Moms on Money and Work


Last year, I shared a couple key things my Mom taught me about personal finances. This year, I’ll share a few lessons my Mom taught me about work while I was growing up:

  • All work is noble. My mom always conveyed a deep respect for honest, hard work and enthusiastic appreciation for a job well done. Whether or not the labor was manual made no difference. The pedigree of the laborer was irrelevant. A frequent and indelible image from my childhood was my Mom offering home-baked cookies and refreshments to folks doing work at our house. They were always delivered with a twinkly smile and a heartfelt thank-you. Work is good for the soul and deserves appreciation.
  • The details matter. My wife and I will never forget the image of my Mom using a Q-tip to clean the space between the buttons on our kitchen blender when we were first married. It’s a funny little example of her attention to detail, not to mention her ability to select the right tool for the job! Take a little extra time to do the job right. People notice.
  • Just do it — now. Growing up, my Mom would often remind us that a stack of clothes by the stair meant take’em up and put’em away. I now believe it was a subtle form of conditioning for a critical broader point: if you see something that needs to be done, take care of it — preferably sooner rather than later. When cooking, she’d always remind us: “if you clean up along the way, you won’t have much work to do at the end.” That’s wise advice that extends well beyond cooking.

What did your mom teach you about good work and money habits?

I’ve embedded a list of Mom-Money-Lesson articles from around the web below (also available here. Vote for your favorites. Seen another good post on the topic? Add it to the list.

My Mom was, and continues to be, a fabulous role model for me. That, among many other reasons, is why I love my Mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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