is a better proposition interms of lifestyle and savings. The role offered in India is better than that of the onsite role.

    • Vijay Mar 20, 2015 Reply

      100 k though may sound a lot but in reality it is not that high in todays market. In the bay area 100k is something that is a must, if one chooses to live a decent lifestyle. A 20lpa package is a decent one and if you compare 20lpa to a 100k, I will say that you will be able to live a better lifestyle back home. Having said that you can use that as a start and then look for better opportunities once you come in. Bay area is the best place to find new opportunities.

      All the best!!


      • Murthy Mar 23, 2015 Reply

        Thank you Vijay

        • ramesh Mar 26, 2015 Reply

          If Living in US is not a dream for you then go for 20lc package.
          -Close to Family and friends
          -Standard of living in hyd is good for living, pollution might be more but we are habitual of that
          – Work you started is better, that’s what going to give you growth in further
          – per month max of 1.5lc what would can save in US ( this does not cover any flight tickets to India ! nor any vacation not even once a year) which you can easily give to your family in India
          – In india if u do not have any loan i see you can easily save 1.3lc

  • NJ Mar 12, 2015 Reply

    Hi Friends,

    My Payroll Consultancy is saying that they will decide my salary after the client interview and the interview will happen after my H1B visa is approved.
    The Consultancy is not releasing any formal offer letter but they are asking me to sign an employment bond/agreement for 2 years. In the agreement they have quoted a salary of 52500$ Annually.

    Friends, I request you all to advise if this is also a process to decide salary or my consultancy is providing wrong information & planning to cheat once visa is approved ?

    • ramesh Mar 26, 2015 Reply

      They are not disclosing the salary as they are not sure of the location where they will post you. assume they would pay you min salary as per the LC which would be filed. 72k for NYC for you reference . also consider around 28-29% of tax if your not married.

    • krish Mar 26, 2015 Reply

      Don’t worry about payroll, once you get H1b and move to US you can demand more as per market rate. if your employer doesnt pay you can just find 100s of better ones willing to pay you.

  • Sajid Mohammed Mar 10, 2015 Reply

    Hi Friends,
    I have been offered H1B sponsorship at annual package of $65000 per year including individual health insurance and $ 10,000 bonus on completion of one year and 10 days paid leaves in year. Not sure about the work location. Staffing company is based out at New Jersey. Company is asking for 2 years contract with them or a fine of $ 15,000. I am an IT project Manager with a solid background working as a Senior Business Analyst-IT. Company has given offer of employment as ‘ Business Analyst’. My current package is INR 10.5 lacs per annum.

    My Queries are:
    1. Is this a good offer comparing to my total experience and current profile and current annual Indian salary?
    2. How much can I save a month (considering stay in New Jersey) with my wife and 1 year old son?

    Hoping to hear from you experienced people as my decision to accept this offer with H1B sponsorship is based on your valuable advice.

    Warm Regards,
    Sajid Mohammed

    March 10, 2015

    • siddiqui Mar 11, 2015 Reply

      Bro,65k is decent to head life in stats,but exposure & experience counts rather than your savings.
      1.Holding such a prestigious experience(you) worth more but it’s individual’s choice.
      2.As I dictated earlier,you won’t save much but say around 1000 to 1500 USD & may be less if you tend to live lavish.

      I personally believe,you don’t wanna loose a job which pays you very well (10 lacs a year) cause living & taxes are way cost effective than United stats in india. Infact if you’ve such a handsome salary near home itself than no country is better than India for a gentleman like of luck.

    • Amita Singh Mar 26, 2015 Reply

      I would suggest you to take this offer. TBH, 10.5L is not that good but after your exposure in US, you would scale better if you would want to come back. Yes, you will be able to support your wife and your child in this package but savings would not be as high as $1350 (like mentioned in the article).

  • Reddy Mar 6, 2015 Reply

    Can anyone please tell me how much I can save with me and my wife living at Foster City
    My company has offered me 100k/Year gross

    • sree Mar 6, 2015 Reply

      100k a year is good enough to stay in the bay area. taxes should shave off 35k from your salary., that’s 65k in hand – around 5.5k a month. you should be able to save anywhere between 800-1000$ a month.

      • Reddy Mar 10, 2015 Reply

        Thanks Sree!

    • Mohit Mar 10, 2015 Reply

      100k sounds good,but general day to day expenses & outrageous state taxes as well as federal taxes eat big chunk out of your pay cheque.So I coming to number (100k), a single could save 2000 to somewhere 2500 bucks a month where you’ve wife coming with that will break your savings to around less than half of I assumed cause you’ll rent atleast 1 bhk appartment which goes anywhere around min 1200 to 2000.

      • Reddy Mar 12, 2015 Reply

        Thanks Mohit!

    • Shrihan Mar 24, 2015 Reply


  • 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.

      • suhash jain Mar 3, 2015 Reply

        Thanks Dhruv,Though got similar replies from allmost everyone,Thanks for everything.I got my doubts crystal clear & made it WaSy for me to come down to acuity towards savvy decision.Thankshank.

    • Sohil Mar 5, 2015 Reply

      With small family you would save bread & butter,some what around 1k.A precious tip-I would never ever step out such designation,If I would you.


  • 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?


    • kanaiya Mar 5, 2015 Reply

      U can save 1000 $ a month with decent life style.

      • LoveT Mar 6, 2015 Reply


        Thank you very much for your reply!

        It’s really great helpful!

  • 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.

  • Only comments please. Ask your questions in Q & A Section.
  • DO NOT Share your email/Phone Number for H1B Sponsors here!
  • We do NOT sponsor H1Bs or provide guidance for the H1B Sponsors.
  • Beware of people reaching out to you ONLINE for H1Bs. Avoid Fraud!
  • Do NOT post external links/email-IDs, unless US Univ/Govt, News.
  • By posting comments, you are agreeing to our Terms and conditions, they can be removed or reported, if violation of community guidelines or law

Leave a Comment