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Families Spending an Average of $1,078 on Prom: Too Much, Too Little, or Just Right?

Living 2012/04/15 19:58:27
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Schools may be cracking down on sexy dresses, but prom spending is on the rise. According to a recent Visa survey, this year families are spending an average of $1,078 on the springtime rite of passage. That is an increase from the $807 average last year.

Where is all this money going you may be wondering? The most costly item is usually the tux or the dress, and these days, families are willing to spend more for one-of-a-kind outfits.

"There's a general sense of people wanting to be differentiated," said Jatlow Levy, a retail strategist at consulting firm Kurt Salmon. "Going to a national chain and getting the same dress that 18 other girls have is not a chance for me to differentiate myself or express my individuality, which is such an important part of my social experience today."

But let’s not forget all the other prom expenses: dance tickets, corsages and boutonnieres, rides in limos or party buses, professional hair and makeup services, visits to the nail salon, new shoes and jewelry.

And this kind of “social-arms-race spending,” as Jason Alderman (director of Visa’s financial education programs) describes it, is not limited to the extremely wealthy. According to the survey, parents in one of the lowest income brackets reported planning to spend the most on prom. Those in the $20,000 to $29,999 salary range will spend more than $2,600—that’s twice the national average—while families in high income brackets plan to spend between $700 and $1,000.

So what do you think SodaHeads? Is $1,078 too much (or too little) to spend on prom? Or is it just the right amount to make it a special night to remember forever?

Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/st...

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Top Opinion

  • Sterling 2012/04/15 20:04:43 (edited)
    Too much
    Sterling
    +19
    You kidding me? And they wonder why they're in the low-income brackets? No sense of budgeting or thrift.

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Opinions

  • Brownie... Brownie... 2012/04/16 21:10:31
    Brownielover504
    Well now that I think about it not really if they get a limo
  • bansheebanski 2012/04/16 21:05:48
    Too much
    bansheebanski
    +4
    people can look good without spending a lot of money
  • MegMurry 2012/04/16 20:32:14
    Too much
    MegMurry
    +3
    Really? I mean...really? For one night? You can make it special without wasting money. How's that going to educate the kids about spending wisely?
  • RobsFan! 2012/04/16 20:31:46 (edited)
    Too little
    RobsFan!
    Some people want to look nice and stuff, if there is a rich family maybe they would say too little but some people don't. And anyway I pay with euro's so would be less money .... And if I was american I would say too little , people wanna be cool , maybe win the prom queen/king , some people just say that it's too expensive ( maybe for them ) but not for me. In titanic I probably would be 2nd class :) Ha :) Or maybe even 1st, donno :)
    disgusting dress cheap

    expensive dress very expensive
  • baby shaker 2012/04/16 20:31:33
    Too much
    baby shaker
    +3
    prom dress: $867. hummer limo: $1200. abortion: $500. staying home on prom night, getting drunk and trolling people: priceless.
  • J 2012/04/16 20:15:41
    Too much
    J
    +3
    For my daughter's Junior year, I did go all out for her prom - she was Class President. For the other proms she went to, we didn't go anywhere nearly as extravagant. This, just like everything else, isn't about having a good time, or even having that speical night to dress up and be elegant - it is about keeping up with the Jones's.
  • scbluesman13 2012/04/16 20:04:19
    Just right
    scbluesman13
    That's about what my best friend and I spent on our prom with our dates (including limo ride, dinner tix, hotel rooms, professional photos, etc) and that was over 20 years ago...
  • RyanHayes 2012/04/16 19:59:20
    Too much
    RyanHayes
    $1,000 spent on average just for 1 prom night that'll probably be forgotten anyway? No thanks. Not worth it
  • mustangluver 2012/04/16 19:27:12
    Just right
    mustangluver
    It's only once in a lifetime..so what ever the kid is worth is ok...
  • JoeM~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/16 19:20:17
    Just right
    JoeM~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    When I went to my senior Prom the night cost about $100 or so. A snicker bar was $0.08, now a snicker bar is about one dollar. So a bit over a grand is about the same relative cost as it was in 1970.
  • ♠♠♠JeLLo♠♠♠ 2012/04/16 19:12:03
    Too much
    ♠♠♠JeLLo♠♠♠
    +3
    I think my dress was about $60 my shoes were Around $25 and my date paid for the tickets. I was shocked my mom paid that much. People are crazy!
  • RJS 2012/04/16 18:07:08
    Too much
    RJS
    +3
    If the person going to prom gets a summer or part-time job and saves their money and drops $1100 on it, that's just fine.

    If the parents are paying for (most or all of) it, it's too much. I'm not against spending a lot of money on the only prom your son/daughter is going to have, but $500-$700 should be fine.

