NEW YORK — The days of finding a quarter under your pillow are long gone. The Tooth Fairy no longer leaves loose change.
Kids this year are getting an average of $3.70 per lost tooth, a 23 percent jump over last year’s rate of $3. And that’s a 42 percent spike from the $2.60 per tooth that the Tooth Fairy gave in 2011, according to a new survey by payment processor Visa Inc., released Friday with an update of the company’s Tooth Fairy personal finance app.
Part of the reason for the sharp rise: Parents don’t want their kids to be the ones at the playground who received the lowest amount.
“A kid who got a quarter would wonder why their tooth was worth less than the kid who got $5,” said Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University.
To solve the confusion, ask other parents what they’re giving, says Jason Alderman, a senior director of financial education at Visa. That can at least get you in the ballpark of what your kids’ friends are getting, he says. Alderman gave his two kids $1 a tooth.
As part of the company’s personal finance education program, Visa offers a downloadable Tooth Fairy Calculator app that will give you an idea of how much parents in your age group, income bracket and education level are giving their kids, Alderman says.
How much kids are getting from the Tooth Fairy depends on where they live. Kids in the Northeast are getting the most, according to the Visa study, at $4.10 per tooth. In the West and South, kids received $3.70 and $3.60 per tooth, respectively. Midwestern kids received the least, at $3.30 a tooth. About one-third of all parents surveyed say the Tooth Fairy left a dollar or less.
Visa randomly sampled 3,000 households by phone in July. The survey results are based on the 1,000 of those households that included a child under 13.