Saving money

At some point, most of us have been told about the importance of saving money. Unfortunately, that message is often delivered in a negative context – specifically one that tells us how bad we are at it, and how our future goals will be unattainable if we don’t start saving our money right now.

Whether people realize it or not, this approach has led many individuals, including fleet managers and owner-operators, to develop a negative mentality around saving money. As helpful as good financial spending habits and a well-developed plan  can be, improving your mentality around saving money can help you stay more motivated and engaged while you work toward your goals. 

Below, we’ll talk about some of the ways that business owners develop a negative mindset, how it affects their relationship to money and how to change the mentality around saving.

How a Negative Mindset Develops

A decision-maker’s relationship with money is a critical part of their success, whether that’s in the trucking industry or any other. Having a negative relationship with money or a negative outlook about saving can significantly undermine your company’s ability to build wealth. Primarily, it can lead to poor decisions that can affect your finances.

A person’s mentality about money and saving is largely shaped by their past experiences, upbringing and societal norms or influences. In some instances, people don’t even need an event to happen to them directly to absorb and internalize negative ideas about money. There are also a few different ways in which a negative mentality can present itself. 

Impacts of the “scarcity mindset”

One of those ways is a scarcity mindset, or the belief that money is a limited resource. People with this mindset tend to have a more survivalist approach to running their business. Owner-operators and fleet managers may view rising costs and market uncertainty as a justification for unhealthy spending habits – in this case holding on to as much of their money as possible.

This anxiety about the short-term future can be damaging to carriers’ long-term goals. Particularly, it may prevent those in charge from making repairs until they’re absolutely necessary, or it may prevent them from planning for any big future purchases that might actually help them grow their business. 

Other reasons businesses struggle to save

Of course, these aren’t the only examples of how this mindset can impact financial decision makers. Some may even take the opposite approach – where they see saving money as a loss because they don’t feel comfortable in the future. Others may want to start saving and planning for the future, but they’re more focused on the day-to-day expenses and will start saving once their company becomes more profitable. 

As much as we want to see ourselves as objective and rational, emotions like fear and uncertainty can impact our saving and spending habits in very subtle ways. However, it’s possible for fleet managers and owner-operators to shift their mindset and change their mentality for the better. Not only that, but it’s possible to save money even when the short-term future looks uncertain.

Changing the Mentality Around Saving

There’s no doubt that saving money for the future is important, but it can also be fun! By shifting your mindset, it becomes easier to enjoy the process of saving and planning for the future – not to mention very rewarding once you see your savings start to grow.

So, how do you start shifting that mindset? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Forgive your past mistakes.

No matter the industry, anyone who has ever been in charge of money has likely made a less-than-ideal financial decision at some point. You might even still be trying to climb your way out of that decision.  While you shouldn’t forget the factors that caused the issue (so that you can prevent it in the future), continuing to beat yourself up over it will only hurt your situation. Learning how to properly save and spend is tricky, and trial and error is a common part of that process.

Realize that you have time.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s okay if you don’t have much savings built up or if you don’t have a plan right now. Before you start saving, whether for a big purchase or otherwise, take some time to evaluate your current approach to saving and spending money and then reflect on your thoughts and emotions about it. Giving yourself this time and space can also help you determine what your (and your trucking company’s) needs and values are so you can set tangible savings goals. 

Set an attainable savings goal (and make a plan and budget to get there).

Speaking of savings goals, once you have a better understanding of your company’s needs and values, it’s important to set a savings goal that’s reachable. Rather than just a general approach of simply “saving more money”, setting a specific goal and seeing your progress toward that goal is one of ways to motivate yourself to stick to that goal (and any future money-saving goals you may have).  

Of course, holding yourself and your employees accountable throughout that journey will be very important. Once you have a goal in mind, it’s essential to create a budget to track your trucking company’s income and expenses, as well as to develop a plan for saving a certain percentage of your net profit. Before you get started, make sure you calculate your cost and revenue on a per-mile basis and track the flow of cash going in and out of your business.

RTS Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Whatever your future savings goal may be, the dedicated professionals at RTS Financial can help you reach them. Support services like our savings program, which is part of our factoring services, allows you to build up your savings every time you factor. We’ll take a small percentage of the money from your invoice and transfer it into an account of your choosing. Over time, those savings can build up and help you achieve your financial goals.  

Visit our website today to get more industry insights, or reach out to a representative for more information on how to enroll in our savings program.  

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