There are many factors to consider when thinking of relocating to Montana, also known as The Treasure State. To be able to sustain a financially stable life, it’s essential to know the cost of living in Montana. By assessing the average rent in Montana and the average salary in Montana, you’ll get a better understanding of what it would be like living there.
Having a look at the breakdown of the salary comparison by city will help you determine what is a good salary for someone living in Montana. After reading this article and planning your monthly expenses, you’ll be able to decide if the cost of living in Montana is sustainable for you.
What to Know Before Moving to Montana
Montana is one of the eight mountain states of the United States. Due to its abundance of natural and mineral resources like coal, gold, silver, oil, copper, and zinc, it is popularly known as The Treasure State. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, Montana is also home to Glacier National Park, Whitefish Mountain Resort, and part of Yellowstone National Park.
With a population of a little over a million, Montana’s economy is dominated by agricultural activities, forestry, mining, and energy production. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the civilian labor force in Montana is 556,200, and of that number, 542,100 are employed. Environmental science careers are relatively popular in this state.
Montana’s unemployment rate is 2.4 percent, which shows that the state has many career opportunities for its citizens. Due to its outstanding public schools and robust education options, Montana is also an excellent choice for anyone looking to start a family. Families can enroll their children in any of the 367 high schools, 16 colleges, and 13 universities in the state.
What Is the Cost of Living in Montana?
The monthly cost of living in Montana is around $3,500. These numbers are based on rent, utilities, transportation, gas prices, grocery prices, and healthcare expenses. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the cost of living in Montana over a full year is $42,310, slightly less than the national average of $42,635. However, the housing costs are eight percent higher than the national average.
How Is Cost of Living Calculated?
The cost of living is the sum of the prices of everyday goods and services that the average resident spends money on. If you were to learn how to become a real estate agent, calculating these costs might be part of your duties.
The amount calculated is then compared to the cost of living in other states. The prices are broken down and grouped based on individual budgets and spending patterns. You can also use a cost of living calculator to compare prices more easily.
What Contributes to the Cost of Living in Montana?
Average Rent in Montana
The average cost of rent in Montana varies based on the apartment type. If we calculate the median rent base according to the average prices of a studio apartment, a one-bedroom apartment, a two-bedroom apartment, a three-bedroom, and a four-bedroom, the average cost of rent in Montana comes out to $847.60 per month.
Average Transportation Costs in Montana
Whether you live in the largest city or a small rural town, transportation services contribute to your monthly expenses. The average cost of unleaded gas in Montana is $4.76, while the average cost of gas in the country is $4.52 according to AAA, which makes the cost of gas in Montana significantly lower than the nationwide average.
Average Food Costs in Montana
For an average adult, the monthly cost of food in Montana is $287.34, less than the national monthly minimum of $348.35. These food prices reflect the cost of groceries but do not necessarily take into account restaurant expenses. As you can see, Montana is a relatively more affordable state than others.
Average Healthcare Costs in Montana
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the national cost of healthcare decreased by 6.1 percent, with Montana’s healthcare costs decreasing by 0.4 percent. This puts the average cost of healthcare in Montana at about three percent higher than the national average.
Average Utility Costs in Montana
The minimum monthly cost of basic utilities like electricity, water, cooling, heating, and garbage for a single adult in a small apartment in Billings, Montana is $137.41. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average cost of residential natural gas in Montana is $7.22 per month.
Other Expenses to Consider in Montana
Life is more than just paying your monthly bills. If you wish to partake in any extracurricular activities, the minimum monthly cost for sports and leisure for one adult is $81.93, and the minimum monthly cost of clothing for one adult is $257.33. Restaurants, outdoor activities, and schools are all factors to consider when planning your monthly budget.
Should I Buy or Rent in Montana?
Your decision to buy or rent in Montana depends on various factors. You will have to consider how long you intend to live there, your annual salary, your credit score, family size, and monthly expenses. The average cost of a mortgage in Montana differs based on the type of house and local affordability.
The price of homes in Montana ranges from around $650,000 to around $1,250,000. Anything above the median home price may require loans with higher interest rates unless you have a high credit score. If you intend to stay in Montana for a short period of time, you should consider renting. The median rent price in Montana is $1,172 per month, which is more affordable than the average home price on a monthly basis.
What Is the Average Salary in Montana?
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary in Montana is $43,247 per year, which works out to about $20.79 per hour. You can find a complete breakdown of Montana salaries by state in the table below.
Salary Comparison by City in Montana
What Is a Good Salary?
A good salary should cover your monthly expenses and leave enough for other miscellaneous costs and savings. To afford this comfortably, the average resident in Montana needs to earn a minimum of $2,000 a month. A job with an average hourly wage of $24.16 would provide you with $4,000 in monthly wages, allowing you to live comfortably and save for the future.
However, if possible, you should get a job that pays above this amount, which would allow you to afford a decent standard of living. According to BLS, some of the highest-paying careers in Montana are in sales management, financial management, dentistry, and industrial engineering.
Can You Afford the Average Cost of Living in Montana?
If you make up to $45,000 a year, you can afford the cost of living in Montana. Montana is an affordable state compared to many others, but it is not a good choice for those who prefer to live in big cities. While Montana has cities, they are relatively small compared to the major cities in big states such as California.
As a result, the cost of living is also lower. Housing, transportation, food, utilities, and healthcare are all on par with the national average. This means that the vast majority of people can afford to live there as long as they earn above minimum wage. If your preferred lifestyle is on the more lavish side, you should figure out how you can earn a six-figure salary.
Cost of Living in Montana FAQ
Montana isn’t expensive to live in as its cost of living isn’t high. If you earn about $40,000 to $45,000 annually, you should be able to afford a decent lifestyle in the state. The basic needs are just about the same as the national average, making the state’s living costs pretty normal.
You need about $45,000 to live comfortably in Montana. This number is based on the cost of basic expenses, including rent, utilities, healthcare, transportation, and clothing. If you want to have a slightly more comfortable lifestyle, you will have to earn about $50,000 annually.
Montana is a good place to live in. It is peaceful and affordable, it has a small population, and it has a low crime rate. Those who wish to be a part of a small community with many job opportunities will thrive in this state. If you prefer to live in a fast-paced state with big cities and a large population, Montana may not be the right choice for you.
It is cheaper to live in Montana than to live in Texas. The monthly cost of rent for a one-room apartment in Montana is about $700, while the monthly cost in Texas is about $1,200. Utilities in Montana cost about $200 monthly. They cost well above $200 in Texas.
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