If you’re looking to settle down in Big Sky Country but don’t have a huge budget, consider moving to one of these cities. These Montana towns offer a low cost of living along with access to all the benefits of a state known for its spectacular natural landscapes.
Attractions In Places To Live In Montana
If you want to live in a place that offers scenic views, outdoor access and an affordable cost of living, then Montana is the right state for you. Its pristine natural beauty is sure to impress you, and there are plenty of towns that offer fun ’Montana’ activities like rock hounding, rafting, hot-spring steeping and skiing.
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Known as “the most livable town in Montana,” Bozeman is a charming mountain city with fantastic views and lots of new restaurants. It also has excellent schools, easy access to a small airport, a strong job market and an exciting young community.
The second largest city in Montana, Missoula is an artsy college town with lots of restaurants and breweries. It also has four shopping centers and 400 acres of parkland, making it an ideal location for hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter.
If you’re looking for a little more old-fashioned western hospitality, Butte has it all. It’s a historic city that grew up during the fur trades, the logging boom and the arrival of railroads in the 1880s. It has a charming downtown filled with quirky shops and restaurants.
With dramatic sandstone cliffs stretching into the sky above the town, Billings is a popular destination for skiers and outdoor lovers alike. It’s also a basecamp for Yellowstone National Park, which boasts 3,500 miles of trails, rushing waterfalls and geysers.
Miles City, set at the convergence of Yellowstone and Tongue rivers, offers plenty of family-friendly outdoor recreation. It’s also home to many historical sites and museums that celebrate the area’s rich “Old West” history.
If you are looking for a low-cost place to live in Montana, Colstrip might be just what you need. It is a quaint town with house-lined streets, good schools, affordable child care, a public library and an active senior community.
It has a strong economy and plenty of jobs for local people, but the town is facing some challenges as the coal-fired power plant scales back. Some residents worry that the plant will soon lay off workers, similar to the 600 job losses at Blackjewel mining in Wyoming in July.
A mine feeds the plant with 10 million tons of coal a year. The coal-fired plant provides employment for about 1,400 people and helps offset the taxes farmers and ranchers pay in Rosebud County. Without the power plant, the county would lose money and tax revenues could drop.
In an effort to keep the plant open and ensure the community’s future, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), one of the owners of units 1 and 2, has set aside $10 million for Colstrip. The fund is administered by a board of local community members and can be used for grants, short-term loans or a permanent endowment.
|Weather||13 °C, Wind W at 27 km/h|
|Area code||Area code 406|
Wolf Point #2
Wolf Point is a small town that takes pride in its close-knit community. It’s the largest city on Fort Peck Indian Reservation and is home to Montana’s oldest rodeo, called the “Grandaddy of Montana Rodeos”.
Located in the northeastern part of the state where Wolf Creek flows into the Missouri River, it is a trade point for local farmers and ranchers. It’s also a center for the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes.
According to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute, Wolf Point has a very affordable cost of living for its residents. The average annual cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, and taxes for a single adult is $36,082 in Wolf Point.
It is also an affordable place to live compared to the rest of Montana and the United States. A single adult spends an average of $3,585 on food annually in Wolf Point, about $2,200 less than the national average.
As a part of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Wolf Point has a strong blend of tribal and non-tribal residents. Today it’s a community of just under 3000 people steeped in culture, tradition and old-world values.
|Weather||11 °C, Wind W at 16 km/h|
Billings is a trailhead to Montana’s natural wonders and historic sites. It is also a thriving hub of progressive regional commerce providing healthcare, transportation, diverse educational opportunities and cuisine, arts and culture.
Residents in Billings are genuinely good, kind and hardworking people who have a perspective on life that is uniquely Montanan and inherently individual. Whether they live in Billings to do business, raise their family, retire or just play, they truly enjoy being a part of the community where they reside.
For those who wish to make Billings their home, the housing market is quite affordable. In fact, according to Zillow, the average cost of a home in February 2023 was $430,528, which is much cheaper than other cities in Montana.
Fortunately, the city of Billings has made affordable housing a priority. In order to ensure that all residents can afford a place to call home, the city has created several programs to assist low-income families in finding housing that is both affordable and safe. This includes the Billings Housing Initiative, which provides financial assistance to low-income families in need of a new home.
|Weather||12°C, Wind SW at 11 km/h|
|Population||1.17 lakhs (2021)|
The city of Bozeman is home to a diverse mix of people who enjoy the area’s many outdoor opportunities. The town’s thriving arts community is also a draw, offering a variety of cultural experiences.
