Sunday, September 1, 2019

Let The Games Begin - Mother / Daughter Challenge

Wisdom of 54 years should discourage something like this, but I do love a good challenge.

My daughter and I both have lofty goals.  Both of us are working hard and making sacrifices to reach them.  But sometimes, even when you put forth your best effort, the dream seems just slightly out of reach. My words ring in her ears...."Never Give Up", "Keep Dreaming"!

I've taught her to dream big and work hard...so she's holding me accountable for my own words. Now that's a scary thought.

I'm sure you're dying of curiosity. What is this challenge?

Seriously, I must be out of my mind to take her on.

I work full time in a manufacturing facility in a small rural city in North Carolina. I have three children still at home...two of whom have full time jobs and are saving towards building their own homes (YES!!!!).  

Recently, I have been made aware of many folks - not much older than myself - that "retired", then came down with a medical condition that limits their mobility, became disabled, or passed away.  REALLY?  Is that what I want?  Work my fanny off my entire life, then when I finally get to slow down and enjoy the fruits of my labor, I can't?

So, my goal is to be debt free (mainly just mortgage & 2 cars) so I can begin hard-core saving for retirement. Yes, I have a retirement fund, but it's not going to be enough.  And at my age, a mortgage is just scary considering all the body break-downs that begin occurring...knowing anything can happen at any time that could prevent my ability to work. Let me be serious for a minute - the occassional aging pains are making me aware of joints and body parts that I guess I never really knew could hurt.  Not to mention the joy of menopause. Now that's quite an experience friends.

My daughter will be driving in a few short months and she will need transportation. What I could afford isn't really the safest car on the road....and she would prefer something reliable. We are down-to-earth people, so it will be a low mileage used car. She will, as was required of my other children, get a job at 16 years old (and maintain good grades in school). So she will need a car to get to school and work.  Once they are working, transportation costs, auto repairs and maintenance are their responsibility. Instilling responsibility and work ethic in my children is something that will help them for the rest of their lives...long after I'm gone. My hope is that they will continue this when they have children of their own.

So, my daughter suggested a contest. See which of us can raise our money the quickest.

Well, immediately I know the cards are stacked in her favor.  

Pros & Cons
  • I have more things I can sell - But extremely limited time to get them listed, packed & shipped
  • She has more time to make things...but it will take a LOT of 'making' to buy a car as most of her goods will only sell for about $5
  • I provide much of the raw material she'll need to 'make' her things (I have years of collecting vintage costume jewelry...she is allowed to recycle the broken, damaged, or missing pieces items). I believe in taking care of the planet we are blessed with and am BIG on recycling and re-purposing
  • We both are creative, but she is more 'youthful' and 'trendy'
  • I have a household to run. Yes, I have two grown kids, but I have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting them to contribute significantly as they are rarely home.
  • She has the ability to market her goods at school
She began the challenge with "only handmade" things...but has agreed, due to my work and time restraints (not to mention the huge financial difference in the goals), that anything I sell can go towards my goal.  Back story: About 2 years ago, my children began freaking out about the accumulation of vintage & historic things I've collected over the years...and the fact that one day, they would be responsible for selling it all.  So, I have been trying to sell everything I don't think I'll need or want in retirement. 

Some of the things I didn't want to sell are my arts and crafts supplies. I know I will want to enjoy that during retirement. But the accumulation is so great that I have been "making" when time permits to downsize even that stockpile.

So...with all this being said, I am creating this chart to show our progress.

And although we both agreed that hard work and sacrifice is the only way to get this done, I have agreed to set up a donation button in case anyone can identify with either of our plights, has the financial ability, and wishes to make a donation.  As I explained to her, there are no "get out of debt free" cards in the game of life, so therein lies the idea for the 'free' money donations...that which we are blessed with from the Grace of God and goodness of hearts...not from our own personal labor.

I have urged her, as I do, to donate 10% to a charity or charities that she believes in. My listings on ebay automatically donate 10% to charities I support. So, she's added that expense to the cost of her car. When the challenge is over, we will let everyone know the charities she chose.

I know this has been a long post to read, and we appreciate your kindness of time. Time is a valuable commodity in life.

I will set aside time once a week to update the chart on the blog. Or maybe I'll teach HER to do that....I'll let it be a 'teaching' moment and make sure she understands what a valuable skill it will be for her future.