Budgeting can be rather overwhelming at first. It requires a plan and self-discipline. But there is no need to be scared.
Once you get the hang of budgeting, it will become easy and it will no longer feel like you are restrained from your finances.
It is a good feeling to know exactly how much you are spending and where your money is going.
Start budgeting today and you will begin to save money and see a difference in your finances.
Here are some great budgeting tips for over the road truck drivers.
Know Your “Why”
The first step to creating a budget is understanding your “why”. What is your reasoning for creating a budget? What do you want to accomplish?
Are you trying to pay off debt? Are you trying to save for a big purchase? Or are you just wanting to be more conscious of your spending?
Knowing your “why” before creating a budget will help motivate you and keep you on track.
Setting goals will help you achieve your “why”.
To pay off debt or to save a specific amount you need to know how much you need to be saving and budgeting each month.
It is much easier to save and budget when you have a specific goal. Saving just to save does not always keep you motivated.
Know Your Income
Since drivers typically get paid by the mail, drivers have a fluctuating income. Unless you have a dedicated route, your paychecks will vary.
Drivers with a set income have a much easier time creating their budget because they know the exact amount they are bringing in every month.
If you have a fluctuating income, it’s best to know your baseline. Meaning, you need to know the bare minimum expenses that you need to cover every month.
Analyze Your Spending
Next, you need to analyze your spending habits. You can do that by looking at your bank account and examining where you are spending most of your money. Are you spending most of your money at truck stops? Fast food restaurants?
Another great way to evaluate your spending is to make a list in a notebook or your cellphone for every purchase you make throughout the month.
Keeping track of your spending will not only give you an idea of how much you are spending each month. It will also make you more mindful of your spending.
Needs vs Wants
When budgeting, it is important to know the difference between needs vs wants.
Things you need as a truck driver:
- Place to sleep
Things you may want:
- Entertainment (tv, video games, computer)
- Netflix or Hulu subscription
- Accessories for your rig
As a budgeter, you need to pay attention to your needs first and save for the things you want.
Set a Limit
Setting a spending limit is the best way to keep yourself from overspending.
Write down all your necessary living expenses and keep in mind how much you want to save each month. Then determine how much you want to spend.
A good method to help you set a limit is the envelope system.
Budgeting takes time and self-discipline. It is not easy at first, but over time it will become easier and easier.
Keep yourself motivated by constantly reminding yourself of your goals and understand that budgeting takes time.