What’s the cost of living in Montana?
Wondering about the cost of living in Montana? This article summarizes everything you need to know, from tax rates to healthcare costs.
When considering a move to a new state, understanding the cost of living is vital for effective budgeting and financial planning. If Montana is at the top of your list, here are some current statistics related to the cost of living in the state that could help you make up your mind.
The average cost of living in Montana
Montana is home to over 6.1 million people.
According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average total personal consumption cost in Montana is $47,887.
According to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 34th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living.
Housing costs in Montana
As of March 2023, the average home value in Montana is estimated to be around $427,886, according to the Zillow Home Value Index as of March 2023.
It’s important to note that housing prices can significantly differ across various regions within the state. Here are some examples of typical home prices based on Zillow's data:
|City||Average Home Value|
The monthly rental price ranges across the state for those considering renting in Montana. For example, the average cost of a two-bedroom apartment in Billings costs $900.
Utility costs in Montana
Utility costs play a significant role in Montana's overall cost of living. According to Forbes, the average monthly cost is around $379.
|Utility||Average cost in Montana|
|Monthly water bill||$38|
Grocery and food costs in Montana
When it comes to groceries and food costs, Montana generally aligns with prices found elsewhere in the United States.
According to Zippia, those in Billings pay over $323 on average each month.
According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for US households.
Transportation costs in Montana
Transportation costs, including gas prices and vehicle maintenance, impact Montana's overall cost of living.
According to MIT, a single adult with no children can expect to pay upwards of $5,300.
Gas prices in Montana are typically in and around the national average. At the time of writing, Montana was at the national average. These prices fluctuate over time.
It is also worth noting that prices can vary across different regions within the state.
Healthcare costs in Montana
Understanding healthcare expenses is crucial when considering the cost of living.
The specific healthcare costs in Montana can vary depending on factors such as insurance coverage and individual circumstances. Therefore, it is advisable to research and consult with healthcare providers and insurance companies to obtain accurate cost estimates.
|Scenario||Annual healthcare expenditure|
|One adult, no children||$2,675|
|One adult, one child||$8,571|
|One adult, two children||$8,581|
|Two adults (one working), no children||$6,352|
|Two adults (one working), one child||$8,581|
|Two adults (one working), two children||$8,507|
|Two adults (two working), no children||$6,352|
|Two adults (two working), one child||$8,581|
|Two adults (two working), two children||$8,507|
Childcare costs in Montana
Families in Montana currently pay around $9,589 per year for childcare for one child. This figure doubles for two children.
However, it's important to note that this figure can vary across the state.
Taxation in Montana
Montana’s state income tax rate ranges between 1% and 6.9%.
Here's a comparison of income tax rates among some neighboring states:
|State||Income Tax Rates|
|Montana||1.0% - 6.9% (based on income brackets)|
|North Dakota||1.10% - 2.90% (based on income brackets)|
|South Dakota||No state income tax|
|Wyoming||No state income tax|
|Idaho||1.125% - 6.925% (based on income brackets)|
The sales tax rate in Montana is 0%. This is because Montana does not have a statewide sales tax. However, certain local jurisdictions in Montana may impose local option sales taxes, which can vary.
The bottom line
The amount of money needed to live comfortably in Montana can vary depending on location, lifestyle, family size, and personal preferences. However, as the most expensive state in the US, you may need more than you first think.
It's essential to consider these factors, along with personal circumstances and preferences, when evaluating the cost of living in Montana. In addition, consulting with a financial advisor can provide valuable insights and assistance in managing expenses and financial planning.
Whether you’re retirement planning or considering relocating to chase a new career, Unbiased can assist you with your move's financial ins and outs. Find the right advisor for your needs today.
Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.