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Old 05-27-2014, 05:23 AM
 
3 posts, read 14,691 times
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I am considering applying for a job in Missoula and am trying to figure out how much I would need to earn to maintain my current standard of living if I were to end up there. I've never lived in Montana and haven't seen listings for Missoula on most of the cost-of-living comparison calculators I've tried. Bozeman seems to be the most commonly listed Montana city, so opinions of the cost of living there as compared to Missoula would be particularly appreciated.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:27 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
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I recommend using best places or CNN Money's cost of living calculator. I am assuming you are using Payscale.com which isn't very good. When you don't list the biggest city in a state as an option, you are being sloppy, IMHO.

Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed
money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living



You will find that you are paying much more for groceries, rent and utilities in Missoula than other places in the Eastern half of the state and making a lot less due to the ample supply of college student labor. Missoula's economy is now stagnant and overly reliant on retail and the University. I don't recommend moving there.

Last edited by Yac; 06-05-2014 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:19 PM
 
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Thanks. I've tried several cost-of-living calculators, and bestplaces is the only one I've found that lists Missoula. CNN's only lists Bozeman and Kalispell. I wouldn't be competing with students for work, and I'm not familiar with the cost of living in any part of Montana, so I'm just trying to get a good idea of about how much I would need to be earning to keep my head as far above the water as it is now.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:10 AM
 
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I do not live in either Missoula or Bozeman but I am quite familiar with both. The cost of living will be basically the same.
What state/city are you attempting to compare Missoula's costs to?
One thing people sometimes overlook is costs involved with the amount of distance driving that Montanans typically do in a year.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
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Using Ardmore, OK (red clay country) as a comparison.........Missoula COL will be approx 20 to 22% higher.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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Thanks historyfan and Montana Griz. I found your responses very helpful. I don't live in OK, but the COL listings for Ardmore aren't too far off from what I'm getting for my area.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
8,620 posts, read 10,487,361 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redclayrover View Post
I am considering applying for a job in Missoula and am trying to figure out how much I would need to earn to maintain my current standard of living if I were to end up there. I've never lived in Montana and haven't seen listings for Missoula on most of the cost-of-living comparison calculators I've tried. Bozeman seems to be the most commonly listed Montana city, so opinions of the cost of living there as compared to Missoula would be particularly appreciated.
With the high cost of living in Missoula also comes the low wages Montana is notorious for. Do your homework before relocating.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:18 PM
 
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I almost moved to Missoula. Great town, but it is easily 30% or more expensive than my current home in South Carolina. Family friendly neighborhoods with good housing were selling very quickly. I didn't see many good homes for much less than 300K.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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Missoula is a college town so expect to pay more for rent and real estate. Also Missoula is attractive rivers, trees, so it attracts more people from out side the area that buy real estate.

Other then rent walmart and gas stations have the same prices.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:42 PM
 
34 posts, read 81,684 times
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I hope you are still doing research. The COL I use is Sperling's: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

As WyoEagle said, do your homework. COL in Montana is high and pay scale is low. Unless you have a hefty degree in something oil-related or some of the higher university positions, or just something technical in need, the pay is very, very low.

I haven't posted for some time since we had to relocate to Billings. I would say the COL is just as high here as Missoula, because of the oil fields. Some people's families are located here and I guess they drive down on days off. Housing may be a tad cheaper but not by much. I found I had others looking at rentals with me and competition was high. They have built some newer units west of town, so that might help a bit. And you'll really need air conditioning in Billings. Natives may not feel it but Billings has some of the mid-west humidity in the summer, although Missoula seems to be having it pretty warm right now too.

Do not move unless you have a job lined up and one that will sustain you. There are people here who work a regular job and them something else, like retail, on their "time off," just to try to make ends meet. You can find both in a family doing that. Forget the great outdoor myth of Montana. It's not that it's not there, it's that you can't afford to enjoy it.

Renting is very hard to deal with. Lack of rentals and then prejudice against pets. If you find something to rent that accepts pets, then you are going to deal with a deposit AND additional rent, per pet, per month. So that rental that looked appealing will cost you $30 or more dollars per month for one pet, $60 more for two, you get the idea.

Missoula and Billings are two different geological areas, to my mind, and different mind sets. I think Billings is way more mid-west, but YMMV. Weather patterns are different and winter- well, this past winter Billings would go through slight thaws and then freeze overnight so that driving was on an ice rink, which I did not have my winter in Missoula. A-literal-ice-rink. Billings does not plow very much at all and you'd think sand was a precious commodity. However, most of it
is level unless you live up on the heights.

But really, expense is the biggest concern. So yeah, do a LOT of homework and do it well.

Last edited by Yac; 07-29-2014 at 07:44 AM..
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