How Indians can better manage their finances in the US? 5 Tips


Most of us tend to convert foreign currency to Indian rupees using the current exchange rate. But as the cost of living in both countries could differ significantly, it is not prudent to convert any income/expense directly with the exchange rate. Because a $100,000 salary in the US gives a standard of living similar to what India offers for just 23.14 lakh (based on purchasing power parity).

The Hindustan Times sister publication- Mint talked to some Indians living in the US to know how to manage their living. Here we list down some tips they have shared on how to better manage finances in the foreign country.

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1) Kiran (34), who resides in the US for more than a decade advises not to convert every expense to rupees. He is a car enthusiast and according to him cars are cheap in the US.

A premium car priced at 75 -80 lakh in India would cost $50,000 -60,000 in the US. Buying that car on loan in India and settling monthly installments on that would take away huge some of the salary. But in the US, buyers can keep monthly EMI under 10% of take-home salary, he states.

2) Kiran further adds that it would be huge cost-cutting if one can manage their daily chores themselves. Labor charges are too high in the US. In India, what would charge just 3,000 for a helper who looks after the house and does the dishes, in the US, a housekeeper asks about $30-40 for just two hours per day, he states.

3) Uma Shankar (30) who lives in Texas advises to set aside a prominent portion of your income for savings. He suggests to build a good credit score as it is linked with the social security number (a numerical identifier issued to residents in the US), which has to be given for almost all financial activities, like subletting a home, purchasing a car, etc. .

4) Bala Manohar (33), who aims to live in the US only till he makes enough savings, suggests to invest savings in India. The substantial benefit of the exchange rate can be tapped if dollar savings are spent or invested in India, he states.

5) For married couples, if both the partners earn in US currency, then shared costs can mean higher opportunities for savings.

Saketh Varma (30) who is accompanied by his wife Sindhuja Jagarapu, warns that it takes a lot of time for dependents to get approval to work in the US.

Saketh also adds that staying in the US gives him the opportunity to learn new technologies before the world catches up. Thus, from a technological point of view, for him, US is the best place to live in.


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