Congratulations! Completing U.S. truck driving training is a great achievement in itself, however transitioning into a career is another beast entirely.
Whether you’re straight out of high school or have years of job experience, understanding the financial aspects of building a career is critical. Follow along as we analyze a few financial tips that will help you create confidence as you explore your work-life journey.
Learn How to Budget
One of the biggest challenges when transitioning from schooling to a career is learning how to budget. Understanding how to live on less is a valuable lesson that every USTDTS graduate should learn. Depending on your age, family, and relationship status your spending will fluctuate, and that’s when strategic budgeting comes into place.
Like budgeting for CDL training, some post-graduation tactics include strategically tracking your payments and spending on a weekly and monthly basis. Consider car payments, rent, utilities, and avoid spending money on wants over needs. Additionally, there are personal finance apps that truck drivers can utilize like Mint.com or PayPal to help record their transaction patterns. To develop financial balance, learning how to budget effectively will pay dividends.
Consider Financing Options
After graduating from USTDTS, a variety of life transitions can occur. Some of these include having to move, finding a house/apartment, or working to provide for your growing family. Depending on your age and aspirations, it’s crucial to consider your short-term and long-term goals. For example, younger graduates may start with renting an apartment but want to eventually buy a new house later on as they marry or have kids. Whatever decision you choose to make, it’s critical to consider reliable financing options.
Some financing options for graduates looking to become homeowners include a Federal Housing Administration loan and a USDA loan. An FHA loan is a valuable option for graduates because it provides shorter waiting periods, low credit score requirements, and less stringent debt-to-income requirements. A USDA loan is backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a reliable option that requires no down payment, has low fixed interest rates, and provides flexible credit options.
Create a Retirement/Savings Account
Every truck driving graduate should consider opening some sort of savings account. A 401(K) or joint savings account with your spouse are both great ways to save your money. In particular, 401(K) truck insurance programs can help a driver build savings for themselves and/or family. This can provide a steady return, while not risking your savings altogether.
A positive of moving into the workforce is that you can take advantage of health benefits provided by most trucking franchises. Depending on the size of the organization, it may be smart to invest in these benefits. These plans can include medical insurance, dental insurance, mental health insurance, and life insurance. Help yourself by creating a savings plan that can provide a backbone for your future.
Develop an Emergency Fund
Another future financial tip for USTDTS graduates is to build some sort of emergency fund. According to the Federal Reserve, more than half of Americans can’t afford a $400 unexpected expense. Like it or not, there are impactful and unfortunate events that can occur at any given time to anyone. To be prepared, graduates should consider building some sort of emergency fund.
In order to develop an emergency fund, it’s best to create smaller goals then grow from there. Start with smaller, regular contributions and try to avoid increasing your monthly spending. It’s also beneficial to automate your savings as well. Depending on your bank you can route funds directly into your savings. Find peace of mind in the midst of any unfortunate events knowing you have back up.
Graduating from any university or institution is an incredible feat. Take all of your hard work and set yourself up for a financially confident path. If you are interested in creating a career in the trucking industry, enroll in the U.S. Truck Driving Training School today!