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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
DIVA ON THE LOOSE
January 05, 2013 at 12:09 am

The child did not benefit from the money as much as the accomplise did. There is no way a 9 yr old could exchange the money from one currency to the next. Hard lesson learned and one they will never forget.

glendolyn
January 04, 2013 at 9:06 pm

some parents are so eazy. they let thire little children run thire lifes for them.my kids included.My grandkids pick where to eat. Where to go to see a movie.They say.... i want and its in thire hand before its thought of.So sad when i go to the nursing home.Little billy and his friend push me out side for some air while they go pee and smoke.................and here it is 5 days later little billy ask his friend what time did he take me back to my room and hes says i thought you did he says i thought you did.............. well never mind now im in good hands. not yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and no more kids running my life.........

Joyce
January 04, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I agree with you Kathryn..How can we help this family out..

gaylord
January 04, 2013 at 7:24 pm

L

Patrick
January 04, 2013 at 6:03 pm

That kid wouldn't be able to sit down for a year! Of course in my house that kind of money would be locked up in a safe and there is no way that anyone but me and a spouse, if I had one would even have the combination.

kjterz
January 04, 2013 at 11:30 am

crack addict in the making............................

Hjourzt Fjioords
January 04, 2013 at 12:56 am

I have a rather large fridge at home and I've been eating a lot of pork chops.

-Sid

Megan
January 03, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I learned my lesson in my late teens. I didn't have a checking account because I lived at home with the parents and had no real bills. When I received my paycheck from my part time job, I would usually just cash it and keep most of the money at home only leaving the house with the amount I thought I needed on my person. Well, my best friend's parents went out of town one weekend and you know what that means... PAAAAARRRTY! I had cashed my paycheck on my lunch break because I was working the closing shift. Because it was so late, I went directly to my friends house and thought I was being super saavy by hiding my wallet underneath a MASSIVE pile of her dirty laundry. NO ONE knew I did this, not even my friend. As I was gathering up my belongings the next day to go home I discovered my wallet was still there but all of my $400 pay was GONE! That stunk!!!!! BADDDDDDLY! Don't do it folks!

Kathryn
January 03, 2013 at 9:47 pm

is there a fund to send money to these people? someone should start one

downtherabbithole
January 03, 2013 at 6:41 pm

@Jeff Botarro . . . When I was small, the Sugar Daddy lollypop was a popular treat. :)