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The Simple Act That Started My Personal Finance Addiction

I think it’s safe to say that I have a personal finance addiction. I think about our financial goals while I’m at my day job, while I’m out on a run, and even while I’m rocking our little kiddo to sleep. It’s a little sick how often I think about money…but I just can’t help it! It’s this massive mysterious game with HUGE benefits if you can figure out how to win it. And let me tell you, I plan on winning. 🙂

My Personal Finance Addiction

Do you have an addiction? Maybe it’s one you’re proud of or maybe it’s something you wouldn’t tell a soul about because you hate that you do it. 

Whatever the case may be, our addictions are nearly impossible to break away from. We just keep wanting more, and when we get more, we want yet another dose. 

That’s how I feel about personal finance.

I borrow a book, read it cover to cover, learn a few things that I didn’t know about before, and then I crave yet another book, another article, another money conversation with someone that’s smarter than I am.

So when did this whole obsession start? How young was I when I was completely encapsulated with this money game?

It certainly didn’t start just yesterday or a year ago, or even a decade ago! It’s time to go wayyyy back into the memory archives. Back to when I was just a wee lad….5 years old.

Personal Finance AddictionThe Moment My Obsession Began

My mom tricked me yet again to go grocery shopping with her…

“Hey kids, who wants to get some ice cream?” (I jump up and down with my hand raised in the air – me me me!!) “Alright, first we have to go to the bank, then the Dollar Tree, and then to the grocery store….and then we can grab that ice cream on the way back.”

Ugh…okay… (Does every mom do this? Or was it just mine?)

We went through the checklist of items and places and were finally in the checkout at the grocery store. I was soooo close to that ice cream! And then, my mom ran into one of her friends and they started chatting.

“Greeaaaaat, here we go,” I thought to myself.

But, to my surprise, her lady friend started chatting with me. Soon into our conversation, she asked, “When is your birthday?”

“May 19” I replied.

“Me too!” She exclaimed.

This Moment. This Act.

Right then and there, she whipped out her wallet and started counting out dollars. You see, it was early May and nearly our birthday, and she wanted to get me a present. The best one she could think of was to give me $19. She gave it to me on one condition – that I use the money to open up a savings account. 

My mom and I both agreed.

Almost immediately, the funds were inserted into the bank and I got one of those booklets with my account balance printed inside.

It was for real. I, me, Derek Sall, had money in the bank! It was quite a proud moment. That booklet, that bank account, was the beginning of my obsession with money.

The True Obsession – Fueled By Interest

That booklet was pretty cool, and I did cherish it, but there was one more important component that got me hooked. 


Every time my mom and I would visit the bank after that, they would update my booklet with my new updated savings amount, and the balance was ALWAYS higher than the last because of this magical thing called interest. 

That $19 soon turned into $19.76. Then, $20.42. And it climbed yet again to more than $21! I was fascinated with the growth and it prompted me to put more money into that account, and then more money yet. All to watch those dollars grow. I simply LOVED it!

After a few years, I had hundreds of dollars saved. And, a few years after that, the booklet balance had a comma in it!

Today, I don’t think about only bank interest.

  • I consider the stock market,
  • our rental properties,
  • our private residence,
  • my potential earnings at my day job, and
  • all the future opportunities that are just waiting for me. 

This game of money is a fun one. I think the obsession might just stick with me for life. 🙂

Related: What is the Interest on $2 Million?

Personal Finance Addiction – What About You?

Are you a personal finance addict like me? Or is this website something you force yourself to read to ensure yourself a brighter financial future?

If you love finance as much as I do, I caution you to think about other important aspects of your life as well. Don’t get so hung up on money that you miss out on love, friendship, religion, volunteering, physical wellness, etc. There is more in life than just money!

If you’re not a personal finance lover, do your best to add a bit of it to your daily life. After all, as the saying goes, “Money won’t make you happy, but it sure doesn’t hurt!”

All you personal finance addicts like me – what got you started? Leave a comment below!

Grow Rich Investing Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. I can TOTALLY relate! I’ve somewhat recovered from it, but I was once in your shoes. 🙂

    • Haha. At least I’m not the only one! I’m recovering as well. Not nearly as bad as I once was. Still pretty bad though. Lol.

  2. What a great story! Who would have thought that a random occurrence of bumping into a friend could have such a big impact on a 5-year-old?! Mind-blowing!

    • It really is a great story! Maybe I’ll have to give $19 to some unsuspecting kid in the future! 🙂

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