Tooth Fairy Is Leaving Less Than Last Year, Study Shows

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New Visa survey finds that the Tooth Fairy is also feeling the effects of the dwindling economy and as a result is leaving 40 cents less than last year.

The survey results, based on 1,006 telephone interviews conducted among adults aged 18 or older nationally from July 7 – 12, 2011 in cooperation with GfK Roper OmniTel, reveal some juicy information regarding the tooth fairy. The survey revealed that the Tooth Fairy visits 90% of American kids and pays an average of $2.60 per tooth– a 40 cent decrease from last year’s $3 per tooth average.

The survey results show that significant changes have taken place in how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves. In the Eastern U.S., the Tooth Fairy now leaves just $2.10, a 38% cut from the $3.40 she left in 2010.  Decreases were also seen in Southern states where $2.60 replaced $3.30 in 2010, Midwestern children receive an average of $2.80, instead of last year’s $2.90. Surprisingly, one place was actually up, The West left children with $2.80, up 4% from last year’s $2.70.

Visa encourages parents to use the Tooth Fairy’s visit as an opportunity to have the “money conversation” with their children. Even simple steps like asking kids what they plan to do with the money and encouraging them to save for a long-term goal can help instill valuable money management lessons that can last a life time.