10 Ways to Save Money as a Truck Driver
Follow these 14 simple money saving tips for truckers if you’re trying to lower your trucking expenses and keep more of your hard-earned cash in your bank account.
Being on the road is hard for anyone. The worst part of being on the road is if you are out there without money. Nothing says, "I'm stranded more than that." Here are 10 tips on how you can save money on the road!
1. When you places make to ask about and use CDL discounts
You already have your CDL, why not put it to work for you? There are hundreds of places that will give you a CDL discount if you ask. Hotels are known for giving out discounts for truckers, but there are tons of other places that do as well.
Tickets can add an unexpended expense to your route, so avoid getting them at all costs. Most, if not all, tickets come with an attached fine. The price of said fine depends on what you’re getting ticketed for and what state you’re in.
Buying and preparing your own meals is the number one way to save money as a truck driver. Think about it this way — An average meal at a fast food chain restaurant is between $5 and $7. If you eat out twice a day for a week, you’ve already spent close to $100. Do that for a year and it’ll cost you anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000. That’s a hefty chunk of change.
4. Make a budget and stick to it
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s on the top of the list for a reason. Creating a trucking budget is your biggest asset when it comes to saving money on the road. It does take some work to get your budget started – estimating how much money you are going to spend monthly, weekly, etc. is harder than it sounds. But once that step is done, you’re in the clear. Just log how much money you spent out of your allotted budget each time you purchase something.
5. Pay your insurance as a lump sum
When purchasing insurance, opt to pay for it yearly (or in full). It might be a commitment, but it will save you a hefty chunk of change. If you choose to pay your insurance quarterly or monthly, you will have to pay a familiar annual percentage rate, or APR.
6. Factor your invoices
If you find yourself in a position where you need money for expenses but don’t get paid until you drop off your load, consider factoring your freight bills. By doing so, you’ll get paid in as little as a few hours and won’t have to take out a loan. The money you receive from factoring can cover expenses, such as meals, and anything else you encounter on your trucking journey.
7. Do your taxes properly
Another tip for truck drivers looking to save money – make sure your taxes are done correctly, especially if you are an owner-operator. Keep your receipts so you can claim certain deductibles, such as supplies, meals and lodging.
A great way for truck drivers to save money is by exercising. According to the New York Times, 86 percent of all truck drivers are overweight. In 2008, $149 billion dollars was spent treating obesity-related healthcare problems. Fighting obesity by staying healthy on the road will save you an unbelievable amount of money in prescriptions and medical bills.
9. Use WIFI as much as possible
WIFI is a trucker’s best friend. Many drivers are turning away from CB radio and instead turning to their phone and computer for interaction while on long hauls. Texting and calling are normally free with most cell phone plans, but internet data is something you’re going to have to pay extra for
10. Avoid breakdowns and expensive repairs
Buying and preparing your own meals is the number one way to save money as a truck driver. Think about it this way — An average meal at a fast food chain restaurant is between $5 and $7. If you eat out twice a day for a week, you’ve already spent close to $100. Do that for a year and it’ll cost you anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.
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