You may know him as Wild Beard. Or Josiah Henry. No matter which, he is a great addition to the Hirschbach team and Bianca Sanchez, Hirschbach Marketing and Social Media Manager, was thrilled to have him on Hirschbach’s “What’s Your Drive?” podcast.
Wild Beard has been entertaining his own audience on his YouTube Channel, but sat down and talked to Bianca about his journey to financial freedom through his trucking job with Hirschbach.
Here is what he had to say.
*Note: Some answers are edited for brevity and clarity. To hear more from Wild Beard, access the podcast here.
Q: First things first. Tell us a little about yourself and your trucking career.
A: I’ve been at Hirschbach for about a year and a half. It’s just been a journey. I started OTR and switched over to Dedicated about 3-4 months ago. It’s just an adventure. I’ve been trucking for about three years total. It hasn’t been a long career, but it’s been working out!
Q: Why did you decide to switch from being a company driver to a lease operator?
A: Right before Hirschbach, I went through a divorce, so it was a tough time for me. I was a company driver at the place I was at before and I received around $800 a week. It was an okay company, not a bad one. It just wasn’t the pay I wanted.
I needed a shift in my life and I was looking at a bunch of lease purchase options. That’s when a friend mentioned Hirschbach and that’s where I chose to go.
Once here, it took about three months to get out of the company mentality and into the lease purchase mentality. That was a struggling three months, but then it started to click in and I started optimizing my pay.
Q: What steps did you take to gain your financial independence?
A: I was going check-to-check, living week-to-week. I had a nice apartment, car payment, debt and bills. I started listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast. Then I got his 7 Baby Steps audio book. I combined this with just working hard with Hirschbach.
I shut down my apartment and kind of lived out on the road. When I did come home, I’d get a hotel. I just started paying off debt. I paid off my credit cards and then cut them up when I was done. Then I paid off my car loan and student loans.
I don’t owe a penny to anybody and now I’m just saving money. I’m living debt free and Hirschbach really did help me get there.
It’s been hard work. Hirschbach presented opportunities that I could combine with my self-discipline and made it happen. It’s been a key factor to bringing me out of a dark place and setting myself up for a better future.
Q: I know it takes mental fortitude to really shift your mindset. How were you able to do it?
A: It does start with a mental shift. I was just sick of everything. I’m sick of owing people money and that the bank owned my car. I was just sick living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Then, you can complain about being sick of it or you can do something about it. A lot of people have finessed the complaining, but they have completely neglected the action it takes to do something about it. You have to realize that you are sick of it and then figure out what to do about it.
I just started budgeting. When I am on the road, I live on $250 a week. That’s a lot of money to some people, however, if you don’t budget the $250, you end up spending $500, $600 –or more– on the road. That’s really easy to do as a truck driver.
I set up an online bank account that is separate from my other accounts. This is my “play account” that has both a checking and a savings account. $100 goes into checking for food and such on the road and then $150 goes into the savings. If I want a new microphone or camera, it comes out of the savings account.
I mean, I’m also a single dude with no kids, so that’s a big help. But it is doable if you do have that.
It’s crucial to get on the same page with your significant other. Especially as a truck driver, where distance wise you may be far away, you still have to work closely with your significant other to make it happy.
Q: I know that eating out is a big thing for drivers out on the road for budgets. How do you handle that?
A: I buy groceries every time before I leave. It’s a lot harder for truck drivers to do that, especially if you stay out. It’s really hard to have eight weeks’ worth of groceries on your truck. It’s just very hard.
People will say there’s truck parking at Walmart, which is true. However, Walmart is always busy and it’s really hard to pull in there and navigate around other cars, so it’s more of a hassle than people realize.
Groceries are super important, but I do splurge and eat out about 2-3 times a week. I’m not a great cook. When I do eat on the truck, it’s in the little microwave. Beans and rice with some tortillas and some cheese and hot sauce. I like canned soup.
And I do work out to feel better and keep my energy up.
Like what you are reading and want to hear more from Wild Beard? Access the podcast here.