As a professional truck driver, you need every advantage possible to keep ahead of costs and stay on schedule. It’s always easy to spend money and waste time, but it takes some planning and discipline to create a strategy that saves both. There are some tools and techniques you can use to make things easier on yourself.
Building Your Budget
A trucker’s income varies depending on the amount of available work, which makes budgetingessential. Blind spending contributes to waste. A budget keeps you organized and in control of your expenses at all times.
To find out your average monthly income simply divide last year’s reported income on your taxes by 12. You can also average your last three month’s pay stubs. Once you have a firm grasp of the amount of money you have to work with, set up your expenses to match. Never spend more than you actually make.
Avoid Eating Out
Fast food is probably the worst thing that you can possibly eat. Not only is it unhealthy, it is also expensive. The cost to eat at fast food restaurants every day quickly adds up. You may think that the convenience of ordering food to go makes it worth the price, but with some careful planning you can create an affordable meal strategy that works with your own schedule.
Shop at grocery stores, and keep healthy snacks with you on the road. Keep containers with food that you like. Buying food in bulksaves you money, and when you already have meals in the truck with you, there is no need to make extra stops to eat.
Use Online Financial Tools
With online tools, you can access your financial information from anywhere in the world. Data, mobile aps, and banking services keep you informed and organized. File your taxes electronically, and take advantage of software to keep track of invoices, registration, and 2290 tax forms. You can also set up automatic bill pay schedules. This helps to keep your budget under control, and prevents late fees.
Stretch Your Budget with Deals
Memberships and rewards programs help you to reduce costs on things that you normally purchase. When you are traveling across the country, truck stop chains often have membership cards that are easy to register for. Depending on the points or value systems they offer, you could end up with free fuel, or discounted prices on the truck services you already use.
Avoid Cash Advances
It costs money to use cash, so learn to live without it whenever possible. Taking out a cash advance on a credit card comes with additional interest and ATM charges. If you take too much cash out of your personal checking account, you run the risk of incurring overdraft fees. Low interest credit cards offer incentives when making purchases. Pay them off regularly to keep finance charges low.