23 Jan Part Two: Money Saving Tips for Truck Drivers
In Part One of this two-part article, we highlighted a few of the basic ways to save money — how to maximize your food and fuel, cut down on expensive fuel costs and stop eating out. Now, let’s get into the other areas that are less talked about. Utilizing these tips can have a surprising impact on your wallet while you’re out on the road.
Use WIFI as Much as Possible
Many drivers are turning away from CB radios and instead are turning to their phone and computer for interaction and entertainment while on the road. Texting and calling are normally free with most cell phone plans, but internet data is something you’re going to have to pay for unless you have unlimited data. Going over your internet limit means extra fees from most providers. Save money while on the road by making sure your phone is using free WIFI as much as possible. WIFI is offered almost everywhere you go at this point, so it shouldn’t be hard to find. Some places offer internet but have it password protected. Don’t be afraid to ask for the password. If the truck stop itself doesn’t offer free WIFI, most fast food restaurants inside of the truck stops have free WIFI.
Use Your Phone to Pay Bills
If you’re a long-haul trucker, you may not be home for weeks at a time. If your bills are sent to your house and you aren’t there to pay them, you could rack up some serious late fees or credit issues. Setting up automatic bill pay or electronic bill pay is a great way to make sure your bills get paid on time.
Get the Most out of Your Fuel Mileage
Use cruise control as much as possible. Play around with different RPMs to see how your truck runs best. Always shift at low RPMs. Check your tires to make sure they’re not under-inflated which can significantly reduce your fuel mileage. Use your GPS. A good GPS will detect heavy traffic and also map out the fastest route available.
Get a Library Card
Almost every library in America now has a database filled with free audiobooks that you can check out and listen to. Normally up to $40 each, these books can be found on an online app called Overdrive, which links to your local library. Free entertainment is never a bad idea.
There are several different types of coffee makers that you can use in your truck, however most of them require between a 1500 and 2500 inverter, so if that won’t work for you, consider participation in a coffee refill program. Even Starbucks has these nowadays. You can purchase a coffee mug and have it filled to the brim with steaming coffee for a reduced price. Plus, you don’t have all the extra waste.
According to the New York Times, 86 percent of all truck drivers are overweight. Billions of dollars are spent every year treating obesity related healthcare issues. Fighting obesity by staying healthy on the road will save you an unbelievable amount of money in prescriptions and medical bills. Schedule yearly preventative check ups at your physician, eye doctor, and dentist. Health promotion and prevention will save you a lot of money later by keeping you healthy now and addressing potential health problems.
Budget, Budget, Budget
Make a budget and stick to it. This means writing out all your expenses and bills and adjusting them to maximize savings. Keep a log of all your expenses and save every single receipt for fuel, meals, and tolls. Ask your employer every question you can about what they’re willing to reimburse. Many carriers are happy to cover a few meals, showers, or other basic living expenses while out on a long route. Also, check with a financial expert to make sure that the decisions you make regarding insurance and taxes are the best ones for your situation.
Conclusion: Money Saving Tips for Truck Drivers
Out on the road, every expense seems to be amplified. You may feel trapped in an endless loop of paying extra for basic living expenses, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow these tips. While not an exhaustive list, these money saving tips for truck drivers will undoubtedly help turn your finances around and allow you to save more or send more money back home.