Living on the road as a truck driver is a difficult job but living on the road as a broke truck driver is even harder. Having self-discipline to watch your spending isn’t as easy as it sounds. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered five tips on how to save money while on the road.
Make life on the road simpler and cheaper by planning ahead. If you are preparing for a longer trip, stock up on supplies that you think you’ll want before hitting the road. Bring non-perishable groceries and pack your toiletries and electronics beforehand to save money. You don’t want to spend unnecessary money, so even packing your own toothbrush and floss rather than purchasing it at the rest stop store will save you something. Truck stop prices can sometimes be high, causing you to spend unnecessary dough. Save money by organizing before you begin your trip and only bring the necessities with you.
When it comes to planning ahead, meal prepping can be another great tip on how to save money while on the road. According to an article in CDL Life, bringing your own food on the road can save you roughly $1,500 a year alone! Even making your coffee at home instead of buying out every day can save you roughly $2,000 a year. Preparing your meals ahead of time will save you from extra spending, plus it’s a healthier alternative to eating fast food for every meal. Below are lists of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas that you can prep before hitting the road.
For more tips, ideas, and recipes on meal prepping, click right here.
Creating a budget for yourself will help you be more aware of how to save money. Write out a weekly or monthly budget with what you plan to spend on necessities like food, bills, etc. Add a section for unplanned expenses with a fixed amount so that you don’t go over budget. This can be your rainy-day fund for any unexpected expenses that may occur. Utilizing mobile apps can be a great way to budget and stay on top of your expenses. Mint® is a budget management app that tracks user spending. Mint® categorizes your transactions, tracks your bills, alerts you when you’ve exceeded maximum spending, and even provides free credit score monitoring. Many truck drivers utilize this app to keep track of their finances while traveling.
Along with budgeting, it can also be beneficial for you to keep a daily expense log for your finances. Add up how much money you spend every day to help you be more conscious of your spending habits and what you’re spending your money on. You’d be surprised at where your money goes.
Maintaining the safety of your truck can save you so much money. Before you hit the road, check all the nuts and bolts on the vehicle to make sure everything is running properly. Be proactive by getting frequent oil changes or filling up your tires with air. Running into a mechanical problem is frustrating, inconvenient, and can put you behind schedule. If you do happen to run into a problem, contact fellow truckers or other colleagues in the industry to see if they can recommend local mechanics in that area who can help.
You’d be surprised at how many discounts you can receive while on the road. Many hotels and restaurants provide discounted prices and according to Transport Topics, Cracker Barrel offers free coffee and fountain drinks to truck drivers. Drivers can also receive a 25 percent discount at Papa Johns, free coffee at Starbucks, and 15 percent off online orders at Denny’s. Rewards cards and loyalty programs are also offered at select truck stops. Some CDL discounts can even help you save money on fuel, coffee, showering, etc. At Trinity Logistics, we offer a discount program to our carriers that is free to join and gives drivers access to industry-wide fleet savings. Want to learn more about this program? Click here.
There are several mobile apps on the market that offer ways for you to save money. GasBuddy offers a database of over 150,000 fuel stations that you can utilize to find the cheapest prices. GasBuddy also offers free gas coupons if you use your GasBuddy app or card to pay at Walmart, Amazon, and other big name retailers. Love’s Connect is also a free app used to redeem points and rewards. When you fuel up at any of Love’s travel stops you will earn points for refueling. These points can be used to redeem free shop items or free showers. Taking advantage of these apps and the rewards systems can help you save money.
Data usage can add up when traveling long distances. While unlimited data is an option, many people still have set data plans that charge you over usage fees when you go over the limit. This is why you as a truck driver need to utilize places with free WIFI any chance they get. Free WIFI is at almost every establishment these days, so simply ask if the place that you’re at has this option. The worst they could do is say no!
Life on the road can definitely challenge your willpower to spend. Being mindful of your spending and making use of these tips and resources can help. We hope this article gave you some ideas and that you save some money while traveling on the job.
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