Budget

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Travis05Lock, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. Travis05Lock

    Travis05Lock Bobtail Member

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    As going to get into this career. I've been looking through fourms and youtube videos on this.
    I was wondering for rookie driver's going through the company they chose for. Like for me I want to go with CFI. They finally are going solo. My question is what are some tips, on when budgeting when your over the road?
    I know you have Pilot, Love's and flying J points system for showers and parking. I don't smoke or for the ones that don't. Plans on going to a Walmart for groceries, so your saving on spending at fast food. But are there any other budgeting tips out there for rookie driver's?
     
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  3. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

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    First thing I will say is manage your home time. Not really a budget thing, but important. Cuz when you're not in the truck. You're not making money. If your truck doesn't come with some things. You'll have to spend money at first to save money. Hopefully you get at least an APU and an inverter. Get yourself a microwave and a fridge. If not equipped. If you have a 2k watt inverter I'd actually get the 90 watt galanz microwave + air fryer. You can use your refills for coffee at the TS. But could get a small coffee pot or k-cup type maker. I know you said budget and here I am talking about spending. But once you have all these things you can eat well and save money not getting any food at the TS. Treat yourself once a week to a nice dinner. Basically I try to avoid spending what I don't need anywhere. Sticking the money away.
     
  4. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

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    When I was over the road, I carried around $300-$500 cash and tried my best not to use my cash and use credit card as much as possible. The cash was more for unforeseen circumstances or situations where I couldn’t use a credit card.

    Note: I use my credit card for EVERYTHING even now, but I treat it like a checking account, meaning I don’t spend money I don’t have in the bank. I pay my credit card bill off every month in full.
     
  5. BeHereNow97

    BeHereNow97 Medium Load Member

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    I'm pretty sure CFI has APU's and inverters but OP should definitely ask CFI that before he starts.

    You already mentioned shopping at Walmart so that's good. Use your truck stop rewards points for occasional food (at Love's you can use your fuel rewards points for some of their restaurants) and other trucking supplies you might need. Get a cooler from Walmart, they sell ones that plug into the cigarette lighter in your truck for about $100. Well worth it. Even if you have a fridge in the truck already, get that extra cooler from Walmart. It's well worth it.

    Always try to shower at the truck stops where you have showers, whether those showers are from a 60 gallon fuel purchase or if you get enough points every month to get free showers every month. That said, please remind yourself that it's ok to pay for a shower every once in a while even if it's $15 a piece. Yes that's a lot of money for a shower but stuff happens, it's ok to spend money on showers sometimes if you can't help it. I did OTR 2 years and only went a handful of days without taking a shower in a 24 hour period. Make time for your hygiene and do not neglect it.

    The biggest way to saving money when you go OTR is DOWNSIZING.

    NOT HAVING RENT/MORTGAGE IS THE BIGGEST WAY TO SAVE MONEY IF YOU'RE DOING OTR. That is the #1 one way to bank money.

    If you can stay with friends of family for home time and throw them $100 rent money for a week of home time or whatever. Or stay in a hotel if you don't have friends/family to stay with during home time.

    If you have a car payment, I would honestly sell it. Get rid of that car payment and just rent a car when you come home for home time if you plan on staying out at least a month each time you go out OTR. If you have a car that's paid for I would keep it, especially if your friends or family will let you park it at their place for a small and reasonable fee. If you have a good relationship with your parents they would probably let you park it at their place for free.

    That's basically it. Have no house payment/no rent/no utilities/no cable tv/no housing maintenance/no car payment and that's how you're going to bank your money OTR. You're probably going to gross about 45k your first year. Could be a bit more, could be a bit less, but probably around 45k. That might not seem like a lot, but it is when you don't have housing payments/car payments.

    I grossed 39k my first year, netted 34k and saved 18k. And that included a trip to Europe for a week and supplies for the truck. Oh yeah and I pay $250 a month in student loans, so that's like a car payment that I still had to pay. So if you don't take a vacation overseas or have student loans/car payment or something like that (you'll obviously need to buy supplies for the truck), that brings that 18k saved up to around $22,500 saved off of 39k gross per year.

    And to be clear I ended my rental contract before I went OTR, so I didn't have housing expenses. I just paid my family $100 rent per week whenever I came home for hometime (I would normally stay out 4-6 weeks at a time). I just banked my money and saved, saved, saved. Shopped at Walmart for groceries too just like you plan on doing.

    Good luck OP and try to remember, take it easy and just try to get through your first year. The big money is not going to come until after your first year anyways, so take it easy. And remember to take enough home time to keep you sane and healthy, you need to get out of that truck every once in a while. Don't be afraid to ask for 34's or to take home time, you don't have to run 2 month marathons without a break.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  6. Travis05Lock

    Travis05Lock Bobtail Member

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    I don't know if you ever heard of the Jackery? I was thinking of investing in one. I've seen some Homestead youtubers that use's them. And there is no gas needed really. Will something like that work. If say the company I go with dose not have an apu?
     
  7. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Road Train Member

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    I just looked up a "Jackery". Save your money. It is just an expensive battery pack/inverter. Your truck will have 4 big ### batteries installed. I believe CFI has inverters in their trucks. Most of the larger companies do. Good luck
     
  8. Travis05Lock

    Travis05Lock Bobtail Member

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    Thank you good sir.
     
  9. slow.rider

    slow.rider Road Train Member

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    Consider possibly getting wireless internet, depending how good your service provider is and whether or not your device allows tethering. If you look to any sort of gaming to occupy some downtime, you might consider standalone internet, verizon is probably like 70-95 per month with solid coverage in many rural areas, then if you want to rig up a gaming studio, there'll be a couple different size folding tables, laptop, 24-27" monitor, and assorted cables and accessories.
     
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  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I carried MUCH more than a measly few hundred. I carried enough cash to carry me for weeks if I had to (and get me home if needed). The cash stayed in my LOCKED briefcase that I hardly ever left unattended in my tractor. I used debit cards (still do) because even back 20 or so years ago my bank sent me spending reports. I only used my regular credit cards when I needed to rent a car etc. Today while retired I still only carry $20 to $40 in my wallet, the same as I did when driving.

    In general, THIS ARTICLE is why I tell young drivers to NEVER depend on your carrier to get you home, have a backup plan!!!!! I remember when this happened and I helped several of these drivers to do things like eat. This situation was a time when I was embarrassed to call myself a trucker! I still don't think the Arrow stench has fully left this industry!
     
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  11. Frank Speak

    Frank Speak Road Train Member

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    Well, I don’t know how it was when you drove, what your particular situation, comfort level, etc... was like, but a few hundred was more than enough for me. It was very rare I ever touched a penny of it.
     
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