Helena 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.
IndexHelenaMontanaNational
Cost of living index10098100
IndexHelenaMontanaNational
Goods & Services index101101100
Groceries index101101100
Health care index106106100
Housing index10497100
Transportation index9494100
Utilities index8686100
A general summary of the cost of living index in Helena, MT is shown above. Compared to the state average of Montana the cost of living index in Helena, MT is 100, which is 2% higher than the average in Montana and compared to the national average it is equal to. The cost of living index is made up of several categories. These are transportation at 9%, utilities at 10%, goods and services at 33%, housing at 30%, groceries at 13%, and health care at 5%. The bulk of the cost of living index comes from the categories of goods and services and housing. If you look at everyday goods and services they can be a good indicator in a certain city of the general costs of goods there. In Helena, MT goods and services come in at equal to the average in Montana and are 1% higher than compared to the nationwide average.

Did you know?

  • The cost of living in Helena is 2% higher than the Montana average.
  • The cost of living in Helena is equal to the national average.
  • The cost of housing in Helena is 4% higher 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
Price difference in compared to
Cost of living index
Goods & Services index
Groceries index
Health care index
Housing index
Transportation index
Utilities index
The salary calculator is meant to help you compare your salary in Helena, MT to your potential earning power in another city. This can help you deduce what your salary would need to be in any given city in order for you to live the same lifestyle that you do in your current city. In other words, if you plan on moving to a city where the cost of living is higher than in Helena, MT, you'll have to make more money in the new city in order to maintain the lifestyle you currently enjoy. To use the Helena, MT salary calculator, simply input the new city, then move the adjustable slider to match your current income. Once you've selected your income, the calculator will determine if that income is sufficient to support your standard of living in the new city you entered. The calculator will also supply you with a rundown of living costs in the new city.

Median Income & Debt-To-Income Ratio

Median IncomePer YearPer MonthMax Budget (28% DTI)Max Budget (36% DTI)
Owners$68,209$5,684$1,591$2,046
Renters$31,042$2,587$724$931
If you want to find a good determining factor for the cost of living and the general affordability of housing in Helena, MT, all you must look at is the percentage of monthly income that should be spent on housing expenses, otherwise known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Generally speaking, no more than 28 percent of your total gross income should be spent on your housing expenses and not more than 36 percent of your gross income on total expenses, including debts. In Helena, MT, the median monthly income is $68,209 for those who own their own homes. Under the standard rule, that income level would allow for $1,591 to be budgeted for housing expenses each month, at the most. Renters, on the other hand, earn about $31,042, per the median income in the area. That would allow for renters to spend up to $724 on monthly rental expenses.

Montana Sales Tax

StateGeneral Sales TaxWith Max Surtax
Montana0%0%

Montana Income Tax

StateIncome Tax (Low)Income Tax (High)
Montana1%6.9%
When you are determining the total cost of living in Helena, MT you will want to make sure you consider both the Montana sales tax and the Montana income tax rates. Sales tax come in the form of taxes levied on both services and goods that are sold. The sales tax rates are different state to state and range from zero sales tax to higher than 7%. The sales tax in Montana is 0%, with the highest surtax being 0%. Tax that is on income by the government is income tax. Different states have different income tax rates and these rates can be higher or lower dependent on the corresponding tax bracket. The state income tax rates are different state to state and range from no income tax to more than 9% income tax. The income tax rates in Montana have a range from 1% to 6.9%.

Goods & Services

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
Haircut $13.33$14.598.7%
Beauty Salon $39.00$34.6812.5%
Toothpaste $2.83$2.4714.4%
Shampoo $1.08$1.025.7%
Movie $10.25$9.873.9%
Bowling $3.75$4.3914.6%

Groceries

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
Ground Beef $3.79$4.4815.3%
Fried Chicken $1.62$1.4610.7%
Milk $2.36$2.360.1%
Potatoes $3.49$3.0614.0%
Pizza $8.99$9.242.7%
Beer $8.86$8.632.6%

Health Care

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
Optometrist $106.20$99.786.4%
Doctor $126.50$105.0320.4%
Dentist $84.33$88.704.9%
Ibuprofen $10.99$9.4116.8%
Lipitor $301.41$298.501.0%

Housing

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
Home Price $201,000.00$175,700.0014.4%
Avg. Mortgage Payment $1,257.70$1,081.0316.3%
Apartment Rent $724.00$920.0021.3%

Transportation

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
Gasoline $2.00$2.094.4%
Tire Balancing $39.75$45.2912.2%

Utilities

ItemHelenaNational avg.Difference
All Electricity$150.35$170.8012.0%
Phone $23.35$28.2617.4%
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.
East Helena, MT2,49795-5%
Helena West Side, MT1,32495-5%
Helena Valley Southeast, MT7,34099-1%
Helena Valley West Central, MT8,5021011%
Marysville, MT1141033%
Helena, MT29,142100-0%

Cities with similar population

City, StatePopulationCost of Living IndexNational Avg.
East Haven, CT29,13912121%
Hobart, IN29,13699-1%
Morristown, TN29,15287-13%
San Carlos, CA29,166211111%
Spanaway, WA29,11311010%
Helena, MT29,142100-0%
Source: The Helena, MT cost of living data displayed above is derived from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) for the fourth quarter of 2015.