How Much Money Can You Save on H1B/L1 Visa?

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • Motivation for moving on H1B: Desire to earn and save more money.
  • Monthly family expenses (conservative lifestyle): $2,345.
  • Net monthly savings (gross salary $5,000, net salary $3,700): $1,355.
  • Important consideration: Taxes and other potential expenses.

Needless to mention, one of the major driving forces behind people moving to the US on H1B visa is to make more money and to save more money.

But, how much is too much? Do the people who actually move to the US able to make the money as per their initial expectations? How lavish the lifestyle in the US is and how much does a typical family saves there?

Let’s discuss this aspect in detail in this article.

Cost of living in the US on H1B/L1 visa

Basic assumptions: you are married and living in the US with your spouse and have rented an apartment.

It is important to mention here that figures used in this article are taken keeping in mind that you are not living an extravagant life with costly cars and luxurious houses, rather you are living a very conservative lifestyle.

  • Cost of rent/mortgage

Typically, the expenses related to accommodation for a 2BHK house when renting or mortgage on H-1B would vary depending on the location. For bigger cities, this could be between $2,000 and $3,500. However, in smaller cities, you could get a double bedroom apartment for as less as $800.

Thus, it can be concluded that on an average rent would cost you $1,100.

  • Car EMI

Let’s assume that you have a loan for a simple car, and nothing extra luxurious. For such a car, an average EMI would come out to be $300. However, if you possess a high-end car, this value could go as high as $600.

  • Car insurance

On an average, car insurance would cost you $80. But, it ultimately depends on the place you live and your driving history.

  • Car gas

For an average use, $100 should suffice. But, let’s not ignore the fact that if you commute too much via car in big cities, car gas can cost you more than $200.

  • Phone

An average family plan would cost you $85, but this can vary depending on extra facilities that you might have opted for.

  • Grocery

A typical household spends $300 on groceries. This figure could go up and down depending on your choice of groceries and how frequently you cook,

  • Utilities

Essential utilities like water, cooking gas and electricity would cost you $100 but it ultimately depends on the city you live and the climate there.

  • International calling

All thanks to internet calling, international calling doesn’t dig a hole in your pockets. A fair figure of $20 is more than enough.

  • Dine out

Assuming that you eat at home most of the time, and dine occasionally, you would have to spend $100 per month.

  • Health insurance

This is optional – you might have it or not. Further, even if you have it, your health insurance premium on H-1B can vary enormously depending on the plan. So, let’s skip it for now.

  • Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous expenses include the amount spent on buying new clothes, buying new items and the likes. This depends on your lifestyle to a large extent. For now, we have assumed it to be $150.

Total Expenses

Thus, with the help of simple mathematics, the total expenses incurred by an average household on H1 B visa in the US comes out to be $2,345.

It is important to mention here that this figure is highly indicative. We have not included the cost of kids studying in schools, cost of buying a dining table, sofa set, and the likes.

Saving = Income – Expenditure

Thus, assuming that your gross salary per month is $5,000 and you have a take a home net salary of $3,700, you would be able to save $1,355.

Your Turn

We would again reiterate the fact here that all the figures used here are highly indicative and are good enough just to give you a basic idea. Making your decision solely by looking at a conducive figure of $60,000 per year could be deceptive.

It is essential that tax and other expenses are brought well into consideration. What are your views on this? How much are you able to save in the US while on an H1B visa? Is it worth it?

Do share your experiences with us in the comments.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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