The Tooth Fairy Proves Losing is Big Business, Gives Kids a 23% Raise in 2013

Tooth fairy
The Tooth Fairy: Putting her money where your kids’ mouth is — and lots of it.

Recession schmecession. You’d never know there are people hurting financially in this country if you were to just look at the spending habits of the Tooth Fairy.

That’s because despite a rise in interest rates and not in most paychecks, the Tooth Fairy is rewarding kids for losing their teeth — a whopping 23 percent more than she did in 2012.

According to an annual survey from Visa Inc., the average tooth is now worth $3.70 under the pillow, which is up from $3 last year. They figure that based on the rate of return, kids can squirrel away $74 for their full set of baby teeth.

Visa Inc. surveyed 3,000 people by telephone in July and found that kids in the Northeast fare the best for their chompers, getting an average of $4.10 per tooth. Kids West and South receive $3.70 and $3.60 respectively. The piggy banks of Midwestern children are getting the short end of the Tooth Fairy’s wand, raking in just $3.30 per tooth.

Still, a whopping 10 percent of all kids get in excess of $5 per tooth, which is more than three times as in 2011. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 36 percent of those surveyed said the Tooth Fairy wasn’t even coughing up $1.

In general, the Tooth Fairy will manage to visit 90 percent of U.S. households with young children this year, which is up 6 percent from 2012. Nat Sillin, who is Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education, says the parents of those newly wealthy children should seize the moment and guide their kids wisely about how to handle their money.

“The Tooth Fairy is throwing money around like pixie dust,” according to Sillin. “While more money is exciting news for children, parents should take this opportunity to talk saving and smart money habits with their kids and have the same talk with a perhaps overgenerous Tooth Fairy.”

For parents struggling with an amount to recommend to the Tooth Fairy per molar and canine, there’s an app for that, which suggests an amount for each family based on location, the parent’s age, education level, and annual income.


Photo credit: iStockphoto

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