Someone on Reddit asked an interesting question.  They're a family of four and are considering moving to Bozeman. They wanted to know what would be an estimated salary to live "comfortably" in Bozeman.

Great question.

I suppose we should probably look at this in a couple of different ways.  There is certainly a difference between living here and living here comfortably. First off, there's the cost of housing. This is an endless conversation that we Bozemanites have on a regular basis.  Houses are incredibly high, as is rent.  In fact, my wife and I just received a letter in the mail, and surprise surprise, our rent is going up. However, that isn't the only thing that is costly here in Bozeman and Montana.

So, how much do you need to live comfortably here in Bozeman?

Women relaxing poolside

A whole lot of folks had a whole lot to say regarding the topic.  Someone suggested that if you want to live comfortably here in Bozeman, you need a minimum of 120 thousand combined per year for a family of four. Although, to be honest with you, 120 thousand a year combined isn't going to get you much of a house, if any house at all with the real estate market the way it is right now in Bozeman. However, you will have some options when it comes to rentals.

. .

So is housing the only thing that's high-priced here in Bozeman? Unfortunately, no.

Many folks chimed in on the Reddit post about how expensive car insurance is here in Montana. In fact, one person stated, "We pay twice as much here as we did in Indiana". While I don't pay twice as much, our car insurance is more expensive now prior to moving back to Montana.  Other things that cost more according to Bozemanites?

  • Gas
  • Utilities
  • Groceries
  • Dining out/Restaurants

I would agree with all of that.  Of course, gas prices are high everywhere right now, so that's not really a Montana or a Bozeman thing, but utilities, groceries, and dining out can be pretty pricey here in Bozeman.  So, if you're reading this and thinking about moving here, be prepared to pay more.

supermarket perspective

I would even suggest that you go ahead and ask for a raise now because more than likely you will need it once you get here. I'm not sure that even at 120K a year you can live comfortably here in Bozeman with a family of four, or it depends on what your definition of "comfortable" is.

For the average family of four, a whole lot of money is being spent on groceries, daycare/school, car payments, healthcare premiums, social outings, and hopefully, retirement and savings.  When you add all that up, PLUS the cost of housing that 120k doesn't go very far in that situation.

Fiscal Cliff
Torian Dixon

What do you think?  How much do you think is required to live comfortably here in Bozeman?

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