Rein in prom expenses by splitting limo costs, hosting pre-prom dinner
Friday, April 18th, 2014
Issue 16, Volume 18.
One of the biggest expenses youíll encounter is prom. Gone are the days of borrowing dadís suit and crepe paper streamers in the school gym. Todayís proms are often more like a Hollywood premiere with limousines, designer gowns and swanky after-parties.
Iím not kidding. According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Visa Inc., the average U.S. family with a high school student attending the prom expects to spend $978 this year. Surprisingly, thatís down 14 percent from last yearís survey average of $1,139 per family.
A few other interesting statistics the survey uncovered:
* On average, parents plan to pay for about 56 percent of prom costs, with their kids picking up the remaining 44 percent.
* Parents in lower income brackets (less than $50,000 a year) plan to spend an average of $733 ‚Äď a considerable share of the family budget. Thankfully, thatís down significantly from last yearís $1,245 estimate.
* Those earning over $50,000 will spend an average of $1,151.
Hereís a breakdown of how those prom dollars typically get spent:
* New prom dresses often cost $100 to $500 or more.
* Plan on spending another couple hundred for shoes, accessories, flowers and professionally styled hair, nails and make-up.
* New tuxedos cost several hundred dollars, not to mention the formal shirt, tie, studs and shoes youíll need. Even renting all this will likely run over $150.
* Figure at least $80 an hour plus tip to rent a limousine for a minimum of four to sixhours.
* Prom tickets typically cost $50 to $150 per person, depending on venue, entertainment, meals, etc. And donít forget about commemorative photos.
* The couple will probably need at least $50 for a nice pre-prom meal.
* After-parties can run anywhere from a few bucks at the bowling alley to hundreds of dollars for group hotel suites.
As with weddings and vacations, spending on prom can easily spiral out of control, especially if your teenager isnít used to sticking to a budget. Use this as a learning experience by getting your kid involved making tough decisions, helping to prioritize expenses from vital to non-essential.
To help with the prom budgeting process, Visa launched a free smartphone app last year called "Planíit Prom". You simply enter your budgeted amounts for each item and then track actual spending on your phone or tablet as you shop. The app also includes budgeting tips, a photo gallery and a timeline for tracking pre-prom deadlines. Planíit Prom is available at the iTunes store, the Google Play store and from www.practicalmoneyskills.com/prom.
Here are a few prom cost-saving ideas:
* Shop for formal wear at consignment stores or online. As with tuxedos, many outlets rent formal dresses and accessories for one-time use.
* Have make-up done at a department storeís cosmetics department or find a talented friend to help out.
* Split the cost of a limo with other couples, or drive yourselves.
* Team up with other parents to host a pre-prom dinner buffet or after-party.
* Take pre-prom photos yourself and have the kids use their cell phones or digital cameras for candid shots at various events.
Bottom line: You want to ensure your child has a memorable high school experience, but not at the expense of your overall budget.
The Valley News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.
The Village NewsAnza Valley OutlookFallbrook.orgSourcebookPDF VersionCoupon CornerSign up for iNewsEarthquake Info
359 Medical marijuan...
267 Arrests now numb...
175 Authorities seek...
168 Man hit, killed ...
125 Mother-in-law ar...
122 Camp Pendleton a...
122 Bikers steering ...
121 Authorities dist...
118 22 suspected ill...
117 Double fatality ...
114 Murrieta Mayor A...
114 Temecula mosque ...
110 Governor Brown s...
107 Bonsall man (lon...
105 Preliminary hear...