The cost of prom has skyrocketed, according to Visa's annual survey. Parents are spending, on average, $1,078 on the event in 2013, about 33 percent higher over 2011. Yahoo News asked parents to share how much they spend on prom. Here's one story.
FIRST PERSON | Dresses, hair, makeup, shoes, strapless bras, fragrance, flowers, photos, food, drinks. Let's face it: Prom costs are expensive. Many high school kids are spending thousands of dollars on proms this year, so much money that they are almost mini-weddings.
My 16-year-old daughter Lily recently attended prom in Davis, Calif., and a prom costing thousands was definitely not in our budget. She was had an awesome night out without breaking into her college fund to pay for it. We certainly have better plans for our money than dumping a few grand on one night.
It all begins with the dress. We knew it would be hard to match last year's find (a bright red strapless number from Macy's for only $10), and ultimately she found her dream dress online -- for $79. It was definitely more than I would have liked to spend, but the dress was just perfect for her so we "splurged." I was willing to go for it because the dress matched perfectly with last year's silver metallic sandals, so we saved on shoe costs (zero dollars)! Because the school won't let the girls wear stiletto heels on the gym floor anyway, there really isn't any need to spend $100 on shoes.
With the outfit done, we moved onto the night itself. Instead of going the formal route with individual dates and dinner out in a fancy restaurant, she and her friends organized a "group primping party" at our house, followed by a "group date" to the prom. Nine girls trickled in our front door during the early evening and immediately began flat ironing and curling each other's hair; they enjoyed the time together, and it didn't cost a cent. Makeup and fragrance took a similar route: Applied on each other, they giggled and fussed until each one looked stunning. The relaxed atmosphere even allowed for practice walking down the hardwood floors in their platform heels.
Our pre-party was complete with sparkling apple cider served in champagne glasses ($8), and two extra-large take-n-bake pizzas ($20) served on fancy china plates. Most importantly, everyone's parents were able to stop by for photos (free) and then carpool them all to the dance. (Free again!) No outrageous limo costs for this group of girls!
According to the Visa survey, families in the western United States will spend an average of $744. Our family didn't spend anything close to that. Our bill came to a grand total of $107, and I dare anyone to prove that the average prom-going California girl had $637 more worth of fun than my girl did.