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Saving money while you’re on the road is necessary for all truck drivers. New drivers to the industry don’t realize that there are personal expenses they’ll incur while on the road. It takes money to be out here.
The two main personal expenses are food and entertainment.
Taking food with you or purchasing food at a grocery store will reduce your food costs. Eating at truck stops and fast food restaurants is expensive, not to mention bad for your health.
You can easily save between $3000 to $4000 per year on food expenses by avoiding restaurant purchases. Many drivers take precooked meals to warm up while on the road. You have to admit, home cooked meals will beat truck stop food any day. The other great thing is that truck drivers get to deduct a daily meal per diem, at tax time, without needing a receipt. It doesn’t matter if you spend $5 per day or $40 – you claim the same deduction.
Trucking can easily turn into and unhealthy life style. Good nutritious food can keep you from some devastating health problems later in life.
The vast majority of our company trucks are equipped with a fridge and freezer, but not all companies provide this feature. If your truck doesn’t have a fridge – buy a plugin cooler. These coolers will keep food and drink cold enough to safely store meals while your on the road. Picking up a microwave and grill will allow you to make great meals in the truck. Trucking is no excuse for poor eating habits.
Entertainment during your down time is critical. Trucking is a high stress industry and drivers have a lot to deal with in their day-to-day lives. When you first get out on the road you’ll see a lot of opportunities for entertainment. These cost money and everything at truck stops is expensive.
Buying movies, playing in the arcades, and playing in casinos can add up. Taking a laptop, your favorite books & magazines, renting movies or taking them from home, and buying a video game system for your truck will save you money in the long run. During your down time you can also get an exercise routine going.
Deciding you’re not going to spend money on entertainment isn’t realistic for most people. You’re away from home a lot and there’s nothing wrong with saying you need something to do, so set a budget for your entertainment and stick to it.
It’s easy to look at individual purchases and think none of them are a big deal. They add up and when you look at them as a yearly expense the amount of money you need to be on the road can be a big number. Make a plan and a budget that works for you.
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