Banking Blog

Finance Blogs » Banking Blog » Kid blows family’s savings on candy

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.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
December 03, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I swear, I'd kill him if I was his parent...

December 01, 2012 at 7:43 am

Heres is a good place for me to admit I made the same stupid mistake. I had $800 in cash stashed away in an envelope in my file cabinet. Albeit a far cry from $4000 and not my life savings, still a stupid mistake. One day I cleaned out my file cabinet, putting the book that the stash was hidden in in the recycling bin. A week later, after recycling was picked up, I realized my mistake. I was really upset at myself, but I have turned it into a learning experience. Never again. I just hope the cash got found by some lucky recycling employee and not recycled with the rest of the paper products.

November 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Sell the kid to get some of the money back.

November 30, 2012 at 12:12 am

A couple of you on here need to learn how to comprehend what you are reading? Tithing and such as you state have nothing to do with this story or why the child took the money. The parents should have put the money in a lockbox or something similar if they don't trust banks and put it in a place where your child can't find it. Under the mattress is about the worst place to put your money.

November 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

By CHARITY, do you mean the money to pay set aside for Tammy Fay Baker's facelifts, or Jimmy Swaggert's prostitutes?

November 22, 2012 at 7:03 am

Daphne, that story makes me cringe. First of all, God doesn't take things out of your hide at any rate. Perhaps if you weren't so sanctimonious and your daughter felt like she could ask you for a loan to pay for a present for YOUR grandchild, she would feel desperate enough to borrow the money. Tithing is a wonderful practice, but it isn't designed to create different classes of Christians who judge one another for who tithes and who doesn't. Perhaps you should examine your priorities and motivations before casting aspersions on others. She shouldn't have taken the money without asking, but that's not the only thing that is sinful about that situation.

November 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

Back in the 70's, I drove an ice-cream truck. One week, counting my reciepts, I noticed I got some silver coins every day. This was unusual, to get silver every day. So, I watched for it. Sure enough, the next day I identified two 8 year old boys in a nice neighborhood. I watched them as they went home with their ice cream and candy. I then went to the door and ratted them out to their mom. The next day, the mom came out and thanked me. She told me the kids found their dad's silver coin collection and started to go through it. She thanked me, but I lost two good customers.

November 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Just being a kid,I'm sure he just thought he was going to spread some cheer with his candy in hand. Who ever helped him exchange the money should have thought something was not right, its not a good thing to keep money where just anyone in the house can find it.

November 20, 2012 at 1:50 am

Nice story but I don't think it has the ability to stand toe to toe with the fact that anyone who keeps their money in a bank account after the FDIC coverage of the largest holders deposits drops to cover only $250,000 in January 2013 are going to get washed down the drain when all these big depositors pull out and leave the banks twisting in the wind. (along with all the average to above average account holders) Anyone with more than $250k is going to break up their accounts into smaller protected ones I would think. This isn't going to be a good time to cross one's fingers and pray their money will be alright! The level of fraud within the banking sector is far too high to trust any of the banks that might survive this coming fiasco. Will they remain "too big to fail again"? I would certainly hope not!

November 20, 2012 at 1:21 am

God don`t have overhead ,but the church the tithes were going to does. Heating ,electricity, building maintenance, the salary for the preachers, any missionary work the church sponsors, come out of tithes and offerings.