When it comes to Moms - mine is the best as far as I'm concerned. I have zero memories of my mom being pessimistic. She raised me (the youngest of three boys) with a smile on her face the entire time.
That didn't seem so amazing in the moment, and now looking back as a 35-year-old with zero kids I can hardly fathom how she pulled this off. It takes my best self to not do an exaggerated eye roll when my fiance asks me to do something I'm not overly excited about (like cleaning the gutters).
My mom somehow worked, cooked all the meals and drove hundreds of miles per week taking us to endless practices.
She went off script quite a bit too. One of my favorite stories to tell is about writing a budget for my personal expenses when I was 10 years old.
It was really for my older brothers. They made a plan for how much money they needed each month. It included money for everything from lunch, clothes, weekend entertainment ... basically they were asked to figure out how much money they needed for the month, and my mom would either approve or challenge their plan.
When you are the youngest, you don't really understand that you are any different than your siblings. It made no sense that I would not manage my money just like my brothers. So I wrote down what I thought made sense.
If I had to guess, it looked about like this for the month:
- School Lunch Money - $40
- Clothes - $30
- Video Games - $10
- Haircut - $10
- Entertainment with friends - $20
I didn't really grasp it at the time, but there were clearly lots of expenses I wasn't aware of. My soccer trainer was more than I could have imagined at the time, and when we went as a family to Chili's for dinner on the weekends - I didn't pay my portion.
My mom only included things in the budget that she wanted us to influence. This was smart, because it kept us focused on what we could influence. That same logic aligns with the way we have been rolling out Open Book Management at King of Pops.
So after thinking it through, eventually we each presented our plans to our mom. She reviewed each line, and would challenge them if they seemed too high (she was nice, she also let us know if it seemed to low).
As soon as my mom said my monthly plan was approved, I started to think about how I could make this work to my advantage.
The envelope of cash was broken into small bills so I could separate it into groups and then watch it painfully disappear.
I have a vivid memory of receiving that first envelope of money. After counting it, I approached my mom with a proposal.
"I have a question," I said. "If I use my money to buy a pair of hair clippers, and I buzz my own hair - will I still get my haircut money each month?"
"Yep," she said - almost immediately.
I spent the next six years buzzing my own hair and keeping that leftover $10 for other things.
The system worked for me. I always thought twice before spending any money. I remember going to rent video games with my friend and I would always insist on avoiding the new releases so we would save a few dollars.
If my mom had simply pulled out $10 bills whenever I wanted something - I don't think I would have realized the value of money.
Open Book Management has always been really appealing to me. It just makes sense to get as many people involved and thinking about the finances as possible.
We're trying to do the same thing at King of Pops, and I hope it has the same effect ...
Thank you for everything Mom!