With the price tag for attending the prom hovering around $900, and the cost of the ridiculous Promposal at about $300, you may be looking for ways to save, whether you are the prom-goer, or the parents who are typically footing 60-70% of the bill.
If you or your kid have been enthralled by the MTV notion that Prom has to be dazzling and decadent to be memorable, you can stop reading now; just surrender and get out your checkbook.
On the other hand, as Dave Ramsey might say, spending big isn’t necessarily bad. If you have the money, or if you have saved up for it, and it won’t put you in debt, and you don’t use credit cards, then have at it.
As a MindField regular, though, you’re probably the type that would get a thrill from creating a fun, memorable experience AND saving money while you do it. So, here are a few money-saving tips for prom, followed by some useful links for further information.
Prom Savings Tips 2016
Borrowing: Dress, shoes, earrings, handbag, tuxedo, Grandpa’s late-model Lincoln Continental – it all adds up!
CreativeDressBuying: Craigslist, Goodwill, clearance sales at a Bridal store. The internet can help!
MakeupParty: It’s come to the point where girls are having a spa day before prom. Instead, get the gang together and have fun. Bonus: When your little brother sees you and the girls in curlers and face masks – he will FREAK OUT!
DiningatHome: Instead of reservations, plan a fancy meal at home. Again, invite the whole crew. And then maybe do a fancy dessert at a restaurant
TeamingUp: If you must hire a limo, get the whole gang together. Saves money, and is a lot more fun
And on and on. Now, all tips aren’t created equal. Having dad dress as a chauffeur and listening to his dumb jokes all night probably won’t fly. But if you take time to read the following links, you are sure to find several useful prom savings tips.
Prom spending peaked back in 2013 at $1,140. It fell to $978 in 2014, and this year is expected to slip again to $919.
While I would like to think that this means people are being wiser with their money, I have my doubts. There’s something new on the prom scene (well, it’s the first time Visa has mentioned it in its annual Prom Spending Survey, anyway) called The Promposal. Because the invitation to the prom has to be the dopest, raddest, illest event of the season, second only to Prom itself! Thank you, MTV. The average cost of this nonsense is around $300, or one-third of the total Prom expenditure. If you absolutely have to learn more about this nonsense,go here.
Another sign that we aren’t minding our dollars and cents is that parents, who only kicked in 56% of the cost last year, have gone soft and are parting with 73% this year.
Now, to me, the best thing about the Visa Prom Spending Survey is that it’s not just a way for us to sit in judgment of the poor saps blowing all this money (of course, that IS part of the fun!) but it’s also a teaching tool. Visa has several tips for saving money, and has also published a prom budgeting app that helps you stay on track with your prom spending. Check it out!
How about you? Spending more, less or the same for prom this year? Are the kids chipping in, or not? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!
We’re about halfway in to Prom Season 2014. And, while the American family’s average spending peaked last year at about $1,140, a Visa survey says:
American households with teens are reining in prom spending this year. The average household will spend $978 in 2014. That’s down more than 14% from the average families spent on items including attire, limousine rental, tickets, and dinner in 2013. PracticalMoneySkills.com
Still, that’s a lot of money. Let’s take a look at some numbers!
Industry volume: $4 billion
West coast average spending: $1,125 (highest in US)
Midwest average spending: $835 (lowest in US)
Chipping in: Parents will pay 56% (down 4% from last year), Kids 44% (up 4%!)
Old Dad/Young Dad: Parents UNDER 40 will spend $1074, 30% MORE than parents OVER 40!
Divorce benefit: Single parents will pay TWICE what married parents are willing to pay!
And, of course…
Percentage that feels “we spend way too much”: 84%
So, what’s it like in your house? Spending more, less, the same? Are you trying to teach ancient concepts like “frugality”, or are you “making memories” – regardless of cost? (No judgement here!) Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!
Oh, and by the way… $1150 or $978 might as well be a million dollars to some families. “Community-based programs across the country, like Cinderella’s Closet (here) or the Princess Project (princessproject.org/) offer free dresses to girls who need them. There are also plenty of places for teens to donate their gowns once prom is over (www.donatemydress.org/).” Reuters
Times are tough, and we are all tightening our belts. One area we aren’t cutting back on is our kids’ high school prom.
Despite continuing economic sluggishness, when it comes to high school proms, Americans are partying like it’s 1999. This year, families with teenagers will spend an average of $1,078 each on the prom, a 33.6 percent increase over the $807 spent in 2011. Consumer Affairs
Speaking as a guy whose girlfriend had to drag kicking and screaming into the tuxedo place to spend $50 on a rental (it was that long ago) I guess I can’t relate. But apparently this prom madness is everywhere. Here are some regional statistics on prom spending:
Northeastern average: $1,944
Southern average: $1,047
Western average: $744
Midwestern average: $696
And, it seems that the brokest among us spend the most. Families earning $20,000 to $30,000 spend an average of $2,635 on a dress or a tuxedo, limousine rental, flowers, food, accommodations, and parties after the party.
It’s madness. I see two culprits: TV shows like “My Super Sweet 16”… and parents that can’t say “No.” What are your thoughts?
BTW, the article also explains ways to cut some of these outrageous costs, so check it out!
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