The past couple of years, there has been a lot of focus on the cost of housing in Montana, and it's warranted because the market has changed so drastically since the pandemic.

But calculating the costs of living in Montana goes beyond just housing. Moving within the state, you may find yourself wanting to know how far your paycheck will go. This happened to me when I moved from Billings to Missoula two years ago. I suspected it was going to be more expensive, but I had no idea how much more nearly everything would cost until I'd lived here for a few months.

One aspect of calculating the cost of living is how much monthly expenses will be, like mortgage and rent as well as utilities, a car payment, etc.

Where Montana Ranks for the Cost of Household Bills

Using data from doxo.com we looked at the cost of Montana's bills and how it compares by city, and how Montana compares to the rest of the country.

Overall, Montana bills are not that expensive. We rank 30th, and the cost of bills on average is $1,525 lower than the average for the U.S.

The more interesting picture is looking at how the costs compare between Montana's cities.

From Most Expensive to Least Expensive

Take a look at a breakdown of the monthly cost of common household bills in each city. To review the full data, visit doxo.com.

#13 Bozeman

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,449
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,751
  • Average rent bill: $1,232
  • Average auto loan bill: $469
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $427

#12 Belgrade

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,338
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,343
  • Average rent bill: $1,770
  • Average auto loan bill: $465
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $407

#11 Missoula

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,138
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,508
  • Average rent bill: $980
  • Average auto loan bill:$394
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $368

#10 Whitefish

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,108
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,753
  • Average rent bill: $990
  • Average auto loan bill: $465
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $284

#9 Billings

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,097
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,109
  • Average rent bill: $972
  • Average auto loan bill: $482
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $587

#8 Hamilton

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $2,032
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,108
  • Average rent bill: $886
  • Average auto loan bill: $465
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $401

#7 Helena

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,955
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,347
  • Average rent bill:$928
  • Average auto loan bill: $474
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $396

#6 Livingston

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,944
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,109
  • Average rent bill: $869
  • Average auto loan bill:$465
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $425

#5 Havre

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,883
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,007
  • Average rent bill: $765
  • Average auto loan bill: $560
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $393

#4 Kalispell

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,872
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,368
  • Average rent bill: $878
  • Average auto loan bill: $298
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $276

#3 Columbia Falls

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,806
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,263
  • Average rent bill:$881
  • Average auto loan bill: $298
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $283

#2 Great Falls

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,738
  • Average mortgage bill: $1,112
  • Average rent bill: $798
  • Average auto loan bill: $384
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $293

#1 Butte

  • Average monthly bills (All Services): $1,666
  • Average mortgage bill: $803
  • Average rent bill: $712
  • Average auto loan bill: $465
  • Average monthly utilities bill: $416

Given the data, I guess it makes sense that living in Missoula feels more expensive than living in Billings. But overall, I was surprised that the city with the lowest monthly bills was Butte. Were you?

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