Cost of Living in USA on H1B or L1 Visa

How much Money can you Save in USA on H1B/L1 Visa? Living Cost ?

In Living in USA by Kumar419 Comments

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” and  you are being conservative and not living an extravagant life with high end cars and expensive house rented.

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 around $2200 to $3500 USD, depending on size and options.  In smaller cities, this could be like about $800 or less.


Typical car down payment, if you buy a decent small size car on loan. This can go up to $600 or more, if you go for BMW or more expensive cars.
Car Insurance


Car insurance varies a lot by driving record and place you live. You may pay double or more, if you live in big cities.
Car Gas


Average, if you have less commute. It can vary a lot by your travel. If you commute in high traffic cities, this can be as much as $250 USD.


If you have family plan with mobile carrier. This also can vary.


All the vegetables, snacks, etc. for cooking food. This may be more, if you cook more at home and your own country dishes…


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. This can be less now a days with WhatsApp and FaceTime
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.
Health Insurance (Optional)

100 to 200

This is optional as many of the decent employers give health insurance, so I will not add this expense for total calculations. This can be high as well, if you want a really good plan.
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). You can use ADP Paycheck Calculator to get an idea of how much would be your take home.

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

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Comments ( 419 )

  1. Raju

    Hello friends,
    i got an offer to work in Rockledge, florida for $82,000 per year. Is this fair salary and able to save $2500/month with spouse and 2 kids who are in 2 nd standard?

  2. Rajesh

    I am going to relocate to NJ coming september. Please let me know the cost of living there and how much I can save.My family consists of two persons …. heard from websites need to pay lot of insurances …. anyone pls tell me the split up of monthly expenses…my salary will be around 85k … thanks in advance

  3. Anonymous

    Hi ,

    Getting as offer for 79K USD at Pennsylvania.
    How much will I be able to save along with my family. What is the average expense for a new born child there ?


  4. PLB

    Can someone give an estimate for Raleigh(NC) with USD 70K ? I have my wife who is expecting (she will probably shift after 6-7 months after i move and settle down).

  5. KJ

    Hi. I have an offer to move to Charlotte on an l1 visa. What would be the average cost of living and ideal salary levels? What would be savings if we consider a ctc of USD 6000 per month. My ctc in India is Rs9lacs(accomodation provided by company) . I will be moving with my wife and we are expecting a child soon.
    Thanks for the help.

  6. Gyan Pramesh

    Hi Everyone,
    My company is offering me to relocate to US (Office is at NYC) and the expected salary would be 130,000USD. This is is going to be L1 and my family consists of 3 members (we two and a 2 year old Kid).
    Can you please let me know is it good/fair/perfect offer and should I accept. Most probably I will be staying in NJ. Please let me know the cost of living there and how much I can save.
    At present I am in Pune and have an annual salary of 22LPA and I have 11 years of work experience.

    1. Suresh

      your Take home should be between $6k to $6.5k, your rent and household expenses should vary between $4.5k to $5.0, Your annual savings will be between $18k to $20K

      1. Gyan Pramesh

        Thanks for the response.

        Would you mind to share me the approximate monthly expenses. Please consider Having a second hand car
        2BHK for rent
        Transportation to office at NY by train/PATH
        Normal middle class living etc.

        1. rajesh

          I am going to relocate to NJ coming september. Please let me know the cost of living there and how much I can save.My family consists of two persons …. heard from websites need to pay lot of insurances …. anyone pls tell me the split up of monthly expenses…my salary will be around 85k … thanks in advance

  7. Kamal

    I am getting an option to move to us and they are offering me 150K and location is bay area.
    Here in india i am having a 35lpa package and my wife is also an govt employee earning around 5lpa. We have no kid.

    Do you think i should take this option and move along with my wife whom has to quit her Govt job ?

    1. .

      in terms of opportunity: yes! a good idea to move
      in terms of maintaining your current standard of living: I would say no.

  8. Simon

    hi not sure if i will got response how about cincinnati, i will be moving there for 65000 with wife and a son how much do you think i will have available for extra expenses

    1. Animesh

      65k is a low amount I must say. Even the city and state is a low cost state but still with a family of three especially with kid you won’t be able to save much. I must say if you are living a comfort life in India you are in a good situation. If saving is not a big deal for you grab and come

  9. Akash Gupta Shukla

    I have a offer from Amazon Seattle and travelling from India, on L1B Blanket visa I am being offered 110k$ base with 15k$ relocation and 40k$ RSUs.

