I love animals as much as anyone, but it’s not worth risking your life or other motorists’ lives to swerve 80,000 pounds around the road to avoid an animal. It's sad that some folks still let their animals run amok, and I hated running over a beautiful boxer dog at Big Cabin, a deer on the run in Wyoming and an alligator in Alabama. None of them knew I was there, and I tried slowing down, but there was nothing more I could do. Grip the wheel tight, keep the truck straight and slow down — that’s all you can do. I think not swerving to avoid the animals is very important. And I have to thank the Safety department for that policy. It's a good one.
Many times the truck that just pulled out will have a perfect path to back into. Aim your tire for that path. You will be surprised at how close you can get and how much you will improve your accuracy by paying attention to the path your wheels are taking. But don't forget to G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look)! That is some of the best advice truckers ever got! I heard it from all trainers, but more often from Joe Ward, retired, and my own husband, Joe Nader. Thanks to all!
You never know when you will be asked, "Did you do a pre-trip?" And if it's a DOT officer, you want to know if you looked good at the inspection date, the lights, the tires, the pins, fifth wheel, lights and even the valve stem covers. I'm picky about them and keep plenty extra in my side pocket door. A story from my first year of trucking really drove home that point: We ran into an old friend, and he had just picked up a load in which he needed to put a valve stem cover on all eight trailer tires. Again, thank you, David Dandeneau, for your wisdom and an important reminder! I won’t ever forget that, and Maintenance is glad to accommodate drivers with free valve stem covers and extra lights.
I park my truck in a parking spot, get out of the truck and walk toward the operating center. I have been told numerous times what to do when I walk away from the truck and I think I know it by now. My trainer says to me, "Are you done?" I respond, "Yes!" We are walking and talking and he tells me to look back at my truck. And there it is. My left blinker is ticking away. I must have bumped it getting out of my truck. I smile, hang my head and start my walk of shame back to the truck to turn the blinker off. Always turn around and look at your truck when leaving it. I can't tell you how many times I have seen flashing lights and blinkers in the parking lot. Thank you, David Dandeneau, for one of my first and most important lessons in driving.
If it leaves the road or goes outside of the line, you aren't driving safely. That trailer is a weapon that could get you and others injured or killed. But the expression I learned when I was backing up very close to the trailer next to me was, "Drive that trailer or you are subject to failure!" I never forgot it. Thank you, Ken Booker!
Frugality only works if you are having fun. Deprivation is not a long-term solution. Make it easy. Make it fun. Your financial goals are closer than you think if you can get rid of all the dead weight spending. And it is even okay to be silly about frugality. Here is a post on 10 Ridiculous Ways to Save Money. Life needs to be fun. Frugality is a way of life, a way of living. There is no need to give anything up! Quite the opposite. You can actually have more while being frugal. And so much of it allows for high-quality family time. It is fun to see how things work. It is not about yelling at the kids to turn off the lights. I hope you enjoyed these 31 tips and tricks to cutting spending. Frugal seems to be a dirty word until money is tight. I think good money habits are best applied at all times so money stress is reduced or even eliminated. And please, don’t let me do all the heavy lifting. My back is sore as it is. Share your favorite frugal tips and tricks in the comments below.
Just about everything today has a rewards program attached to it. Credit cards have offered cash-back rewards for a long time and debit cards have also started adding rewards programs. If you enjoy playing the game, you can find inconsistencies inside rewards programs. You can game the system for profit. Doctor of Credit is a good place to start playing the game. Sign up for their newsletter and get a weekly email on all the deals and specials on rewards programs. There are juicy deals each week. It can even be a profitable side hustle. Paying with a credit or debit card also comes with hidden perks. Many credit cards offer free extended warranties of products bought with their card. Purchase protection guarantees the lowest price or the card will refund the difference. Roadside assistance, delayed or lost luggage, trip cancellation, auto insurance are all free perks found with many credit cards if you know enough to ask. Even if you have an item stolen, many credit cards will replace the item! And don’t forget about local rewards programs. A local gas station created so many moving parts to their rewards program that I will pay under $2 a gallon for gas for the next year and a half. More details about utilizing all the hidden perks on credit cards can be read about here.
Insurance is a necessary evil. At least for home and auto coverage. The insurance they sell to protect a $100 purchase at Best Buy or Walmart or Amazon is worthless, in my opinion. Insurance is a commodity. The insurance company hopes you don’t see the relentless climb in the premium. Your best defense is to review and shop your insurance annually. This is the only way to ensure the best insurance for you at the lowest cost. Also be sure to review that you have adequate coverage. Especially liability. Lawsuits can take out just about any nest egg.
Companies love to set customers up on recurring payments. The customer is later either too lazy or doesn’t remember to cancel the service. Recurring payments are a cancer on the family budget. It is also low hanging fruit when it comes to frugality. And some subscriptions are outright scams! These recurring payments are financial death of a thousand cuts. They drain you dry a few drops of blood at a time. You must review all your credit and debit card statements each month. The same for all checking and savings accounts. Highlight the little buggers nickle and diming you to death each month and exorcise them. Be merciless! Your frugal reputation is on the line. You can probably retire 10 years sooner if you avoid these vampires.
Is there anyone left with a landline? Everyone has a mobile phone today. There is no reason to have a landline as well. And as long as we are talking about it, stop paying for AOL!!! Or any other unnecessary service. It blows my mind when I see people still paying for dial-up service or other such nonsense.