You’ve got your commercial driver’s license now what? Sure! You’re not stuck in a cubical or attending endless meetings. Being a long-haul truck driver has a few of its own challenges. And, the first, is how to save money on the road. Creating — and sticking to — a budget helps ensure that you minimize the costs and maximize your earnings while trucking. Let’s take a look at some insider budgeting tips for truckers.
Practical Budgeting Tips for Truckers
Create a Budget for Your Truck Driving Jobs
Keep a diary for any income you earn and all the expenses incurred per trip, monthly and annually. Before you hit the road, anticipate any expenses likely expenses on the road. This can include expenses for a single trip. Think fuel, meals, tools, toiletries, lodging, and even showers! Other expenses are longer-term and should be amortized across all your trips. These include things like plate fees, licensing fees,
insurance, entertainment (think your Spotify premium account or iTunes), and your cell phone plan. Divide the annual or monthly total by the number of trips you drive, this gives you an idea of your real cost per job. Having a budget will go a long way to ensuring you make as much as possible on every job you accept.
As a long-haul trucker, it is of utmost importance to map out the journey for every truck-driving job you accept. Knowing your route and expected weather conditions will help you to plan for the journey ahead. Use your favorite search engine to identify what resources will be at your disposal and to find places offering potential discounts for fuel or supplies. For example, if you’re aware you’ll encounter heavy rains that might create delays and cause you to seek emergency lodging, you can plan for this in your budget.
Meal Prep for Your Trip
Did you know that truckers can spend up to $8,000 on meals while in transit? As much it seems steep, this happens. Meal prepping can help truckers save thousands of dollars annually. For drivers who don’t have a microwave or refrigerator in their rig, we suggest investing in a good cooler, frozen ice packs, and Tupperware. This will help keep the contents of your cooler from becoming soggy when the ice melts. Choose meals that can be eaten cold and avoid dairy. Skip the sandwiches and chips. Think pasta salad with a vinaigrette dressing and quinoa or rice-based bowls with lots of long-lasting fiber and protein like beans. Also, be sure to pack lots of water — dehydration, even if it’s mild, can create fatigue and mental fog.
Use Gas Station Rewards to Cash in on Your CDL
Gas station reward programs can be quite useful for truckers. Apart from saving hundreds to thousands of dollars when refilling your big rig, you could also use this opportunity to use the Wi-Fi to call home and check emails. Some rewards programs even result in free showers.
Being on the road is incredible. You’re keeping America going. Maximize your earnings while trucking with these tips for saving. These budging tips for truckers will help whether you are driving local, statewide, or regionally.
Interested in becoming a truck driver in Texas? We offer CDL training in San Antonio and Austin. Learn more about our Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator training program, and hit the road in no time.
This article was published on: 03/15/21 12:05 AM
* SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI. As an accredited post-secondary institution, SCI has various federal financial assistance programs available for students who qualify and are enrolled in SCI programs. This does not apply to seminar students.