Before I flew over to Germany I went out with a few girlfriends for dinner and drinks.
When my check came, it was around $40, and I was trying to quietly calculate how I should pay for my meal.
Should I pay for it in cash? I need to fill up the gas tank this week before I drive Brutus an hour and back for his vet visit and USDA stamp.
Should I swipe our debit? What's the date? When does our car payment automatically come out? Is there enough money in there?
Should I charge it? Which credit card isn't maxed out yet?
One of my friends laughed and said "What do you mean? You guys are rich!" when I ended up slipping and saying aloud that I didn't know which method of payment I should choose.
After our silly $30,000+ wedding this past summer, four carload/UHAUL trips from Massachusetts to Florida, Florida to Massachusetts, Massachusetts to Texas and Texas to Massachusetts....then flying over to Germany....we've spent a lot of freaking money in the last twelve months.
Luckily, the team in Orlando reimbursed our travel money both ways, but we were still there for over a month during preseason (preseason is unpaid, mind you), setting up our apartment, buying groceries, etc....most of which was charged to credit cards with the mindset that we would pay them off once TJ started getting paid during the regular season. That didn't happen.
Texas has yet to reimburse us our travel money. They owe us over $1,000 (which I charged to a credit card that has been accumulating interest since November because the team thinks that they can continue to ignore us and the PHPA). We again, set up our apartment, paid for groceries, cable, internet, etc. The paychecks that we received while we were there were going straight to minimum debt payments, our car payment/insurance, TJ's student loans, and trying to play catch up. Since it was our decision to leave Texas, we had to pay our own way home. Tack on another $1,000.
The team in Germany paid for both of our flights over here, but not for Brutus or extra luggage. Brutus was $400 and the luggage was $200. Brutty's vet appointment and USDA stamp was around $200. There's $800 more.
The team here in Germany only pays once per month, so TJ didn't actually receive a paycheck until February 1st.
Holy hell, as you can imagine - it's been a stressful past few months.
"Why are you doing this, then?" I'm sure some of you are thinking.
Well, because it hasn't always been like this. We've hit a bump in the road. This hockey season in particular (due in a large part to the lockout), screwed us over, as well as many of our friends who also play minor pro hockey.
My point in sharing all of this personal information is to give you a little glimpse of what "living the hockey life" can sometimes be like.
It's not as glamorous as one might assume.
I saw Tweets etc. from hockey fans during the lockout who were all riled up about NHL players arguing over million dollar contracts.
Well, guess what guys? We're not millionaires.
Not even close.
You're welcome for my gift of transparency.
Right now, this is our reality ...
living paycheck to paycheck and trying to crawl out of our financial hole.
I've always looked at our five credit cards as five separate entities
a $850 bill here
a $4,300 bill there
but when I added them all together I was shocked to see that we owe over $10,000.
I spent the better part of yesterday calculating math figures and calling creditors to see if they could lower our interest rates. They did. I guess sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask.
So, where do we go from here?
Well, our plan right now is to give the Debt-Snowball Method a try.
We're going to focus on paying off our smallest debt first and then tackle the larger ones.
I'll keep you updated on our progress.
When did I become a grown up with grown up problems?
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