Does your school host prom in spring? Let’s hope the holidays were good to you cash-wise, because attending can mean a big investment. You might want to ask your parents to leave the room for this…USA Today says that the average American family spent $600 on prom in 2017, but in some cases, they spent much more.
The biggest factor that influences what an average family spends on prom seems to be geography, according to the Yahoo Style’s Prom Across America Survey of over 1700 respondents. The highest reported expenses were in the northeast where the average was $699 and change, while the lowest was $610 in the Midwest.
Of course, these figures are just the average cost of attending prom per person. Some prom dresses alone cost $750 or more, so the choices that each teen makes have a big impact on the bottom line.
What expenses typically go in to a prom bill?
- Tickets – can easily be $300 – $400 per couple , but it depends heavily on where you live and what school you attend. Some tickets are as low as $30 per couple! Additionally, some pairs will split the bill, while sometimes one or the other date will “treat”.
- Dresses – affordable prom dresses start in the $100 range but most are $300 or more, and some are priced close to or exceeding $1000! Common sources for prom dresses are specialty shops, bridal salons, websites, department stores and thrift stores.
- Tuxes/Suits – rental tuxes and suits add to the expense of prom. Purchasing costs more than renting, but is a good idea if you will need to wear it again the future.
- Hair, makeup and nail services – While more typically for the ladies, the guys can take advantage of any of these services as well, but whoever sits in the salon chair should be ready for sticker shock. Getting a prom styling can cost well over $100 and many times more.
- Accessories such as clutches, earrings, necklaces, shoes, belts and more – these expenses add up as well! Interestingly, according to the survey, you’re more likely to spend the most money on accessories if you live in a western state!
- Transportation: getting to and from the festivities can also cost a pretty penny. The more specialized the transportation type, the more expensive it typically is. A classic car or horse and carriage, for example, will cost more than a parent renting a luxury vehicle and driving you, or you borrowing a nice sports car from a family friend.
So, how much will prom cost you? The ultimate price tag really comes down to how you budget and choose your prom priorities. Is it important to you to wear a couture gown, or are you willing to look at affordable prom dresses that could be worn again to other fancy events? Do you need to make a grand arrival in a stretch limousine, or is simply getting to and from the event with your date enough? Take a good look at your prom budget as early as you possibly can so you can put some great savings tips into place in time if necessary.
Remember that the memories – not the ensemble or accessories – are what you’ll take away from prom for a lifetime, so focus on making the most amazing ones possible!