Columbia Falls cost of living index

In the event that the cost of living data was unavailable for this city, estimates based upon nearby cities were used. Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.
IndexColumbia FallsMontanaNational
Cost of living index9498100
IndexColumbia FallsMontanaNational
Goods & Services index95101100
Groceries index92101100
Health care index114106100
Housing index9597100
Transportation index9394100
Utilities index8186100
Displayed above is a general overview of the Columbia Falls, MT cost of living index. The overall cost of living index in Columbia Falls, MT is 94, which is 4% lower than the Montana average and 6% lower than the national average. The cost of living index is created from the following categories: goods/services (33%), groceries (13%), health care (5%), housing (30%), transportation (9%) and utilities (10%). As you can see, goods/services and housing make up the majority of the overall cost of living index. Everyday goods and services can be a good indicator of the general cost of goods in a given city. In this case, the goods and services in Columbia Falls, MT are 6% lower than the Montana average and 5% lower than the national average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Columbia Falls is 4% lower than the Montana average.
  • The cost of living in Columbia Falls is 6% lower than the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Columbia Falls is 5% lower than the national average.
  • Montana general sales tax is 100% lower than the national average.
  • Montana state income tax is 55% lower than the national average.

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Salary Calculator

This is how much you would need to earn in
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Cost of living index
Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
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The salary calculator is used in order to provide a comparison of your current salary in Columbia Falls, MT to another city of your choice. The calculator will inform you of what your salary needs to be in any specific city in order for you to maintain your living standard based on what the city’s cost of living is. As an example, if you are seeking to move to a city that has a higher cost of living compared to Columbia Falls, MT, you would have to earn a higher income to maintain a standard of living that is similar. To get started with the Columbia Falls, MT salary calculator, input the new city’s name and then move the slider to indicate your current income. The salary calculator will now process the numbers and show you whether you need to earn more or less in the chosen city. A comprehensive breakdown of the cost of living will also be shown.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$48,594$4,050$1,134$1,458
Renters$40,086$3,341$935$1,203
One can approximate the cost of living and the housing affordability in Columbia Falls, MT by the percentage of a person’s income that he or she spends on the monthly housing, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). To stay on the safe side and keep one’s head above the water, a consumer should never spend more than 28 percent of his or her gross income on housing-related expenses and costs and not more than 36 percent of income on all expenses and debts. Homeowners in Columbia Falls, MT have a median income of $48,594. Therefore, the amount that a consumer should spend on housing costs should be no more than $1,134 per month to avoid calamity and poverty. The renters in the city have an income of about $40,086, which would make their monthly maximum allowable rental costs $935.

Montana Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Montana0%0%

Montana Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Montana1%6.9%
One thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of living in Columbia Falls, MT is the Montana sales tax and Montana income tax rates. Sales taxes are taxes that are collected on most goods or services sold. Sales taxes can vary by state and can be as high as 7% and as low as 0% as not every state imposes a sales tax. The Montana sales tax rate is 0% and the maximum surtax that can be charged is 0%. Income tax is the tax imposed on income by both the federal and state government. The income tax rates varies by individual state and will also be higher or lower depending on the applicable tax bracket. The rates of state income tax can vary from 0% to more than 9%. The Montana income tax rates range from 1% to 6.9%.

Goods & Services

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
Haircut $14.60$14.590.0%
Beauty Salon $35.00$34.680.9%
Toothpaste $2.96$2.4719.7%
Shampoo $1.25$1.0222.3%
Movie $10.50$9.876.4%
Bowling $4.64$4.395.7%

Groceries

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $4.08$4.488.9%
Fried Chicken $1.40$1.464.4%
Milk $2.02$2.3614.3%
Potatoes $1.62$3.0647.1%
Pizza $9.37$9.241.4%
Beer $9.44$8.639.3%

Health Care

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $122.74$99.7823.0%
Doctor $136.86$105.0330.3%
Dentist $96.20$88.708.5%
Ibuprofen $10.00$9.416.2%
Lipitor $311.32$298.504.3%

Housing

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
Home Price $169,900.00$175,700.003.3%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $971.74$1,081.0310.1%
Apartment Rent $825.00$920.0010.3%

Transportation

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $1.73$2.0917.1%
Tire Balancing $55.33$45.2922.2%

Utilities

ItemColumbia FallsNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$141.93$170.8016.9%
Phone $22.01$28.2622.1%
Although the cost of living data is updated regularly, this cost of living information is to be used as estimates only as prices can change on an ongoing basis.

Nearby cities with low cost of living

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Hungry Horse, MT89880-20%
Coram, MT56091-9%
Evergreen, MT6,71191-9%
Martin City, MT46891-9%
Kalispell, MT20,62995-5%
Columbia Falls, MT4,76594-6%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
Grandyle Village, NY4,76690-10%
Kittery, ME4,76612727%
Tara Hills, CA4,76712929%
Eagleville CDP (Montgomery County), PA4,76812525%
Evansdale, IA4,76887-13%
Columbia Falls, MT4,76594-6%
Source: The Columbia Falls, MT cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.