Cost of Living in the Magic City - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Cost of Living in the Magic City

Posted: Updated:
BILLINGS -

The economy in Billings is doing fairly well since the unemployment rate has come down and is below 4% locally.

However, the expense of living in the Magic City seems to be going up. The cost of living is fairly high for the amount of the average household income in Billings, and according to MSU-Billings Economist Scott Rickard, that's around $50,000.

"Locally we are seeing rents go up so if you happen to be one of those households that need to find a new place to rent then you would be seeing those prices go up," says Rickard.

And it's not just rent.

"There is some evidence that we're going to see increased prices especially for those parts of the food stuffs that come from wheat and things that we affected by the drought last year," says Rickard.

So what is the magic number households should bring in, in order to make needs meet?

Billings Resident Wendy Maysick takes a guess.

"Probably about twenty-five to thirty-thousand is fair. You're not going to have a lot of extras but it is what it is," says Maysick.

Memory Kessel, mother of three, also tries her luck.

"I would say with a family of children, probably at least three grand a month," says Kessel.

Billings Resident Fitzgerald Clark has an estimate.

"I think its probably around forty to fifty thousand dollars," says Fitzgerald.

Amy Aguiree works at Angela's Piazza who says she tries to provide financial help to struggling women in Billings who still have steady paychecks.

"Everyone really needs to pitch in and start working together, there's a lot of separation between the upper class and the lower class and its really distressing to see that happening," says Aguiree.

While the median income is lower than the national average, $60,000, it still doesn't stop Billings residents from making it work.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Majority of Joyce St. Property Owners Want Road Improvements

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:19:23 GMT
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
    Packed in a local restaurant dining room, property owners along Joyce St., in the Heights, gave the city the green light on drawing up plans to improve their street.Over two dozen Joyce St. property owners showed up. At the end of the meeting, it was suggested a hand raising vote be held to let the city know property owners were serious about the road improvement plans.David Mumford, City of Billings Public Works Director, said in September, there will be a final meeting to get the necessary ...
  • Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Lonnie Bells Rings in His 90th Birthday

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:30 GMT
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
    For five decades, Lonnie Bell has been on the airwaves in the Magic City and surrounding area. Bell is a well known disc jockey, with connections to some of country music's biggest names: Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Merle Travis, and John Prine, just to name a few.Bell's family and friends came from all over Montana and the country.Bell's granddaughter, Marti Bell said
  • Carbon County Fair

    Carbon County Fair

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:01:21 GMT

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.

    The Carbon County Fair was in full swing Thursday in Red Lodge.