Getting out of debt is the new American dream. How is becoming debt-free even possible when you are away from home all the time? You are not at home to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner to save money. Worse yet, the snack aisle of every truck stop calls you by name. The large glass coolers have tens of addictive drinks. So how do professional trucker drivers grab a gear and get out of debt?
We are going to look at how household debt builds up. Then, we will discuss practical solutions to get through the potholes on the road to travel the debt-free highway. Let us begin our step-by-step journey with the American dream of being debt-free as your final destination.
Step 1: Getting the Mind Right
The first step involves the mind. You have thought about it, and you want out of debt. Is that enough? No, it is not. How do you get your mind, right? Having a mind to heart discussion is necessary? How do you do that?
- Write out all the benefits of being debt-free.
- Make a list of the sacrifices you are willing to make to attain your goal.
- Make a list of the positive affects freedom from debt will have on your health, family life, children’s’ life now and in the future, relationship with your partner, and any other positive things that will come from following through with this decision.
- Make a two columned list of the challenges you could face on the debt-free journey and what is the best way to overcome the obstacle.
- List all your debt and add it up. Now, think about all your sources of income. List all your income for the year and add them up. Take some time to analyze how long is this going to take to become debt-free.
With all of the bare facts staring you in the face, you should decide if you are going to let the situation get deeper or are you going to get your mind right and stick to the road of becoming debt-free.
Step 2: Know Where Your Money is Going
Once the mind is right, it is time to get on the ramp to the highway. If you are a compulsive credit card swiper to become debt-free, you probably need to change your payment method over to swipe-free. Yes, give up your cards and only pay with cash. Be honest with yourself and decide what is best for your financial future.
Another essential element is to know exactly where each penny is going. Many apps are available to help keep track of spending. Some are free, and some offer tax tracking help and other features, so there is a small fee. Research the apps and decide what will help you know where every penny you spend is going.
Install the app and start keeping track of your spending. At the end of the week, analyze where your money has gone and where you can save your money. Some reductions in spending will be temporary until you get out of debt. Other current spending choices will need to be abandoned to maintain a debt-free lifestyle. Be assured in time; you will not feel cheated or even miss the items you are cutting out of your budget. With the help of the app, you will have an idea of your spending pattern. This will be helpful for the next step.
DUKE.AI simplifies paperless accounting for drivers to make the most of their time: this is what defines their success. The DUKE.AI mobile scanner app replaces paper trails and time-consuming data entry with technology that reads documents, including settlement statements, straight from any mobile phone’s camera or by forwarding attachments via e-mail.
Step 3: Time to Make a Budget
Budgeting is a roadmap for where your money will go. Budgeting is necessary to have fewer obstacles and potholes on the road to being debt-free. Let us look at the basic format of a budget. First, it is essential to list your day to day needs and add up the cost.
- Car Payment
- Truck Payment
- Car/Truck Insurance
- Renters/House Insurance
- Life Insurance
Once you have listed all your needs and their monthly costs, total up all your needs and compare them to your income. Subtract your income from the essentials, and how much do you have left?
Now look at your app and add up what you spent on needs for the week and what was spent on wants. Compare that to your income. Realistically decide what spending needs to stop for you to become debt-free. This is the time to start filling in the potholes that make for a bumpy financial roadway.
Some people use the 50-30-20 rule to budgeting. After taxes, 50% is spent on needs, 30% is spent on wants, 20% is spent on savings or paying off debt. This formula works if your debt to income is low. If your debt to income is high, then there will be less to use to pay off debt. Subsequently, your highway to being debt-free is going to be longer. But the destination is still in sight, and it is worth the drive.
Step 4: Sticking to the Budget
Life is full of unexpected turns and bends in the road. Professional truck drivers understand the windy roadways better than anyone else. The same will be valid on the highway to being debt-free. There will be twists and turns in the road. Be prepared to stay on the road by sticking to the budget. Keep track of all spending and analyze each week the adjustments that need to be made to remain on the debt-free highway. Avoid detours and other financial obstacles by keeping your mind right and sticking to your budget.
Once you have gained control of your finances and your financial future, you are on the highway to getting out of debt. It is time to stay alert and keep aware of where your money is going. Try to plan all of your purchases ahead of time. Keep your focus on the destination ahead and the freedom you and your family will have once you are debt-free.
Hard work deserves a reward. Plan a reward for yourself and your family for reaching the destination of being debt-free. What will the reward be an excellent vacation, electronics, more time with your family? Whatever the reward you have in mind, it will be well-deserved.