An Overview of Cost of Living in Helena, MT
The cost of living in Helena affects the quality of life one can afford in this new location. It allows people to assess whether they can maintain their preferred lifestyle, including housing, leisure activities and dining options. Your total monthly expenditures can varry depending on the area, as well as many other factors. The cost of living in Helena is 104, which is 4% higher than the national average. Knowledge of the cost of living can help individuals make informed decisions about retirement savings, investments, and financial goals.
The cost of living in Helena aligns closely with the national average when compared to other cities across the nation. Everyday essentials such as groceries, goods and services, health care and utility bills are priced at a level consistent with the average in similar urban areas. Helena residents can anticipate that their daily expenses won't be significantly higher than those in an average city, ensuring that the cost of living remains manageable.
Housing costs are a major factor in the Helena cost of living index, and they often eat up a big chunk of your take-home pay. Unfortunately, in this area, housing expenses for both homeownership and rentals were 26.5% higher than what's typical in an average city. That includes the prices of homes and rents, as well as mortgage rates and insurance.
Everyday essentials such as clothing, personal hygiene products and entertainment all contribute to your overall cost of living. The good news is that in Helena, these goods and services come in at 10.2% less than the national average. This means you can enjoy the things you need and love without breaking the bank. With such savings, you have the opportunity to allocate more funds towards your savings or other financial goals, ultimately enhancing your financial well-being.
What Do Locals Say About the Cost of Living in Helena?
The most insightful perspective on a city comes from its residents. We recently surveyed 8 locals to gauge their perception of the cost of living in Helena. The feedback revealed that 38% of respondents found the cost of living to be reasonable, with prices on the decline, while 63% regarded it as notably expensive with prices that continue to rise.
Is Helena Affordable?
Is Helena an affordable place to live? It's a good question and one that you might want to ask when considering any new city, as affordability can play a huge role in the decision making process. The cost of living index (which we covered above), as well as housing costs and income levels play a vital role in determining the affordability of an area. The median home price in Helena is 42.6% higher than the national average, while the average monthly rent prices are 11% lower than average. The affordability of any location can also be influenced by median income levels. Helena has a median household income of $60,074, which is 8.6% higher than the national average.
What Factors can Influence the Cost of Living in Helena?
Groceries: Grocery expenditures have undergone notable escalation over the last 2-3 years. In some markets, the cost of food products has surged by more than 20%, while others have experienced only modest increments. These fluctuations in food costs can have a significant impact on the overall cost of living in any region. In Helena, the groceries index registers 0.3% lower than the national average.
Transportation: In cities with limited or no public transportation, residents may find it necessary to own and maintain vehicles, thereby elevating the cost of living. Monthly expenditures include fuel, insurance, routine maintenance and potential lease or financing commitments. In Helena, the transportation index stands at 2.7% higher than the national average.
Healthcare: Healthcare expenses and insurance premiums can vary significantly depending on the specific city or state. Factors such as accessibility to healthcare facilities, out-of-pocket expenses for doctor's visits, dental care expenses, prescription costs and specialized medical care fees can all influence the overall cost of living. In Helena, healthcare costs are 7% lower than the national average.
Where is the Data From?
The Helena cost of living data displayed above is derived from the C2ER cost of living index to provide a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences in urban areas. Published on a quarterly basis, it compiles data from more than 300 independent researchers, encompassing over 60 goods and services. These items have been meticulously selected to represent various consumer expenditure categories, in 6 categories. Weightings assigned to cost differentials draw from government survey data tracking spending patterns among professional and executive households. While the C2ER index excludes data on sales or income tax rates, AreaVibes incorporates tax rates into the overall cost of living score for each region.