But as it grows, Bozeman is also facing an affordability crisis, says Headwaters Community Housing Trust Executive Director Michael Brown. The market is flooded with out-of-state money from wealthy developers, which has skewed the price of housing upward.
In fact, the average rent for a studio apartment in Bozeman is almost $2000. This is significantly higher than the national average for a comparable studio.
The city is trying to address this issue through several different approaches. One is to add more market-rate homes to the housing pool. The other is to provide businesses with opportunities to invest in housing their employees can afford.
|Weather||10°C, Wind W at 14 km/h|
Scobey, Montana is a great place to live for those who want to enjoy an affordable living environment. It is a relatively young community, and it has experienced substantial growth over the last few years.
It has also become a great location for business. It is located on the Great Northern Railroad and is one of the largest primary wheat shipping points in North America.
In addition to its excellent schools, this area of Montana is also a great place for people who want to enjoy the outdoors. The area is surrounded by hundreds of miles of state land, making it an ideal spot for whitetail deer hunting.
Throughout the year, Scobey hosts several events that help to promote its local economy. These include the Daniels County Fair, which features a carnival, petting zoo, 4-H activities and more.
|Area code||Area code 406|
Chinook is a town in Blaine County, just 20 miles from Havre on Highway 2. It’s a great place to stay while visiting the area. One of the advantages of living in Chinook is that it’s relatively affordable compared to most other areas in Montana.
The cost of housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and taxes are all lower than the average across the state. This is due in part to the fact that Chinook was established with a bit more foresight than many other towns on the ‘Hi-Line’.
The streets are tree-lined and there are several large parks, including a municipal pool. The local economy is still largely agricultural, but it has seen occasional oil and gas discoveries that have provided the community with a boost. The town is also a popular stop along the ‘Bears Paw Mountains Backcountry Drive’.
|Weather||3°C, Wind N at 11 km/h|
|Area code||Area code 406|
Located in the Flathead Valley, Kalispell is a city with a lot of outdoor excitement. It is also known for its rich history and culture. One of the best things about living in Kalispell is that it is incredibly affordable. The cost of housing is 14% less expensive here than the national average, and utility costs are 10% lower as well.
This is not only good for the environment, but it means that you can enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle and be able to save money in the long run. This can help you pay off debt faster or put some extra cash aside for a retirement fund.
Healthcare is also more affordable in Kalispell than in other parts of the country. Medical services are 1.5% lower than the national average here, and transportation is less expensive as well.
If you want to enjoy all of the fun and beauty that this area has to offer without breaking the bank, Kalispell is the place for you! It is also home to many cool museums and delectable local restaurants. Plus, it is a great base to explore Glacier National Park!
|Weather||7°C, Wind W at 3 km/h|
|Elevation||2,956 ft (901 m)|
Helena, Montana is a beautiful city that offers a quiet, happy atmosphere. It also has a lot to offer for those who love the outdoors. It is home to the Helena International Airport, the University of Montana, and a variety of museums and shops.
The cost of living in Helena is quite low compared to the rest of Montana and the country at large. Health care, housing, and utilities all cost less than in other areas of the state. There are a number of affordable housing programs available in Helena. These include the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.
Assisted Living communities in Helena are regulated by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. These facilities must adhere to a set of laws and regulations that protect the rights and safety of their residents.
The average cost of assisted living in Helena is $4,150 per month, which is lower than the cost of care in other parts of Montana. In Missoula, seniors pay about $500 more per month and in Billings, they’ll shell out around $400 more.
|Weather||12°C, Wind W at 21 km/h|
|Elevation||3,875 ft (1,181 m)|
|Founded||October 30, 1864|
FAQs about Live In Montana
How do people in Montana live?
People in Montana tend to live a more rural lifestyle, with a strong emphasis on outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Many also work in the agriculture and natural resources industries. The state’s wide-open spaces and natural beauty make it an attractive place for those who enjoy a slower pace of life.
What is the best part about living in Montana?
The best part about living in Montana is the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds you. From the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the wide-open plains, there’s no shortage of stunning landscapes to explore. In addition, the state’s tight-knit communities and slower pace of life create a sense of belonging and connectedness that’s hard to find elsewhere.