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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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Joseph A Banks
January 06, 2013 at 9:49 am

The child must immediately go to work at whatever job he can find until the money is paid back. He is a thief and a pig. Only in this way can he atone for his despicable behavior and learn what hard work and saving is all about.

Barney Fwank
January 06, 2013 at 4:04 am

The same way they raided Social Security. Only they spent it on votes.

Willy Wonka
January 06, 2013 at 1:51 am

Actually, this has happened one other time. A young man named Charlie spent his family's savings to buy a Chocolate Bar. It worked out pretty well for him....he won a Chocolate Factory and an entire tribe of Oompa Loompa's.

I see this boy as an investment genius...


January 05, 2013 at 11:16 pm

If the boy purchased what is comparable to over $50,000. in candy, then he must also have some sort of mental issue...not just the person who helped him convert the money.

To the idiots who are making Obama references...this is in the Ukraine...not all stories "have" to link back to your whiny tantrums about the current administration.

January 05, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Sad day for the parents. I think it's perfectly ok to keep your money at home, but, for heaven's sake, keep it in a dry, fireproof, and HIDDEN place. The article said "Piggy bank"....surely they didn't really use a piggy bank!! Too bad....I hope they don't go crazy over it!!

January 05, 2013 at 10:11 pm

The math in this Claes Bell article doesn't add up.
Try this on a spreadsheet:
4000/3120 = 1.28.
53600/48450 = 1.11.
(4000/3120) * 48450 = 62115.
The correct number works out to 62115, which is much, much more than 53600.

Claes, please fix your article.

John D
January 05, 2013 at 9:37 pm

If the family lived in the US, the kid was a Harvard MBA, and the $4000 was $4,000,000,000, the government would shore them up. We need these problems to be BIG (too big to fail, that is) before we even care anymore. Maybe the kid will use this experience to get into an MBA program so he can fleece us all in 20 years or so. Hmmm. . .

January 05, 2013 at 7:20 pm

bomma will take care of everything

January 05, 2013 at 7:19 pm

make him a ceo

January 05, 2013 at 7:12 pm

give him 8000 to buy a house