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Old 07-29-2012, 01:32 PM
34 posts, read 83,249 times
Reputation: 27


Well, we'll find out shortly how this all works out, we are Montana bound.

Before all the equipment has to go offline, I want to give a BIG THANK YOU for all the help and responses to my questions.

We have a better idea of what we're getting into. We'll have to retrieve some winter driving skills- they're there, just haven't had to really use them in a while.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:29 PM
297 posts, read 733,160 times
Reputation: 277
Congrats!! Best of luck with the move!

P.S. Your saying "Montana bound" reminded me of an old song from the Mission Mountain Wood Band, called "In Without Knocking" (named after a Charlie Russell painting of some cowboys riding their horses into a saloon).

Grooveshark - Free Music Streaming, Online Music
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:50 PM
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Wish you the best on your move. Apparently I did not get in on time before you made the decision. I am a business owner here in Missoula and have lived here many years.

When you say "we" I am assuming that you are married or have another member of the household besides yourself. Firstly, a 40K salary is approximately $32,800 take-home @ 18% payroll taxes, if you need medical, this would reduce take-home to approximately $31,000.00 or $2,583/month.

If you break down monthly expenses it would probably look something like this:
Avg Rent $800.00/mo.
Groceries $400.00/mo.
Car Payment: $250.00/mo
Car Insurance: $100.00/mo
Utilities: $150.00/mo
Dining Out: $200.00/mo
Discretionary Spending: $200.00/mo
Renters Insurance: $60/mo
Vehicle Registration: $15/mo. (Used 10 years old)
Vehicle Repairs/Maint: $50/mo
Fuel for vehicle: $160.00/mo.

With total monthly expenses @ $2385/mo and take-home with medical @ $2,583/mo, you can see that you would have $198.00 left over each month. This does not include any amount you would want to put into savings, medical co-pays, those pesky unexpected vehicle repairs or other expenses, etc.

If you want to own your own home - your monthly housing expense will likely be much higher unless you have impeccable credit, due to monthly payments, insurance and property taxes.

So it all depends on what you consider to be "comfortable". If you are a very frugal person, you may be able to live and put away some savings. If you want to live having the ability to own a home, put away savings and retirement, and be able to handle those unexpected expenses without draining your savings and retirement - then 40K a year in Missoula probably will not go as far as you think.

But then again - most of the country is in the same boat. One difference in Montana - anywhere in Montana - is the cost of everyday goods is more expensive than metropolitan areas. One reason for this is that getting anything shipped into Montana is pricy. As a former distributor of goods, I have seen shipping rates into Montana get absolutely ridiculous over the last few years.

Montana is beautiful and all that - but you need to consider whether you are willing to pay the price to live here.

The other thing to consider is whether or not your job is highly stable. Lose a job here, and it can be difficult to find a replacement job in that price range.

Last edited by MslaCntry; 08-05-2012 at 01:53 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:30 PM
34 posts, read 83,249 times
Reputation: 27
Yeah, maybe we need a theme song for moving.
Something to the tune of, "Oh my aching back....."

MslaCntry, thanks for the input. Like many other people, you take the job where you get it. Getting the job in Montana is better than other places I could think of. Since I've lived up in the NW corner of the country most of my life, this will be close to home. Never have figured out if Montana is considered West or NW. Lived in Denver for a short time and they were the "West" in their eyes. Perspective, I guess.

If the job looked like it was more permanent, it would be nice to buy and stay. But I'm so leary any more of jobs being stable that who knows what to do? And the housing in Missoula is just weird. (YMMV) Renting is pretty hard if you have pets, and we do. We could not afford to rent the sq ft in Missoula that we have here, and the overall house for the buck seems to be nicer here. But, and I say this with reservation because we need to experience the market up there, looks like we could actually buy a house and spend less per month, if the down was substantial and the rates favorable. Or, probably a better way of saying it, is that it looks like we could have more for less or the same price, per month. Like I said, YMMV, but seems to me that Missoula is a landlord's market as far as renting is concerned.

But, you don't know until you know and we'll have to experience the area first.

And there's still the uncertainty of the job market and I think that's pretty universal right now.

Frugal? We're pretty good at that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:25 PM
11 posts, read 15,001 times
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Forget worrying about the housing - the job is what is important and in Missoula there are none. Even before the recession and before major local industries shut their doors Missoula is a town known for those who have doctorate degrees that are competing for restaurant work (and the serving jobs are highly competitive you need an in to get one). You will financially struggle here most likely - and the housing is expensive - those who are buying are not making that money in Missoula. As far as pets Missoula is not too pet friendly with renters - yet most people have dogs? It is because Missoula is chalk full of slumlords - the properties are run down - which suits those fine who want a landlord who doesn't care about lease violations - but good luck getting sewage and heating problems taken care of - been down both of those roads with Missoula slumlords - not fun. People that live here choose to do so in spite of low wages and run down housing - better be willing to make those sacrifices - a good word though is almost everybody struggles with money so there are killer deals on food and at bars - and if you get to know the nights where you can find $5 pizzas and dollar beers you can enjoy the town on a constructed budget.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:36 PM
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Reputation: 11
Default Agree with much of original post

We lived in Missoula for 5 years late 90's - 2000's. Both myself and my husband worked full-time, attended classes at UM, and raised young children.

During our time in Missoula we were the poorest we have ever been, and the happiest. Our children reflect on their time in Missoula as the happiest years of their lives.

Even back then everyone we encountered worked 2-3 jobs, and were barely surviving. Many children our kids went to school with had never been to McDonald's.

But the cultural events...specifically, the no-cost events...as well as the parks and myriad outdoor activities - these all made up for the lack of funds.

Going to the carousel on Christmas day, hiking Kootenai trail and up to the M, going to the river, driving to watch for wildlife (moose, bear, ram, elk, etc!), the river walk, biking all over town!!

And, walking the UM bridge at midnight with fat snowflakes drifting down from the black sky.....

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