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Tooth Fairy is Feeling the Pinch

By Joshua Huffman, certified financial counselor.

I had to laugh when I saw the news. According to a recent study done by Visa Inc., the Tooth Fairy is feeling the pinch during these tight financial times. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy is leaving 40 cents less per tooth than was left last year--making the new national average $2.60 per tooth. They discovered this by polling over a thousand households with a phone survey.

I laugh for a variety of reasons. First, because I think it is really funny that a bunch of people were called up at home and asked questions about the Tooth Fairy. Can you imagine sitting down to dinner after a long day of work and picking up the phone to hear, "Hi Mr. Smith (which was probably mispronounced), can we ask you about the effects of the down economy as it relates to your household's Tooth Fairy?"

I also laugh because it makes me feel super cheap. $2.60 is the national average! And that represents a decrease! It's a good thing they didn't contact me for their survey, I would have brought down the national average.

When I was a kid, I was lucky to find 50 cents under my pillow. My kids are lucky if they see a buck when they wake up; and I better see a big toothless grin out of them when they find that crisp dollar bill. I have 2 children, a 5 and 6 year old. My son has lost a couple of teeth already and has been ecstatic to find that dollar bill. My daughter is jealous and can't wait to lose some teeth too. Apparently that lone dollar bill appeals to her as well.

I guess it is nice to see that in these hard financial times, people are prioritizing where their money is going and making cuts where they have to. To be honest, I don't really think a kid cares how much they find under their pillow. To me, the point is just recognizing and celebrating that your child is growing and reaching milestones on their way to eventually becoming an adult (which other parents tell me happens way too fast).

If I do hear any complaints from my kids about the amount being left under their pillow, I will simply tell them they should be thankful for what they get and be happy their Tooth Fairy has not had to make cuts to his tooth budget!

Joshua Huffman is a certified financial counselor at The Village Family Service Center. You can reach him at 701-451-5003 or through our website at