3 Tips for Saving Money on the Road as a Truck Driver

    

A collection of guest blog posts from truck drivers and trainers about their experience in the industry. Read more from

Wad of cash

Image via Refracted Moments, Flickr

Author Bio: Mark Kinsel is the big cheese over at Driver Solutions and a 19-year-veteran of the trucking industry. He’s been trying his hand at writing a lot lately, and has penned quite a bit of work for Great CDL.  

For truckers everywhere, saving money on the road is important. Anyone with proper truck driver training knows that it’s easy to rack up quite the bill while you’re away. There’s food, gas, lodging and countless other expenses that can put a dent in your wallet. But, it’s just as easy to save money as it is to spend money, and here’s how:

Make a Budget

Before you do anything, make a budget for your trip. It isn’t fun, and you may hate having to do it, but it can often be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful haul. Start by collecting a few pay stubs and calculating your monthly earnings. This will give you an idea of how much you typically have to spend at a given time. Then factor in your needs and your wants. It’s important during this step to be as honest with yourself as you can. You’re the sole authority on your spending habits, so if there are certain indulgences that you’re a sucker for, account for them in your budget.

Key Takeaways:

  • Start by collecting pay stubs and calculating your monthly earnings.
  • Factor in needs and wants, focusing more so on needs.
  • Always account for certain indulgences in your budget.

Avoid Fast Food

Fast food is horrible for you in a myriad of ways. It’s unhealthy, expensive, and worse yet, it’s readily available everywhere you go. Food costs on any trip are a necessary evil, but there are ways to manage them so that your health and bank account aren’t badly damaged. Rather than blowing your money on Big Macs and Sourdough Jacks, pop into the grocery store and do some shopping. It may be easier to roll through the truck stop chow line, but preparing your meals yourself from fresh ingredients is far better for you physically and financially. Investing in a mini-fridge for the cab is also highly recommended.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rather than buying fast food, make a visit to the grocery store.
  • Preparing meals yourself from fresh ingredients is better physically and financially.
  • Investing in a mini-fridge for the cab is also recommended.

Watch for Deals

Keeping an eye out for deals on essential goods is a great way to save a few bucks. Whether you’re at a gas station, truck stop or grocery store, look for some coupons or ask an associate about any deals or specials that are running. Couponing to some may seem like erratic behavior, but it can prove beneficial while on the road. Browse local newspapers and magazines for coupons as well if you can’t find any wherever you’re shopping. Also, be on the lookout for nearby “Happy Hours” to score some killer deals on lunch and dinner!

Key Takeaways:

  • Look for coupons or ask an associate about running specials.
  • Couponing can prove beneficial while on the road.
  • Be on the lookout for “happy hours” to score killer deals on food.

If you’re careful about it, saving money on the road is definitely possible! The most important thing to remember is that it’s absolutely crucial that you create a budget and stick to it.