Learning how to save money is important. You need to pay your bills and still have some money reserved for emergencies. But, saving money is easier said than done. Here are the top five ways for truck drivers to save money while on the road.
1. Make Your Own Food
Eating greasy, deep-fried, truck stop food is not only unhealthy, but it’s also expensive. People generally agree that fast food is cheap, but it adds up if you eat it every day. For instance, if you stop at the drive-thru twice a day and spend $6 per meal, that’s $12 per day on food. Multiply that by seven days, and you spend $84 a week just on lunch and dinner.
The easiest way to combat this high cost – and the unsightly increase to your waistline – is to shop at the grocery store and make your own food in the cab. Keep sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, yogurt, cheese and pasta salad in your cooler for days at a time. There are plenty of non-refrigerated options, too, such as granola bars, cereal, crackers, chips and bagels. For a hot meal, invest in a slow cooker, rice cooker or steamer for your cab. A good thermos keeps soup and coffee hot as well.
2. Use Free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi hotspots are more abundant than ever. When you stop for the night, check the Wi-Fi availability. This tactic helps prevent you from racking up data on your cellular plan. At the very least, you avoid paying overage fees, and you might even be able to downgrade your plan to less data per month, which saves you even more.
3. Sign Up for a Truck Stop Rewards Card
Truck stops make it easy for truck drivers to get loyalty cards. These save you money at the pump as well as inside where you may qualify for a free drink after purchasing 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Truck stops are a great place to frequent, even without a loyalty card. Truck drivers often have access to laundry services, barbers, showers and entertainment.
4. Use Automatic Bill Pay
It’s easy to forget about bills while you’re out on the road, so make it easy on yourself by setting up automatic bill pay. It only takes a few minutes, and most banks and utility companies offer this service for free. You’ll never have to deal with late fees again.
5. Keep Track of Your Receipts
Everything from meals to fuel to tolls goes toward your monthly budget. To help you keep track, hold on to receipts from every purchase. Then, log them by hand or on your computer to see exactly how much you’re spending. Try to cut back, and track your progress next month to see if you spent less.