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?
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