Trucking gives you freedom. It provides the ability to drive all over the country without coworkers breathing down your neck and if you’re an owner-operator then you even get to be your own boss. However, with great power comes great responsibility.
In today’s case, we mean spending responsibility. Trucking can be very expensive, especially when you’re just starting out. Before you establish yourself as a reputable driver you may have to really nickel and dime a few things. A proper budget can make or break you in the transportation industry, so check out a few budgeting basics.
How To Create A Trucking Budget
Know Your Numbers
Before you start spending it’s a good idea to know how much you can actually spend. Meet with an accountant or financial advisor to see how much of a loan you can get when you decide to start up your trucking company.
Also, you will want to know how much you’re making and spending. These numbers can be easy to track with the help of a program like TruckLogics. TruckLogics will track your expenses and income so you can run financial reports at any time to see exactly where your money is coming and going.
Once you know how much you can spend, you don’t have to spend it all. Cut costs and allocate money to the proper places. If you need office supplies consider getting refurbished computers. Also, you don’t have to buy the top of the line, brand new rig. Look into your used options or consider leasing.
The top 3 trucker expenses are gas, food, and lodging. Save on fuel by slowing down to improve fuel efficiency or consider getting a fuel card for rewards. Also, buy your on the road snacks in bulk to save and cook your own meals in your rig.
Last but not least, to save on lodging, stop sleeping in motels. Outfit your sleeper cab to be comfortable enough for a great night of rest.
Then put all the money you save from cutting costs into your actual savings. You will need it in case business becomes slow or something happens to one of your trucks. In the event of an emergency if you don’t have savings to pull from then you could find yourself in trouble.
Consider Your Options
Don’t just jump in and impulsively buy things. If the first insurance policy you’re offered looks good read the fine print anyways. It may offer more coverage than you need, so be sure to see what your state actually requires.
Also, things like bobtail coverage to protect your truck while in operation without a trailer or physical damage coverage may cost extra.
Do you really need an assistant back at home to cover your books and manage dispatches or can you do it all yourself with the help of a trucking business management program like TruckLogics?
Be On Time
Nothing stings like late fees, so be on time. File your 2290 online by the deadline with the help and ExpressTruckTax and stay on top of your quarterly IFTA return with ExpressIFTA. Also, pick up and deliver your loads on time!
Time is money in this business, so you don’t want to keep people waiting. Plus, you can even be fined for delivering loads late and in some cases, you may have to wait until the next day to come back and unload your freight. That extra day of waiting won’t just be frustrating because it will also be expensive.
We know you’re in the trucking business because you love it, and we know you can make it. Soon you will grow your business to new levels and with the help of budgeting, you will be able to save faster. You never know when those savings will come in handy, so be prepared when an emergency or great investment opportunity comes along.
Please add your budgeting tips in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.