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Money Management

It’s important to learn how to manage your money to be able to pay bills, save, and stay out of debt. Consumer.gov provides overviews on the many ways to manage your finances. These overviews include:

  • Making a budget
  • Opening a bank account
  • Understanding your paycheck
  • Using debit cards
  • Saving money
  • Renting an apartment or house
  • Education after high school

Personal Finances on the Road

If you spend a lot of time on the road, it’s important to learn how to manage your money. Schneider Jobs has some great tips for truck drivers to help create a budget and save money.

  • Know all of your pay package details and income potential. Learn what your average earnings should be and how the daily decisions you make can increase your earnings.
  • Document all income and expenses monthly. Document your income, as well as any additional income (second job, spouse’s income) and write down your expenses in detail.
    • At-home expenses: Mortgage/rent, utilities, vehicle payments, insurance, credit cards, loans, medical, groceries, gas, childcare, subscriptions, and any other expenses
    • On-the-road expenses: meals, cellphone usage, toiletries, laundry/shower, entertainment, ATM fees, and any other expenses
  • Don’t forget to pay yourself. Try to put away extra money towards a savings or emergency fund to stay protected from the unexpected.
  • Bring your own food with you on the road to avoid spontaneous spending. By using a fridge in your cab, you can cover breakfast and lunch every day instead of buying three meals a day at truck stops or fast-food restaurants.
  • Take advantage of all available discounts. Try to find rest areas or places that have free or discounted laundry services or showers.
  • Plan every stop. This way, you can make sure you have a plan for money management for the day.

Online Banking

The first step in managing your money is staying up to date about your current finances. Check with your bank and credit card companies to see if they have an app for managing your accounts. Larger financial institutions have apps that allow you to check balances, transfer money, make payments, and even deposit checks via your device. If you are looking to switch banks, NerdWallet has several ways to compare services and account features.

Integrated Money Management

Staying on top of your current finances using your financial institution’s app is an excellent first step in managing your money wisely. You can also use apps to integrate information from your various accounts, providing you with a big financial picture and giving you an easier way to manage bills, cut costs, budget, and save from one central location.

  • Mint is a free tool from the tax software company Intuit. It helps you to:
    • Link your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and more
    • Pay bills
    • Create budgets
    • View your spending by categories
  • Prism is an app that connects to your financial institutions and bills, allowing you to track your account balances and pay all of your bills from one place. Prism is free on both Apple and Android devices.
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB) helps you track everything you spend. It calculates the money you currently have and lets you apply every dollar to a specific category. YNAB is free for the first 34 days, then $50 a year.

Save and Earn When You Spend

  • Belly is an app that lets you earn points for transactions at certain businesses, which you can redeem later for free items. There are Belly businesses in 2,500 cities and more than 8,500 locations. Belly is free on both Apple and Android devices.
  • GasBuddy is an app that helps you find the cheapest gas in the U.S. and Canada, lets your sort by distance or price, report gas prices to help others, and enter to win $100 in free gas every day. GasBuddy is free on Apple and Android devices.
  • The iExit Interstate Guide helps you to find the best gas prices in your area and provides an Interstate Guide to help you find gas, food, lodging, and more at every exit. The iExit Interstate Guide is free on Apple and Android devices.
  • Lifewire ranks 10 of the best fast food restaurant apps. The website ranks are based on healthy food offerings, best apps for saving money, and more.

One-Stop Apps

  • The Key Ring app will keep track of all of your loyalty cards. Just take a picture of the barcode and pull up the loyalty card on the app at the register. Key Ring shows you store flyers, nearby sales and coupons, and lets you create shopping lists. Key Ring is free on Apple and Android devices.