Money Saving Secrets from Professional Drivers
Did you know that on average, drivers spend more than $1000 a month on work-related expenses?
Fuel, food, places to rest; all of these things can take a heavy toll on the finances if not properly managed. Many drivers struggle with cash flow as they try to keep money in the bank and feel satisfied while working. It’s definitely a balance, and it takes time to learn the best tips out there for saving money. Instead of learning the hard way, we’ve asked our community of 250,000 drivers to share their best money-saving secrets. Here are five pro secrets for saving cash on the road.
1. Leave the left door closed.
The more you leave the door closed, the more money you’ll save. This is one of the best ways to protect your wallet while traveling. Keep your stops to a minimum and try to get everything you need in one stop. Have a few snacks and some water on hand to get you through in between meals. Try to have everything you’re going to need while driving within arms reach so you won’t have to stop to get something you already have. Living by this rule can definitely save you some cash, but it will require some forethought. This brings up to preparation.
2. Prepare before you begin your route.
A little preparation goes a long way. If you follow the steps above, your money saving efforts will not go unrewarded. Go to the grocery store before you leave. Make a menu for yourself and bring all or most of what you will need to keep yourself sustained. The better prepared you are, the less reasons there are to open that door. Pre-trip planning can save cash by selecting the best routes. You’ll want to think about construction delays, detours and rush hours in big cities. By avoiding slower zones with planning, you’ll save cash in fuel usage.
3. Find truck stops with Fuel Point rewards.
There is no way around having to pay for fuel along the ride. No fuel means you might as well have an anchor tied to your truck, because you’re not going anywhere. While there is no way to get around buying fuel, there most certainly are ways to save money while doing so. Some truck stops, like Loves for example, offer fuel reward perks, and this can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Ivan Nathaniel Taff shared this with us about fuel rewards, “I honestly believe that you can live with spending no money on the road. If you are a platinum member at loves you get 4x points per $1 spent on fuel and in-store purchases. Every time I fuel I make approximately $6-$8 dollars in points plus a free shower & free refills for coffee or fountain drinks. This allows me to buy 2 jalapeno sausage dogs everyday. They are low in carbs, high in fat and protein. You could ideally stay under 1800 calories a day eating this way… or mix it up and have a salad every other day..”
Wow! That is some serious saving! The reward programs are free to sign up for. Just ask your truck stop if they have a rewards program and then you’ll be all set!
4. Cook your own food.
The number one thing biting into drivers paychecks is food. Typically, the average driver spends $5-$50 a day just on food alone! To combat this, some drivers have started to bring appliances along for the ride such as electric coolers, small grilles, and even refrigerators! Teri Vander Kolk Boeve likes to make food for her husband to take along on his runs before he sets out. “My husband’s truck has a refrigerator and microwave. I make meals for him to bring along. He gets steak on the grill, shrimp, chicken, all of the good stuff. Better than eating at a restaurant all of the time.”
5. Buy less beverages, drink more water.
Drivers spend an astonishing amount on beverages. They only cost a couple of bucks, but that can stack up fast if you aren’t careful. To avoid this cutting into the finances too much, some drivers have begun to carry large water containers with them along with their other appliances for cooking. In addition to soothing their thirst, the water also comes in handy for cooking and washing off whatever dishes or cutlery you may have brought along on your run.
These are some great ways to keep your cost down. Even following one of these steps can add up to save you a couple hundred a month. If you follow all of them, you’re looking at around $1000 extra dollars in your pocket, where it belongs. The fuel perks can keep your ride going, and your new truck pantry will keep you fed and ready for the next journey. Properly prepare; Plan your stops for where your reward program is, get your supplies in order, bring plenty of water, and you can keep that door closed until you get where you’re going. Remember, a dollar saved is a dollar earned.