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Kid blows family’s savings on candy

By Claes Bell ·
Friday, November 9, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

People get annoyed about institutions charging them bank fees to access their own money, but bank accounts do have the underrated benefit of making it impossible for a disturbed child to steal your life savings and use it to buy mass quantities of candy.

That's exactly what happened in Ukraine, where a young boy is in deep trouble with his parents. From the Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti:

A 9-year-old boy has emptied his parents' piggy bank, spending almost $4,000 on candy in the Ukrainian city of Konotop, the Ukrainian edition of Russia's Komsomolskaya Pravda daily said Wednesday.

A total of $3,300 and 500 euro (about $600) -- the family's entire savings -- went missing from the stash, which was kept hidden under a sofa.

"The disappearance was first spotted by the father, a shift worker who had just returned home," said Tatyana Kushnerova of the local police department. "He opened the stash and saw that it was empty."

After a brief family row, the son admitted stealing the money, saying he wanted to buy some sweets.

During his autumn vacation, the boy took various sums of money from the stash and converted it into Ukrainian hryvnas with the help of an adult acquaintance. The man, who has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, always received the biggest note for his services.

As the boy was unable to eat all the candy he bought, he shared it with friends.

I get a lot of people in the comments section of this blog and on social media threatening to take out their cash and stuff it under a mattress because of insultingly low interest rates, high bank fees, etc. But while the fact that the kid went and blew all this money on candy is kind of funny, this incident illustrates exactly why keeping large amounts of cash around your home rather than in a checking or savings account is a terrible idea.

To get an idea of how much $4,000 is for a Ukranian family, the gross national income per capita in Ukraine is $3,120 a year compared to $48,450 in the U.S., according to the World Bank. In other words, losing that $4,000 probably felt like what an American family would feel in losing $62,115.

Now, I'm sure the family had some good reasons for keeping the money in cash. Ukraine is experiencing massive inflation of around 10 percent annually right now, so the family was probably keeping its money in hard-currency euros to avoid that.

But whatever reasons that you have for keeping a large amount of cash in your home, it's important to remember that in doing so, you're risking a total loss. After all, when it comes to money, all it takes is one family member or friend who knows about your stash to succumb to temptation for that cash to be gone.

What do you think? Have you ever lost a stash of cash? Did you wish afterward it had been sitting in a bank instead?

Follow me on Twitter: @ClaesBell.

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November 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

To Dexter: You might want to take the same advice you dished out to Seriously People. The words "anyone" and "anyway" should have been in quotes in your post. See what happens when you become so pedantic? Really, I think we all know what SP meant. And he or she was right as rain (but pedantic, I'll give you that much) pointing out the other poster's spelling error. "Steel" versus "Steal." Elementary school words.

November 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Honestly, who cares! This is the type of irrelevant nonsense that passes for hard news these days. What a waste of bandwidth!

November 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

To: Seriously People, when you make fun of someone for spelling errors, make sure your grammar is correct......anyway, not anyone. :-)

John Y
November 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

How much can they sell the kid for? Maybe they could break even...

November 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Put your money in a safe deposit box, it' protected, the Govt can't get to it, and when the banks re-open after they fail, your money will still be there. Others won't be as lucky, even if it's worthless, it's better than letting the Govt. know how much you've got.

November 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Can the kid be locked up? saving the parents money over the years?

November 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Chuck - If the President should happen to declare martial law (I find it sad that you believe that he will), odds are the US$ isn't going to be worth much anyone.

Alan - steel: a metal used in construction; steal: to take something that belongs to someone else. Spelling words correctly makes your point much more powerful.

November 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Where's your money going to go when the Pres declare Martial Law and all banks are closed and the only ones with money is the government, assuming they can print it fast enough.....

November 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Lesson we have just learned. Take our hidden money we hide from the government and put it in the banks so they can see what they want to tax and steel.

November 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

Wow! That is so much candy.