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Kid blows family’s savings on candy

By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com
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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125 Comments
Mari Santos
January 07, 2013 at 7:51 am

The article states that the child was doing this with the help of an adult. So I guess the kid is not the only one at fault.

Ben K
January 07, 2013 at 5:41 am

Both jealousy and gluttony are cardinal sins....

You people and your, "Poor kid" BS.....

Get a job and repay what wasn't his in the first place.

YourDumb
January 07, 2013 at 12:06 am

"losing that $4,000 probably felt like what an American family would feel in losing $53,600.".

Uh. no. Look up the cost of living in Ukraine. That $4,000 is nothing.

Joseph A Banks
January 06, 2013 at 11:59 pm

They need to grease this fatty up and charge people a nickle to try and catch him... I would love to see this kid walk over an open manhole and get stuck in it.

L
January 06, 2013 at 11:46 pm

No child should be called a "pig." Since he needs special care, he most likely did not know how much money he was spending,nor how important the savings were. I am sure he will be informed, grounded,and be held responsible for his actions, however his parents deem appropriate. Unfortunately, I have never had a stash of cash to lose.

janeyre
January 06, 2013 at 11:33 pm

The kid will have experience as a thief, if they do nothing. He is old enough, to know, it was wrong. Get him a job.

Linda Ritter
January 06, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Wow Joseph, I'm not sure what you did when you were younger that you got caught at but I'm sure that this boy will learn his lesson. While he needs to be punished for his deed, I'm thinking that calling a boy his age despicable is off the charts. There are many ways to atone for one's behavior. I'm certainly happy he isn't your boy because if he was, I think we would have to call the police to keep you from doing something that you might later regret.

Ms PacMan Addict
January 06, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Wow Joseph! A pig? I hope you're not a parent. Kids will be kids! I "borrowed" over $300 in drummer boy quarters from my uncle's collection back in the late 80s. I think I was about 9 as well. I used them to play Ms. PacMan at the local arcade. Everyday after school I would go in his drawer and grab a couple of hands full of quarters. He was disappointed. I was scolded and lectured on taking things and the value of money. No job and no obligation to reimburse him. Once I was an adult and remembered the situation I did gift him $300 in quarters. We had a good laugh!

NomnomCandyyy
January 06, 2013 at 1:48 pm

You know who the winners of this story are? That kid's friends. They made out like bandits with none of the consequences. Nice job, kids friends.

tony
January 06, 2013 at 12:49 pm

lol @ joseph. the kid is 9.