Keep Your Spending Under Control When On The Road
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If you've been part of the UK haulage industry for a while, you're probably very aware of how expensive life on the road can be. Although petrol, for example, has decreased in price significantly in the UK, haulage work still requires many other essentials. The question is: is it possible to cut down on expenses and increase your take-home pay without compromising on quality of life?

The answer to that question is YES. Saving money while out there working on the roads can become much easier if you are aware of some simple tricks. Whether you are a UK haulage driver or a cross-continental trucker, apply these tips to your daily routine and you can ease the financial pressure.

Be Aware of the Basics

If you're worried about overspending when on the road, in order to reduce your costs, you're going to have to be honest about how much is coming out of your pocket and what it is being spent on. The good news is that this is fairly simple: during your next trip, write down every penny you spend and what you spend it on. Although at first this may be a bit of a nuisance, finding a system that works for you will make it a lot less bothersome. For example, you can keep all your receipts in a special box or compartment and write them down at the end of each day or even just take a picture of them with your phone.

Invest Time In Creating a Realistic Budget

For many people, the thought of coming up with a workable budget can be quite intimidating. It really is not the colossal task it may seem, however.

Begin by writing down how much money you can allow yourself to spend on each category: for example, food, showers, truck maintenance, entertainment, etc. Remember to set reasonable goals that you feel confident you can achieve; if you try to save more than is realistically possible, you will become frustrated and probably go back to old habits.

Once you've chosen attainable goals for yourself, keeping to your budget shouldn’t prove too difficult. However, it is essential to keep in mind that a budget isn’t set in stone. If, after a couple of trips, you feel it needs adjusting, do it - whether you underestimated your food budget or overestimated your maintenance one, it is paramount to keep your targets as current as possible.

Figure Out Which Petrol Stations Are Trucker-Friendly

It doesn’t take UK haulage drivers too long to realise that there tend to be two different kinds of petrol stations. The first type is the standard: its owners know truck drivers need fuel so they're just positioned on the highway waiting for you to drive by.

The second type, however, contributes greatly to why many truck drivers thoroughly enjoy life on the road. These petrol stations sincerely welcome your business; they're aware that there are plenty of places you can get your petrol, but spaces where you can make personal connections and feel at ease when you are away from home are limited.

These establishments often offer loyalty cards whereby you can get a discount on things like maintenance or showers, among other bonuses. If you make these stations a staple stopover on your trips, you will find yourself soon saving a meaningful amount of money per year.

Identify Your Weak Spots

If you're in the UK haulage business and spend hours and hours on the road by yourself, it's essential to realise what items you turn to in order to 'spoil' yourself when you're feeling down or lonely. Whether it is a fast food habit or the occasional encounter with your favourite shop, identifying a pattern of overspending on these practices will make it much easier for you to cut down on them.

Follow these simple tips and not only will you be happier finding healthier, more satisfying ways of coping with long days on the road, but your wallet will thank you for it!

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for UK haulage work in the express transport industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.


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