Our tips for how to save money when living on the road will help you keep your budget in check, whether you are PCS’ing or just going on vacation.
How To Save Money When Living on the Road
When you are PCS’ing, life on the road can be challenging, not to mention, expensive, with or without your travel advancement. Here are some helpful tips on how to live frugally on the road while traveling on vacation or moving to a new state. And if you are PCS’ing (or even ETS’ing), these tips might actually help you make money after you’ve received all of your travel pay!
Make a budget, and follow it
To create a budget, calculate your average monthly income. Subtract expenses, and be sure to save some. Use a prepaid credit card to help stay within your budget. Spend less than you earn. Use the envelope system! These sound like simple ideas, and really they are, but you have to actually put them into play for them to work, and be consistent with it. Keep your eye on the prize, and it will be much easier.
Find the best hotel rates and discounts
It really does pay to research where you are going to stay along your route, rather than waiting until the last minute when you are dog tired and stop at the first hotel you see. Before you leave, check out MyHotelRewards.net (from MyMilitarySavings.com!), and snag exclusive savings up to 60% OFF what you can currently find on the web at other so-called savings comparison sites!
Don’t eat at fast food restaurants
Again, another simple idea. Buy your food from supermarkets or discount stores. Make a list and follow it. Not only will this be cheaper, it will also be healthier. The last thing you want to do while living on the road is start to feel sluggish because you’re eating unhealthy food.
Use free wifi
Instead of using your phone for internet and running up a huge bill, stop at a place where they have free wifi. McDonald’s even has free wifi, so you’re going to find it wherever you go – unless you’re traveling in super-rural areas.
Look for deals and take advantage of them
Clip coupons, join rewards clubs, and get loyalty cards. If you buy 50 gallons of fuel, at most truck stops, you can get a shower for free. This saves money. Pack enough clothes to last till you make it back home. If you wash your clothes at laundromats, it can cost a pretty penny. Be sure to utitlize apps like Ibotta where you can earn cash back from gas stations and grocery stores.
Try not to take cash advances
I know it’s tempting, but unless absolutely necessary, don’t take a cash advance. There are fees as high as $15 to $20 for every $100 you get! If you run into an emergency, put it on your credit card and pay the balance off when the bill is due.
Avoid costly tolls
Tolls are expensive these days, especially if you are driving a moving truck yourself – they could cost your $5 or more, plus the money for your other vehicle you may be driving! Instead, use a GPS to find an alternative route. Or break out the old (okay, not too old, Rand McNally).
Save on fuel
Compare prices, and use GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas locally. Keep your car in tip-top shape by getting your oil changed regularly (not just before you travel). And, be sure to check the tire pressure as it can make a difference on how much fuel you use. Also, adhere to the speed limit because speeding burns more fuel faster. And, if possible, roll your windows down and enjoy the breeze.
What did you think of these tips for how to save money when living on the road? We’d love to hear, so be sure to leave a comment!