Whether you’re just starting out in trucking or wanting to become more budget conscious, there are many things you can do to cut back on expenses and stay on budget.
Here are a few ways you can truck while living on a budget.
-Stop eating out and cook in your truck.
Cooking in your truck is an easy way to save a lot of money. Truck stop meals can cost as much as $12-$15 per meal. If you’re eating out 2-3 times a day, you’re spending as much as $300-$500 a month eating fast food.
Cooking in your truck can save you $1,500 a year or more!
-Make your own laundry detergent.
This is so much easier than it sounds, and it can save you a lot of money over time. Laundry detergent can be very costly, but making your own laundry detergent is a breeze!
I typically spend $15 on 50 ounces of my favorite brand’s laundry detergent, but making your own laundry detergent only costs $11 for 5 gallons!
Follow these links for easy homemade laundry detergent recipes.
-Stock up on essentials before heading out on the road.
Truck stops often have highly inflated prices. Stock up on groceries, toiletries and essentials before heading out on the road.
-Skip truck stop soft drinks and coffee.
Even if you’re only buying one soft drink, tea or coffee per day, that can really add up. A fountain soft drink can cost as much as an entire 2-liter of soda. Stock up on your favorite pop before you hit the road.
Make your coffee in your truck or buy a truck stop coffee and add your favorite coffee creamer. Cutting out a daily gourmet coffee can save you as much as $2,190 per year!
Instead, stock up on instant coffee, invest in a coffee pot and some flavored coffee additives. There are many coffee additives on the market that can really spruce up your coffee.
-Network with other drivers on money-saving tips.
Truck Driver Money Savings Tips is a great resource for drivers on ways to save money while on the road. The website is operated by former truck drivers. Check the site frequently for coupons, recipes and money-saving tips.
-Create a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly budget and stick to it!
Sit down and write out a weekly or monthly budget. Plan how much you will spend on groceries, eating out, clothing, bills, etc., but also include an “unplanned” expenses budget. Often times, those unplanned expenses add up fast or eat into your other expenses. By making allowances for unplanned expenses, you won’t be caught off guard.
Keeping a track of every penny you spend by keeping a daily expense log. This will also help you with the end of the year tax deductions.
There are several apps that help you track your money. Mint is my favorite money-tracking app. The app is free and ties into your bank accounts.
Dave Ramsey suggests using cash via the envelope method. The envelope method works like this:
-Plan out your weekly or bi-weekly budget.
-Withdraw cash for all your purchases and put your budgeted amounts into individual labeled envelopes: one for groceries; one for eating out; one for entertainment; one for clothing and shoes; one for misc expenses; etc.
-Use specific envelopes for specific expenses.
-Don’t tap into envelopes for unrelated expenses. Once the designated envelope’s money is gone, it’s gone.
Dave Ramsey says that cash is typically harder to part with, and in my experience, he’s right.
-Invest in yourself!
If you have a hard time saving money, you’re not alone.
A new app called Digit helps you save money. The app creators developed an advanced algorithm to pull little amounts of money from your checking account at a time and deposit into savings for you.
Digit uses an advanced algorithm to save you money here and there without you noticing. First it tracks your spending to see what you’re buying– a coffee here, a soda there– then it automatically starts pulling bits here and there and putting it into a savings for you!
Eugene Kim of Business Insider said the app analyzes, “The level of money in your checking account, upcoming salary, upcoming bills, and how you’ve been spending lately. With some banks, Digit can pull three years of transaction data.”
The whole point is to start saving without noticing a big amount being transferred over.
Digit guarantees it will never overdraft your account. “We believe so strongly in our math and the ability to safely identify money you don’t need that if we overdraft your account we’ll pay the fee,” Digit states.
Give the app a try!