Tags: tooth | fairy | inflation

Tooth Fairy Inflation: Kids Now Get Average of $3.70 Per Lost Tooth

Friday, 30 Aug 2013 03:32 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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While many are worried about what will become of the country's economy in the future, a new study shows no one is feeling inflation more than the Tooth Fairy — and her grown-up representatives.

A study released Friday by Visa shows that the days of leaving a quarter under the pillow are long gone. Today, the Tooth Fairy is shelling out an average of $3.70 per tooth, up 23 percent in a single year and up 42 percent in just two years, reported Reuters.

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While Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of global financial education, couldn't pin the increase directly on Obamacare, he told Reuters he did find another culprit — parents who just can't say no.

"Tooth Fairy inflation clearly is surging," Alderman told Reuters. "It is due to a combination of things: one is a reflection of an improving economy and that parents feel they can afford to be generous in small areas. The other real driver is parental angst. It is very hard for us to say 'no' to our kids."

Calculating the new average over a full set of 20 baby teeth, one child can command a hefty $74 from the tooth fairy by the time he or she is 12.

The Visa report said young parents are particularly guilty at driving up tooth fairy prices. Parents between ages 18-24 say they tuck away almost $5 under the pillow. Regionally, the Tooth Fairy carries the heaviest burden in the Northeast, where kids are pulling down about $4.10 per tooth, but makes up for it by stiffing Midwestern kiddos with an average $3.30 payout, according DailyFinance.com.

Some 90 percent of households got a visit from the Tooth Fairy in the last year, compared to 84 percent a year ago, showing a growing generosity among the fairy sect, DailyFinance.com reported. Two percent of children get a Bill Gates-like $50 per tooth.

"I've seen some parents go crazy with things like Tooth Fairy-branded pillows and special boxes for the teeth," Neale Godfrey, chair of the Children's Financial Network, told Reuters. Godfrey is the author of books like "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees: A Parent's Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children.

"It's like, enough already," Godfrey added. "If you are going to overindulge, at least have them put some of that money towards a charity. It would be really cool if kids supported a charity in keeping with the theme, like Operation Smile."

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Related stories:

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