Some people choose to sit behind a wheel instead of a desk for work. These resilient individuals are truck drivers who dedicate long hours on the road to get products to and from different cities. There are short-haul and long-haul, or OTR (over-the-road), drivers depending on the miles of their delivery routes. Whatever type of driver you are, you have to make sacrifices that can take a personal hit not only on your personal life but also on your wallet. But there are money-saving tips for truckers to ensure you are making your job worth the miles on the road.
Before even considering other methods to saving money, it is important to budget. Download an app or create a personalized spreadsheet that allows you to plug in all of your expenses for the month. Give yourself monthly allowances for different categories and stick to them. Your spending should be less than you make. Remember to live within your means and put money aside for things that will matter later.
2. Sign Up for Restaurant Rewards
Being on the road means not being able to buy groceries for home-cooked meals. Download apps to restaurants you typically go to and start earning rewards points. Also, subscribe to restaurant rewards programs and be part of their email lists to get regular coupons and notifications of deals. It would help to create a separate email account specifically for these perks to avoid spam in your regular account.
3. Create a Comfortable Seating Area
While not an immediate money-saving method, setting up a comfortable seating area may help you make less stops on the road (plus help avoid strain on your body). Establish the most ergonomic position for you and alternate your position every hour or so. Use cushions or lumbar support pillows.
4. Spruce Up the Cabby
The truck cabby is not always the ideal place to rest, but it is helpful for saving money on the road. Take time to find a comfortable mattress and add details to the cabby to make it feel homier. This may help dissuade you from paying to stay in a hotel.
5. Look for Lodging
While you can save money resting and sleeping in your cabby, it is beneficial for your health to do your reset in an actual room. Check out options for bed and breakfasts or find a home that is being rented out. These may be cheaper than the typical lodging chains. If hotels or motels are cheaper in your rest areas, do not forget to ask about their rewards programs.
6. Save on Laundry
When you do stay in a hotel or short-term rental, take advantage of the free laundry units. Have plenty to wear and hold off on doing laundry until your stay.
7. Stock Up on Shampoo and Soap
The benefits of staying in a hotel is that many of them provide consumable goods for their guests, such as shampoo and soap. Sometimes they even offer free beverages and snacks. These are expected to be used and taken, so stock up on these items during your stay and keep them handy for the road.
8. Shop for Vehicle Insurance
9. Stretch and Exercise Regularly
Driving trucks for a living can mean being sedentary for long periods of time. Take time to stretch and do some light exercises every couple of hours. This may prevent physical issues in the long run that could lead to costly medical bills.
10. Get Regular Medical Checkups
Along with the previous tip, schedule and go to your regular checkups. Preventative care is less costly than having to treat an ailment that could have been prevented or addressed early on. This includes regular dental visits.
11. Learn Some Mechanical Skills
Maintaining and repairing your own truck can help save money on the road as you avoid labor fees from auto repair shops.
12. Ask for CDL Discounts
Truckers can often get Commercial Driver’s License discounts for lodging, food and even automobile insurance. Do not hesitate to ask businesses if they offer CDL discounts wherever you are.
Being a truck driver takes dedication and can be a high-salary job if you stick with it long enough. But while you wait to reap the rewards, learn how to save money driving a truck with these helpful tips. Stick to your budget and with it hit the ground running – or driving that is.