The Tooth Fairy Needs to Stop Overpaying

A young girl smiles as she holds up a lost tooth.
Image Source: Thinkstock

There are just some things I don’t believe in emptying out my wallet for — and for the love of all that is good, the cost of a lost tooth should be one of them. If you ask me, the Tooth Fairy just needs to give $1 per tooth. No more, no less.

A dollar per tooth (whether it’s a bill, four quarters, or a pile of pennies) tells a kid that losing a tooth is special. A dollar per tooth says there’s such a thing as money for nothing, but it’ll never be as much as you think it will be, so don’t count on it. A dollar per tooth says go on a shopping spree, but if you want more than what this dollar will get you, you’ll need to earn it by actually accomplishing something and then saving it.

But get this: According to a recent LendEDU survey, Gen Z appears to be making hand over fist when it comes to losing teeth, receiving an average of $3.25 per tooth. Millennials, on the other hand, received an average of $2.13 for lost teeth when they were kids, whereas Gen-Xers got $1.39. And Baby Boomers? A measly $0.69!

This is the part that surprised me, though: When LendEDU adjusted those rates for inflation, they actually found that older generations received more per tooth than younger ones. (Go figure!)

“When inflation is accounted for, the average amount of money received per lost tooth for millennials ($3.72) was closest to what generation Zers have been receiving ($3.25),” LendEDU reported. “The average Tooth Fairy gift for baby boomers of $0.69 would be $5.77 today, while generation Xers’ gift of $1.39 would be $5.54 today.”

$5.54 a tooth? Get outta town!

Look, to each his own — if you want to empty your wallet every time your kid loses another tooth, that’s your prerogative. But I tend to think that if you want to teach kids a lesson about money, it’s best to put it at a level they’ll understand. More money than they’ve ever seen under their pillow is meaningless, but an amount that’s just enough to make a first grader feel a little rich in the penny-candy store? Priceless.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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