The Tooth Fairy may be more likely to leave crisp paper notes than shiny single coins under the pillows of sleeping little ones, according to the latest Halifax Pocket Money research. Parents say that, on average, children are extracting almost £10 (£9.71) from the famous mythical night-time visitor each time she appears.
Drilling down, leaving dads to negotiate with the Tooth Fairy is more lucrative for children, as they agree an average of £14.68 per tooth, compared to £4.50 for mums.
Generally, parents aged 35 to 44 can claim the crown for most extravagant when it comes to how much money is handed over, leaving their kids all of a flutter with £14.66, on average. However, the Tooth Fairy is not universal, as one in five (20%) of children are left with no cash (and less teeth).
Emma Abrahams, Head of Savings, Halifax, said: “Parents need to brace themselves for the financial fallout caused by the Tooth Fairy, who flies by with almost a tenner a tooth on average, according to our research.
“With the average weekly pocket money now £6.48, losing a tooth is more lucrative for some kids than doing their regular chores, and parents may want to use the Tooth Fairy’s visit as an opportunity to encourage kids to save a little of the money they earn from the sale.”
Tooth fairies in London (£13.29) and South East and East of England (£17.47) can polish their wings when it comes to the pounds under the pillows, with parents in these regions admitting their kids receive more than the national average. It’s a tale of two fairy stories however, with children in the North West, and East and West Midlands, receiving much less per tooth. (£4.62 and £3.03 respectively).
Overall, kids are filling their pockets with an average of just under £200 from the Tooth Fairy, as they lose around 20 milk teeth from the age of 5 or 61. This is enough money to buy 432 pots of play-doh2, 16 LOL surprise dolls3 or 66 fidget ‘poppet’ toys4.
At £9.71, a tooth falling out is more money-spinning for children than all of the following:
- The average day’s work of a 13 year old with a paper round (around £35)
- Two hours of work for someone aged under 18 (UK minimum hourly wage £4.626)
- The average weekly pocket money paid by parents in the UK (£6.48)
Ella King lives with her husband Stephen, and their two children Poppy (9) and Myles (6), in Halifax.
“I have a girl and a boy – Poppy who is nine and Myles who is six – who both got £5 for the first tooth they lost and £2 for each subsequent tooth. I think it would be a bit of a stretch to pay much more – between the two of them three teeth went to the Tooth Fairy just in the last week!
“We’ll keep going until all the baby teeth have gone. I suspect Poppy doesn’t actually believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore, but she’s probably keeping that close to her chest whilst the cash is coming in. We do find the Tooth Fairy helpful as a bit of encouragement to keep teeth clean – we’ve told the children that she only buys the cleanest of teeth, and brushing them regularly is the only way to guarantee a sale.
“Once the Fairy has left her going rate, it goes into a piggy bank. Every few months we’ll empty it out and bank the cash, and I’ll give the children a small amount to buy something they want, whilst the rest stays in the bank account as savings.
“For now, all of the teeth are currently sitting in a box – I don’t know why I’m keeping them or what I’m going to do with them!”