Attitudes on Saving Money and
The thought of clothes and shoes may not be your weakness.
Can some other object be substituted where you're concerned? What about electronics, chocolate, cigarettes or chrome?
Do you have to have the latest and greatest [fill in the blank] there is?
Consider this point that we have made before, as illustrated in the image to the right:
When you spend everything you have and don't save money for a "rainy day" -- a day when there may be an unexpected event, a breakdown, etc. -- you'll find yourself in a position of want or debt.
When the tough times come, will the things you've "invested in" help you? If you had to, could you sell them to make ends meet?
"Are you saving money for the right reason? [...]" (2)
According to this writer, there are right and wrong reasons for saving money. Other than for manipulative purposes (which we highly disapprove of), it is common sense to save money for a time of need.
"[...] Every cent you DON'T spend is money you have to spend another da[y]..." (3)
While this is true, we would add to this that every cent you don't spend is money that you have to invest or give away. Generosity is a practice we highly approve of.
We have been the recipients of the generosity of other drivers out here on the road. Once, when Mike was at a shipper where he needed a load lock, another driver gave him one. Granted, it was used, but it still must have been worth at least 75% of what it cost him to buy brand new. Mike expressed his profound appreciation to the man.
It may come as a shock to you that some people don't consider themselves to be owners of money or property, but merely managers or stewards of it. That is a subject for another page. However, there is a paradigm shift in thinking when one considers that he or she could be held accountable for how he or she engaged in spending or saving money.
There are lots of reasons why people end up in desperate financial situations.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and accidents rank right up there as among those events that can tip the scales heavily in a direction you don't want. There are also lawsuits and medical bills.
You can do your best to try to avoid these situations. You can also protect yourself the best way you know how. We encourage preparation.
Vicki was gripped with alarm when she read of a 72-year-old retired trucker who "had been driving for 55 years when he injured his knee and found himself in Jacksonville with just over $100 to his name."(4)
He had "ended up homeless and spent seven months at the Salvation Army," saving up enough money to move back into a place of his own. The article contrasted the increasing cost of renting an apartment versus the flatness of his Social Security check.
The article didn't elaborate as to how the retired trucker ended up with so little money nor did it say why he did not own his own home. Those are matters that we cannot judge. The question could be asked: is it too late for this man to do anything to reverse his financial outlook?
The more important question for you is: Having read of this story, what are you prepared to do to make sure it doesn't happen to you?
Are you planning on depending on Social Security throughout your retirement years? What if it isn't available? What will you do?
If you haven't yet started, it is best to begin saving money right away.
Take a good hard look at all of your expenses. See which ones are critically important and which are not. If necessary, cut back on things that are not critically important.
If you have a home support team, it's a great idea to get their input. The good can be the enemy of the best. You need to decide what is best for you or your family.
To some people, saving money can seem like an arduous task. But consider setting goals. Will your current spending habits help you reach your money saving goals?
Take Mike's parents for example. One was a spender; one was a saver. Mike tells the story on our money management page.
Years ago, we heard a preacher preach a sermon that is best summarized this way: "If you wish to be master of the seven seas, you must make yourself a slave to the compass."
We don't believe that anyone should be a slave to money or a budget. However, regarding saving money, this pithy statement could be modified to read, "If you wish to be financially free, you must learn to discipline yourself regarding money."
May we encourage you regarding saving money with some positive motivational quotes on discipline?
"Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear -- and doubt. ..."
-- H.A. Dorfman(5)
"The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him -- and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires."
-- J. Paul Getty(5)
"Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
-- Mark Twain(5)
"There are no short cuts to any place worth going."
"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment."
-- Jim Rohn (6)
As a final encouragement, please be aware that we are on our own personal financial journey. It hasn't been easy for us either.
For example, towards the end of June 2010, Mike wanted to eat out. Vicki (who works our personal monthly expenses spreadsheet) informed him that we had a certain amount of money left in the restaurant and tips accounts for the month. We could do one of three things:
- spend up to that amount,
- wait until July to eat out or
- go into July with a deficit.
Together, we chose what seemed to be the best option: wait until July.
For that particular meal, we chose to "celebrate" the publication of our July 2010 Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, because it took almost two solid days of work for Vicki to put this issue together, including working in ideas from Mike's critique.
What we're sharing with you here on this page, we're doing ourselves.
We don't consider that we've mastered it yet, but we are making progress, just as the tortoise made slow but steady progress in the race against the hare -- and won.
Join us, won't you?
Money saving tip: Take a look at all of your expenses and your whole budget.
For example, you have to eat. But how many times a week do you eat out in a restaurant? Can you reduce that number by eating meals in your truck and saving what you didn't spend on restaurant meals? (We show you how to cook in your truck on our food and recipes page and our meal preparation page.)
Or, if a meal out is something you need, can you order water (which will most likely be free) instead of soda or tea (for which you would have to pay extra)? Can you use your driver reward points to pay for part or all of your meal?
Remember, little savings multiplied over and over add up to big savings. The point is to start saving money and be as consistent as possible. If necessary, get yourself an accountability partner, someone who will encourage you in your financial journey.
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