Prom Night Expenses Rise To More Than $1,100

May 3, 2013  |  

Prom night is an important event in a teenager’s life. But now it is a really expensive high school ritual. And for the second straight year spending on prom night continues to outpace inflation. Prom will cost each family an average of $1,139 in 2013, according to a new survey by Visa Inc. This is an increase of 5% from the $1,078 that American families spent on prom night necessities in 2012.

The Northeast led the nation in spending, with the Midwest spending the least. Northeastern families will spend an average of $1,528 while Midwestern families will spend an average of $722.

Visa has introduced a free smartphone app that helps parents and teenagers plan and budget for the prom. Called Plan’it Prom app, it allows users to make a detailed prom budget and lets them to track their spending as they shop.

Plan’it Prom app was developed as part of Visa’s financial education program, Practical Money Skills for Life.

Families tend to spend beyond their means for the prom the study found. Parents surveyed who fell in the lower income brackets (less than $50,000 a year) plan to spend more than the national average, $1,245, while parents who make over $50,000 will spend an average of $1,129. Even more surprising, single parents plan to spend $1,563, almost double the amount that married parents plan to spend at $770.

Teens will chip in 41 percent of the costs, while parents are planning to pay for the remaining prom costs, found the survey.

Along with the app Visa has also suggested some tips on cutting costs. Among thm:

  • Check out consignment stores or online. And renting tuxedos and formal dresses is an option.
  • Get makeup done at the department store’s cosmetics department or have a friend do it.
  • Share a ride. Have the limo costs split among a group of teens and their families.

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