I’m sure we all remember losing our teeth as kids. Why? The reason I remember was the tooth fairy! Otherwise I think it would have been a non-event to me as a kid. Well, a non-event other than the fact it generally hurt, involved a little bit of blood and left that goofy hole in your gums you weren’t supposed to mess with but did anyway.
I think it was more the idea of the tooth fairy than the actual money I received. The reason why I believe this is because I honestly couldn’t remember how much money I got for each tooth. I seemed to remember getting change but I don’t think it was ever more than a couple quarters to maybe a dollar in change.
What Made Me Think of Tooth Fairy Inflation?
The reason the thought of the tooth fairy suddenly came back to me with this article I saw over at CNBC. CNBC cited a survey by Visa that says the average amount left per tooth was now $3.00 which is 15% higher than last year. They even said that some kids get as much as $20 a tooth! Whoa… that’s quite a bit of coin to be leaving under the pillow. My guess is they just left a $20 bill though. I don’t know what these kids are doing with their newfound wealth ($3 to $20 is a lot for a kid… right?) but I remember putting my money into the savings account that helped me become a saver.
Most kids seem to lose their teeth between the ages of six and twelve from the best of my memory (which isn’t that great when it comes to things like this). That puts a good 10-20 years between when I lost my teeth and today. For simplicity sake I am going to pretend I received $1 per tooth 15 years ago. In the last 15 years (assuming I was average) the tooth fairy inflation rate has been 200%!
How does that compare to inflation in the United States? My $1.00 in 1997 would be worth $1.43 today in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation calculator. CPI based inflation was just a 43% increase versus the 200% tooth fairy inflation rate. Sounds like the tooth fairy has made some great investments that pay sick dividends!
Another Reason for Tooth Fairy Inflation? The Evil Joneses
The CNBC article states:
Unfortunately, teachers say, tooth inflation is all too common in elementary schools. Nobody wants to be the parent whose child is “the talk at recess,” because of a frugal Tooth Fairy, says Amy Moncarz, a second-grade teacher at Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School in Rockville, Md. Discrepancies in tooth price can lead to a conversation parents might want to avoid: the existence of the Tooth Fairy itself.
It is sad but wouldn’t surprise me at all. In an effort to make sure your kids aren’t seen as social misfits at school it sounds like parents are giving in and giving their children more money to keep up with the tooth fairies of their peer’s. This wouldn’t be the lesson that I’d want to teach my kids… It is crazy to think kids learn about this stuff so early on, but I’m not a parent yet so what do I know about kids… I do understand inflation though!
So, do you have kids? What does the tooth fairy give them per tooth? What did you receive per tooth as a child? Do you think tooth fairy inflation is outrageous?