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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
memp10
January 08, 2013 at 10:36 am

This story reminds me of something that happened to one of my friends when we were in college. She was a single teen mother of a toddler so she had to both worked and attended school full time. Needless to say she had her hands full and was always really tired. She had gotten off from work early one morning and withdrew her savings to pay for the following semester's tuition (that she was planning to pay later that day). She was so tired that she dozed off (accidentally) while watching her son, who was teething at the time. When she awoke she discovered that he had chewed up all of her money.

Roger
January 07, 2013 at 11:55 pm

So, maybe a locked safe then? At least the only person with access to steal the money is the kid. Put your money in the bank and you've got the world of hackers and cyber thieves to contend with. Sure, I keep my meager sums in a bank. Much more convenient. But if I cared that much about keeping my money safe from robbers, 2" of lead walls and a Smith and Wesson is all I need.

Dorothy Zeisneiss
January 07, 2013 at 11:25 pm

The father had to be devastated. That was a huge loss for the family.
It's not at all funny. As for his son, obviously there are issues
that he has and who are we to comment when we aren't familiar with
the persons involved? I do hope that punishment wasn't too tough on
the boy as well.

1972 Maverick
January 07, 2013 at 10:57 pm

It"s sad that so many think this is funny. Of course the parents were foolish for putting the money where they did, but then too none of us here in the USA know what it's like to live in the Ukraine. Most teen-age / young adults in America have cell phone accounts that cost what this family lost ! I truly hope that our economy turns around here in the US,otherwise there's alot of young adults that aren't going to be able to live without all the luxuries they have become accustomed to.
Sure, laugh at the plight of this family, but could you imagine losing your savings that you were hoping to use to go on vacation with ? Probably not.

GeordieKin
January 07, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Wow...and to think I was punished for taking $1 for candy when I was little. Seriously though I'm sure the parents were both angry and saddened at the money being gone, hopefully the repercutions weren't to bad for the boy.

FWard
January 07, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Way to think big kid… Enjoy the diabetes.

adarc
January 07, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Of course Ukrainian banks are necessarilly insured the way American banks are either...

chris
January 07, 2013 at 5:30 pm

imagine if he ends up with a dozen or more cavities and has to pay a ridiculous amount at the dentist to get it fixed o_O

420 stoner all day
January 07, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Man give the kid a break he was hungry with the munchies and wanted some food. big fing deal.

Claes Bell
January 07, 2013 at 11:59 am

Fixed... thanks!