As a truck driver, your job is stressful. You spend long hours driving every day. You work hard and certainly look to maximize your earnings once they hit your bank account.
Here are 5 helpful tips for saving money as a truck driver.
1. Keep a Budget
The best way to keep track of your money, is to actually keep track of it somewhere. Use a fancy online program, a free smartphone app or just a good old-fashioned notebook. No matter which way you choose to do it, just make sure every dollar in and out is planned and tracked. Get started now if you haven’t already, and you can always adjust as you go.
- Create a separate account just for driving to help streamline budgeting. Bonus, use a credit card that pays a reward on all purchases.
- Pay all bills and taxes promptly to avoid penalties and late fees. Go paperless and use auto-pay options whenever possible.
- Keep all receipts in a designated place to avoid losing them. Make it a habit to put receipts away as soon as you get them.
2. Be Efficient
This can go a long way to saving money as a truck driver. Planning the most efficient routes can save gas and money on tolls. Using your cruise-control consistently and effectively will save on gas consumption.
Cruise-control can also keep you from exceeding the speed limit and racking up unwanted tickets and speeding penalties. Keeping up with all maintenance on your truck can also be a great way to save money as a truck driver. Doing what you can to prevent breakdowns will help your bottom line.
3. Plan Well & Be Prepared
As much as possible, avoid buying things at truck stops or convenience stores. Food can be a BIG daily expense. If you can pack and bring food with you, you will eat healthier and save money daily. Plan your laundry out well, and you can save time and money by avoiding lines and costs of using coin operated machines.
Have a well-stocked first aid kit and personal care kit vs. having to buy these things on the road at convenience stores. Though emergencies do arise, everything you can buy at home instead of on the road will save money.
4. Participate in Loyalty Programs
If you do love a certain brand of coffee or slice of pizza on the go, join their loyalty program. It’s usually quite easy to sign-up for a loyalty card at restaurants, truck stops, gas stations and even hotels. Your purchases could turn into a future free cup of coffee, sub sandwich, a shower or even a night’s stay in a hotel as points accumulate. Additionally, ask any local restaurants, hotels or even insurance companies if they offer CDL discounts. Even a 5% savings a few times per year will help keep money in your bank account.
5. Use Free WiFi
Whenever possible, use free Wi-Fi when you’re stopped for a break, or for the night. Data plans on your phone can be expensive. Spending a lot of time away from home can help you blow through your monthly data allowance. Using free Wi-Fi at truck stops, restaurants, coffee stops to take care of things on your smartphone can shave off time against your monthly data and help avoid overage charges over time. Just look for a sign and ask for the password.
Some of these tips might seem obvious, but it can’t hurt to check and see if you’re really maximizing the savings that are available to you. Take a look at your last few trips and review your biggest expenses or where you were over budget. Tightening up on your trip preparation routines, personal efficiencies, and budgeting skills can turn into big savings at the end of the year.
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