Deposits and Withdrawls



For my money, (no pun intended) the secret to a happy life boils down to deposits and withdrawals. This is not as obvious as the title may appear. While I do not worship or bow to money (although I do rank it right up there with air; having more is better than having less) I do think the analogy is perfect.

My son is learning about deposits and withdrawals. His favorite elective so far at Mill Creek has been Sim Money. In it, they simulate things like careers, income versus expenses and rewards or consequences for good or bad decisions. He sees something on a game he loves and wants to buy credits on Minecraft or his favorite, Roblox, he gives me money from his piggy bank and poof! He gets credits. One of his best friends had a birthday recently and they enjoy playing this game Roblox whenever they can (see also: allowed). It should be noted that I can neither confirm nor deny a certain author I know may or may not be a level 87 in a certain Roblox paintball game, (it is really fun…um…so I have been told) but that is a story for another day. Back to TMan’s friend. He came to me and said,

“Dad, can I buy some Robux?”

“What for?” I thought my response was rather ‘parent-like.’

“Well, it’s (insert friend’s name here) birthday and there is something on the game he really wants. I thought I could buy it for him.”

“As a birthday present?”

“Because he’s my friend. But I guess it can be a birthday present too.”

Needless to say, that purchase was made on the spot. Not for the actual item. I’m sure TMan’s friend will enjoy the upgrade or bonus pack or whatever the cash went for. But because of the deposit my son made. You see my friends, far too many people walk around this life living in a state of emotional overdraft. They give, give, give. Or worse yet, people take, take, take without emotional permission. Where can we find that emotional currency to help us replenish our accounts? Ready for the secret?

By giving.

Giving with purpose and intent is the best way to help our accounts zoom from a negative balance to a positive one quickly. Here’s my theory. When you give with the purpose and intent of giving to someone else completely, that is, without the expectation of anything in return, the deposit you give them pays you with what I call emotional interest. That interest is then applied back to our own account. When we give ourselves (our time, our talents and yes, sometimes money to the causes we most believe in) to others, we are giving them deposits. The reward for those deposits is given back to us as good feelings, pride, and a sense of lessons, perhaps passed on to a father from his son who wants to do something nice for a friend. Let that emotional interest be the thing that refills us. The more giving done from this place, that is to say giving for its own sake, the more we will seek out those we can help and encourage with more emotional deposits. That feeling then becomes sort of ‘contagious.’ This is the kind of thing we WANT to catch in this day and age, wouldn’t you agree?

If you find yourself struggling with a zero or near-zero emotional bank account, reach out to me at In these unprecedented times, it is helpful to have a coach who can get your account out of the red and back into the black!

Steve Gwisdalla is the unofficial Tribal Leader of the Tribe of Up. He lives in Dexter and owns BetterPlace Consulting, a personal coach, listener and emotional bank account manager. Reach out to him at

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