The cost of driving over the road can be minimized most effectively
by planning ahead. Get a refrigerator that plugs into your cigarette
lighter to stock up with good healthy groceries.
Go to a bigbox store so you won't be buying expensive items at the c-store or in the truck stops. Remember, you are out here on the road to MAKE MONEY. The necessary expenses are few but additional spending can easily rob you of your paycheck if you are not careful.
Food - This can easily be your biggest expense on the road. Take food with you to save time and money.
Laundry - Most large truckstops will have washer and dryer. Necessary and no way around it really.
Phone - Most of you have cells. Payphone and phonecard are also at most truck stops in case you refuse to step into 2017, lol. Some of your carriers will have discounts with certain phone companies.
Internet Access - If you don't have your own, there are wifi connections available at most truck stops for a fee. Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and unlimited. Adding data plan and hotspot to your phone might be a better deal. Compare.
Showers at most truck stops. You only pay if you don't have a fuel receipt. $9 or more. You should not have to pay cash that often. Some drivers will give your their unused shower credit if you ask. Plan your trips and shower where you have fueled.
Tolls – Most companies will pay up front. Many larger ones will have speedpay (automatic electronic payment system). However, some companies will require you pay cash and pay you back. If you are going Northeast, have an extra $150 in your pocket for tolls and bridges.
Lumper Fees - This is something that the company should pay for as well. Sometimes you may have to pay up front and get reimbursed. This is usually with very small carriers though.
The cost that is most likely to affect you, is the nickel and
dime spending at truck stops when you stop to use the bathroom or if you
try and live off of eating the food there.
You will not have a paycheck at the end of the week if you don't get a handle on this part of the road.
Most companies will advance a portion of the check. Many drivers
fall into a trap of always giving back a large portion of their check
on payday to repay advances they have taken during the week.
Have a checking and savings account. Do an automatic draft from checking into saving of a certain amount each pay period.
Plan ahead – buy stuff that you will need on the road before you leave for the road a big box, unless you want to support your local mom and pop.
Create a budget and stick to it. Decide how much extra money you have before hand.
If you don't do a budget....at least make a list
of all of the bills that you need to pay. Maybe this will help keep you
from blowing lump sums. However the dollar here and there may still
get away from you if you are not careful. They add up.
If you have money management issues, set up all of the safeguards you can. Protect you from yourself.
If you realize that you have unhealthy habits
which drain your pockets, seek counseling or coaching to help you
overcome or change those poor habits.
At the least give someone the permission to call you and
question you so that you are accountable to someone for what you are
doing on the road.
Make up in your mind that you will not buy stuff when you stop to use the bathroom. One thing I do is stop at rest areas instead of truck stops to eat unless I need fuel.
Its quicker and less temptation.
If you have to go to a truck stop go in and out. Don't browse
around and do go there hungry, lol. Hurry up and leave the joint if you know you have low will
power. I got faith in ya I believe you can do it.
Other Expenses and Costs of Trucking
If there are other cost or expenses that you have incurred over the road feel free to share them below.
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