    I will be living alone, ready to share apartment and I know to cook.

    How much I can save monthly?

  10. Aspiring

    I am getting 89k for working in Chicago,illinois. Could you please let me know any ballpark estimate how much i can save per month, I am living with a wife and son of 3 yrs old.

  11. Priyanka sachin


    I am Priyanka , my husband got offer $79600 per year . yet to decide city. how much do you think we should be able to save monthly?

        1. helloz

          i live in nj. there is a 7% income tax and sales tax too. also the rental will be around 1500. if u have kids pick a good school district. total expense will be atleast $2800. hope it helps.

  12. jony


    Currently i am earning around 40 to 50 lakhs per year in India(70K to 80K USD). I am about get an offer from a company located at San jose. How much can i expect/negotiate with my employer ? considering my current salary in India and living cost in San Jose.


  13. Sachin Sharma

    Hello Everyone,

    I will be moving to Foster City, California along with my wife and 3 months old baby . My employer offering me 87K . Please help me if this is enough to raise a family in very expensive city where rent alone is minimum 2600$?
    Will i be able to save 1000$ monthly? I do have very simple lifestyle so is of my wife.

    Quick response would be appriciated.


    1. AB

      Hey Sachin,

      You would get around $4300 per month. If your rent is $2300, Car EMI $300, $Insurance(Car) $100, Health $250, Gas + Electricity $150, Phone and Internet $100, Groceries $400, it is equal to $3600. You end up saving $700.

      This is very less liberty for buying clothes, eating out etc. Ping me over [email protected] if you need more info

    2. helloz

      no. you need atleat 110 in california. it has 8-9% state income tax and 7.25% sales tax. i would suggest you to ask ur employer to raise ur base to 105k atleast. even then u need to have good medical insurance, bonus and other perks to consider living there.

  14. Hustler

    I have an offer of USD 75000 from an American firm in Atlanta. I will be travelling in Nov ’18 (bachelor). Considering an average live (stay / food / lifestyle) how much do you think I should be able to save monthly?
    FYI, from ADP: Monthly net salary comes to USD 4264.

  15. Xaverian

    Hi All,

    I will be going to NJ with my Wife and 2 years old kid and my company is offering me 84K + 6K other benefits. Will this be Ok for NJ? How much I will be able to save?

    1. Abel

      Hi Xaverian,

      Only house rent will get vary from one state to another state and remaining expense are almost same in all state.. you can get a nice house for Rent in NJ between 1200 to 1800. for your salary surely you can save some amount until unless you held up with any medical issue

        1. My121Cents

          Yes I agree with Abel, except rent all other expenses are quite similar in living cost. Salary you mentioned is good but according to me you can expect $5-7000 more per year because in medical emergency we should have some more amount for safety side otherwise we would be under pressure all the time specially if you are moving with your kid.if you want to know more about Savings /expenses in detail ,,you can visit my channel “My121Cents”

  16. Samaritan

    Hello i want to live in america, if i have 90k usd on my bank account is there any posible i can apply for visa? If thatvis enough jow much money should i have on my bank account? Because they say there have a show money before your visa will grant or approve?

  17. Sean Bradford

    Thanks for giving this ‘ball park’ estimate of living on a visa in the US. I think a lot of times, good people forget to budget ahead of time. I believe you have given many some valuable information here.

  18. Irshad Nabeel

    Hi All,
    I will be relocating to NY office on L1 visa.
    Need your help to know how much salaray I should expect to spend a normal life.
    I will be staying with my wife and 1yr old kid.
    I heard NY is very expensive. What is the near by place to stay and commute daily for office.
    What is the avg. salary for an IT professional with 9+ exp? How much I can save at minimum?

  19. First time H1

    Hi All

    I am coming to Nashua-Newhampshire end of this month on H1 with wife and a kid of 2 years.
    My company is offering me a salary of 85K/annum. Can some one please help me out, whether this is a decent salary. How much will be average cost per month & how much i can save per month.

    Thanks in Advance

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