It’s the night that nearly every high school student dreams of, Prom. This gets viewed as a rite of passage into adulthood. The usual coming of age traditions like Debutante balls are over and getting married at a young age has declined too.
According to Kit Yarrow a consumer research psychologist “prom has grown in importance and people are willing to spend more on the big night.”
With such an extravagent night spending has become a new social norm as both parents want to see their teen to stand out and look their best. Nat Sillin Visa’s Head of U.S. Financial Education stated “prom has devolved into a competition to crown the victor of high school society.”
The average amount has risen to $1,139 which is a five percent increase from the previous year and more than double from just five years ago. Teens are continuing to go all out for the big dance.
How much gets spent on what? For a young women a dress averages $250, hair $65, $100 for a manicure and pedicure, $50 on makeup, shoes $45 and $32 on jewelry. It doesn’t include the cost of the ticket, the tux, dining out, transportation, photos and flowers.
Parents who have an income of less than $50,000 a year are often willing to overspend on the event and single parents double the amount then that of a married couple. A select few will even give up paying their rent for their child to have a great time and in most cases the parent pays for most of the bill.
Of course the spending is unncessary and with a budget and a little creativity a teenager can have a great prom without a hefty price tag.Here are a few tips:
- Set a budget
- Borrow a dress from a friend or look at consignment shops
- Check your closet for shoes. You may already have the perfect pair!
- Have a friend or family member do your hair and makeup
- Borrow jewelry and accessories from friends. Consignment shops also have a great selection.
- Save on photos by bringing your own camera
- Even if you’re not able to afford to go to prom, there are options! Charitable organizations are available to help financially disadvantaged high school students with prom clothes and accessories. Such as the Cinderella Project, the Glass Slipper Project and Dream a Dress, these organizations are there to help
Most importantly – have fun and be safe.