It's a Team's Life
Riding the Roller Coaster part 2
The income of an expediter is very volatile and this does not matter if the truck is owned or a driver for a fleet owner.
Week by week or day by day income is as unpredictable as the loads. One week the income can be less than $1000.00 dollars and the next week over $10,000 and as such it is easier to figure income and expenses by the month not the day or the week. How to handle such a swing in income? That is the million-dollar question.
What works best for many is to have a list of bills due each month and the list of bills includes the money that is put back for emergencies, maintenance, retirement, next truck, paying the drivers, and quarterly payments. As money is made that income is deposited into business accounts and throughout the month bills are paid. I keep a budget book page for each month and when we have bills that are not due each month I list them on the appropriate page of the month the bill is due. I do not like surprises and do everything within my power to not have this happen.
If there is any money left over after paying all of the bills at the end of the month that money is put back into the business to be used for a rainy day. The last thing anyone wants is to be strapped for income or be in a position where they live week to week. In the best scenario, there will be no credit card balances, car payments, or toy payments. Using a credit card in this business is often a must and the credit card is paid off each month.
Learning to control money earned, control expenses, and have a reserve fund can mean the difference between a successful operation and one that fails at the first emergency.
How I compare our income to a roller coaster is that we can start out slow climbing the hill with loads that pay a fair rate for a unexciting normal load. Pickup at one dock and deliver to another dock. There is always the excitement when the phone rings that the next load will be challenging and will pay extremely well. This excitement can last going down the hill at high spend and up the next climb on the coaster tracks. Then we get offered a load that is exciting and we end up doing a loop in our minds as the load is exciting and then it cancels. We go from being very excited to back at the starting gate with no load and no excitant. Offers can range from short miles good money, long miles and poor money, to long miles and good money, and our that is how our income can be all over the place up and down and at times we think we have the money in the bank to only be snatched back as the load cancels. What keep me from going totally insane is not having a lot of bills and having an emergency fund just in case... Until the next load we sit and wait.
Bob & Linda Caffee
Saint Louis MO
Expediters since January 2005
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.