If you want to buy a home in the beautiful state of Montana, you will find that it is one of the highest residential home markets in the country. Purchasing a home can be a lengthy and complex process. Besides the down payment, which is usually 15-20% of the selling price, there will be closing costs. If you own a home in your former location the sale of that home needs to be completed as well. Once you have purchased and moved into your new home, there will be utility and maintenance costs as well as property taxes and home insurance that will contribute to your cost of living. The advantages of living in Montana are many, but the high cost of buying a home is not one of them. (2022-11-23salary.com)
Montana is a tax-friendly state with a low cost of living for some.
Montana has no state or local sales taxes making it attractive for shoppers. If you currently live in a state with a sales tax and are sick of all the “extra” costs added to each purchase, you will immediately see the advantage Montana offers. Without a sales tax, the price of your purchase will be more straightforward. What you see on the price tag is actually what you will pay! Everyday items like food and clothing, as well as some large purchases like appliances and vehicles, will be more affordable in Montana. Over time, not having to pay a tax on each purchase will help you to achieve a lower cost of living.
Montana does have a state income tax maximum of 6.9%. This means that if you work in Montana, your paycheck will be subject to both state and federal income taxes.
Rent vs Buy: Renting could be the better choice for a lower cost of living
The largest contributor to any cost of living estimate is housing. Understanding the housing market and costs for a location can be complex. Renting can give you a chance to try out a location before making the major commitment of buying a home. In Montana renting a home can actually be more economical than buying. Renting generally has fewer up-front costs and maintenance is generally included, eliminating that responsibility and expense and could potentially leave you with more disposable income and a lower cost of living. (2022-11-23salary.com)
Healthcare access and affordability and your cost of living
Montana is ranked number 33 out of all states in overall healthcare access and affordability.
Healthcare costs make up a significant part of the cost of living. The ability to afford healthcare as well as the ability to access care are key indicators of how much you will be paying for this important resource if you move to another state. Affordability is generally measured by the rates set for insurance coverage in a state, as well as the out-of-pocket expenses that need to be paid by you when receiving the care. If rates or out-of-pocket expenses are high, your cost of living will increase. Access to healthcare is how easy or difficult it may be to receive the care. Access is measured by identifying barriers that might prevent the delivery of care such as the inability to obtain insurance coverage, having to travel long distances to health care centers and lack of sufficient facilities and/or healthcare professionals. The timeliness of care, how fast you can get to see a healthcare provider, is another important measure.
Cold winters and the cost of living
Energy is one of the costs that contribute to the cost of living in a state. The cost of your utilities may fluctuate based on weather conditions. Montana is noted as a state that has some of the worst winter weather in the U.S. Snow, bitterly cold temperatures, storms, and strong winds can force you indoors for days on end. This typical winter weather can drive your energy costs and cost of living higher than in states with a milder climate. Expect to pay more for your utility bills during the winter months. (2022-11-23salary.com)
Cost of Living Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Cost of Living index and how is it used?
In the simplest terms, a Cost of Living index is the estimated amount that represents the cost of the basic necessities required for an individual to live. A cost of living or COL estimate may typically include estimates for housing, food, energy, medical care, transportation, taxes, and other necessities. A COL index may be used to measure what the cost difference would be for a person living in a certain location compared to another location. This cost of living comparison helps individuals make decisions about where they would like to live and what they can afford based on the costs in that location. A cost of living comparison can provide guidance about how an increase or decrease in these basic living expenses impacts necessary spending for an individual or a family.
What factors are included in estimating your cost of living?
The Salary.com cost of living calculator estimate is based on data related to five general categories: housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and energy. These are the universally recognized core components of any cost of living estimate and represent those expenses that apply to everyone. Obviously, there may be other factors that could contribute to your particular cost of living situation and not everyone has the same spending habits. For example, education and/or childcare costs might not apply to everyone, but for those who have those expenses, they could be significant and should be considered when you evaluate your cost of living comparison.
The Salary.com cost of living calculator is unique in that it also incorporates current salary data for thousands of jobs specific to a chosen home or work location to provide a more refined estimate of the cost of living variations. You can see how your job and your salary will be impacted by a change of location. If you live in one location but work in another, the cost of living calculator will make those adjustments to provide an accurate estimate of the change in COL. The Salary.com cost of living calculator helps you to make cost of living comparisons cost comparisons easily and quickly.