    I can see parents giving their daughter $400-$500 for clothes, hair, nails, and makeup for prom, and if she wants something more expensive, she can use money she earned herself.
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/04/16 17:59:29
    Too much
    Margaret Jacobson
    +2
    The days of a dance the h.s. seems to be over!! Now it seems to be a fashion EXTRAVANGA!!!!
  • Gordon 2012/04/16 17:58:18
    Too much
    Gordon
    +5
    WOW! That is far too much money for one evening for most Americans to be comfortable with. It' a prom, not a wedding! prom couple
  • Thank you but no... 2012/04/16 17:55:00 (edited)
    Too much
    Thank you but no...
    +2
    Families Spending Anything on Prom: Too Much.
  • the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA 2012/04/16 17:44:58
    Too much
    the judgebigdogeagle-~PWCM~JLA
    +4
    It has gotten out of hand for a glorified dance.
  • Lucy Sparkles :3 2012/04/16 17:44:21
    Just right
    Lucy Sparkles :3
    +1
    i've spend all of probably about $25 on my prom. my dress was free. i bought shoes for $22 and i bought fake eyelashes for like $2. i would LOVE to be able to spend that much on prom. then maybe i'd actually e attractive for once. ( ._.)
  • MegMurry Lucy Sp... 2012/04/16 20:33:19
    MegMurry
    +4
    You don't need a fancy get-up to be beautiful!
  • TheLightBehindYourEyes 2012/04/16 17:41:08 (edited)
    Too much
    TheLightBehindYourEyes
    +2
    If they have the money and want to splurge, then why not? Personally, though, I would not spend that much.
  • Laura Lovegood 2012/04/16 17:36:47
  • wulfsong 2012/04/16 17:27:47
    Too much
    wulfsong
    +2
    It's all part of the entitled generation.
  • Muriel 2012/04/16 17:12:41
    Too much
    Muriel
    +3
    Why? Parents don!t seem to be able to say NO these days. Sad but true.
  • Eddie_DOMA_is_dead 2012/04/16 17:02:57
  • David (oYo) 2012/04/16 16:27:45
  • Neko-chan 2012/04/16 16:22:05
    Too much
    Neko-chan
    if it was the same number, only in NOK, then it would depends. it's acually around the normal amont people juse here before a prom. first you need the prettiest and most expensive dress you can find (can variate between 500/1000+ NOK) and then you need to go to the hair salon(i dont even know what it cost. any thing from 500 - 1000 there as well, but mostly around 500 i think.)
  • ticlo7 2012/04/16 16:19:09
    Too much
    ticlo7
    +2
    Do you know what I'm doing for my prom?

    I'm wearing trainers and walking 15 minutes to school by myself with a tonne of chocolate, maybe wearing leggings or even jeans. I don't even wear make-up so I won't nead it, nor can I do anything with my hair since it looks like a large sponge Then I'm going to watch everybody with their partners and eat all of the food. Price? Next to nothing. It's not like it's my wedding; why pay so much?

    And all of that is if I want to go.
  • C. C. Rider 2012/04/16 16:17:07
    Too much
    C. C. Rider
    +2
    At $1,078 it seems it will be a night to remember for the next year on payments. LOL

    After a few requests for money to help from my neices and nephews here were my contributions...1) Save up 2) Get a job 3) Leave Aunti Mame alone until AFTER Prom and you can come with me to Macy's to SHARE your memories as you carry my packages.

    IT so tough raising these kids. LOL LOL
  • ally 2012/04/16 16:13:43 (edited)
    Too much
    ally
    +3
    I didn't even spend that much on my wedding gown.
  • thepastord ally 2012/04/16 18:46:41
    thepastord
    +2
    Neither did I. I got a "Alfred Angelo" veil and dress for $375.00.........................
  • ally thepastord 2012/04/16 18:52:19 (edited)
    ally
    +2
    Great choice- AA is so affordable. My gown was under $200 and my veil was the "something borrowed"- so I saved there, too!
  • thepastord ally 2012/04/16 19:00:21
    thepastord
    +1
    Beautiful stuff.......... You see the designs in many of the Bride's Magazines too!
  • ally thepastord 2012/04/16 19:22:25
    ally
    They are. To me, it's better to be thrifty on a gown, then have more money to use on the honeymoon or for your future house.
  • :O R U 4 REAL??? 2012/04/16 16:10:47
    Just right
    :O R U 4 REAL???
    totally worth it.
  • amazinggrace 2012/04/16 16:08:26
    Too much
    amazinggrace
    +3
    Way too much
  • Griegg 2012/04/16 16:00:35
    Too much
    Griegg
    +2
    Way too much. Expressing individuality isn't that expensive.
  • Relay 2012/04/16 15:55:19
    Too much
    Relay
    +2
    prom set me back about $200 and to me i thought that was way to much
    but 1000 dollars.. omg that's a rent payment!
  • thepastord 2012/04/16 15:45:28
    Too much
    thepastord
    +3
    My daughter's is running us about $325.00, her dress was on sale $250.00 at Cache. I had given her a $200 dollar dress limit, but was willing to spend a bit more. She will able to wear it to some of her college events. To me personally, $1K, is way out oif line, but I certainly wouldn't tell other folks how to spend their money....
  • Peon of the Masses 2012/04/16 15:45:19
    Too much
    Peon of the Masses
    +1
    I think I spent nothing on the prom.
  • Mandy 2012/04/16 15:40:05
    Too much
    Mandy
    +1
    Not just too much, but WAAAAY too much.
  • John T. 2012/04/16 15:36:46
    Too much
    John T.
    +2
    This is an activity that should be financed by the student. I paid for my own prom ticket, clothing, transportation and after prom activity out of my own pocket.

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2014/07/28 12:26:26

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