While wages in the trucking industry are certainly on the rise, they're still not particularly close to what they were in the sector's heyday once you adjust for inflation. Consequently, it's vital for pro haulers to be able to save money any way they can, and doing even a little more work to accomplish that goal will likely produce serious dividends.
With that in mind, here are five ways for any trucker to save money this summer and beyond:
1) Start making a weekly or monthly budget
This is the biggest task to accomplish when trying to reduce your expenditures, and can pay off with a little homework, according to Cardlog. Sit down to look at every dollar you've brought in and spent over the last several months to get a good idea of your income and expenses. Is there any way to boost the former or cut the latter? You're likely to find a bit of wiggle room here and there (including the suggestions below) that can really add up.
2) Bring your own food
Probably the single biggest expense you face besides fuel is the amount you spend on meals, snacks and beverages while you're on the road, Cardlog advised. That may be particularly true when it comes to drivers who are on the road for several days or more in a row. But if you pack your lunch and snacks before you leave, and store them in a cooler or mini-fridge, the savings you find will likely be significant.
3) Sign up for rewards programs
If you are shopping on the road, it's vital to sign up for any loyalty or rewards programs available at the stores where you usually shop, according to Smart Trucking. This will help unlock additional savings for most purchases you make, and even a dollar here or there will be helpful in the end. Likewise, downloading the apps these stores offer could provide even more coupons.
4) Use Wi-Fi whenever you can
Many Americans pay $50, $80, $100 or more for their cellphone coverage, and usually most of that is because of the data charges they rack up, Smart Trucking added. With that in mind, truckers should always strive to connect to wireless networks whenever they stop to avoid gobbling up too many gigs of data per month. This method may allow them to cut their data use so much that they can drop down a tier or two and potentially save $20 or more each month. Over the course of a year, that's about $250 in savings.
5) Ask if there are discounts
One thing some older truckers rely on that may not be familiar to newer entrants to the industry is some companies offer discounts for truckers, according to CDL Jobs. When you're at a restaurant, hardware store, motel or any other kind of business, simply asking if they offer a trucker discount may help you find more savings than you expect. It doesn't hurt to ask.
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