The average prom-goer spends $807 for tickets, clothing, flowers, photos, dinner and limo rental, reports CNN Money, citing a Visa survey. That’s too much for many families.
The days when a committee of girls decorated the gym with crepe paper are over.
Prom inflation has run amok,” (Visa’s Jason) Alderman said. “Ever more extravagant proms create a cycle of teenagers continuously trying to outdo each other, making the evening more and more expensive.”
Samantha Goldberg, an event designer in New Jersey, says that the parties she plans get increasingly more elaborate year after year. “They want tents, lounges, ice sculptures and bars. Girls want a prom dress and a post-prom dress, some want custom designed gowns. You might as well call it a wedding.”
I know teens who take after-school jobs to earn prom money, but it’s harder for high school students to find those jobs now and some of them are using their earnings to help Mom pay the rent.
Some non-profits collect donated prom dresses and offer them to girls who can’t afford a new dress. (I have two dresses of my daughter’s to donate. Must actually do it.) Some parents are organizing parties to serve as low-cost prom alternatives. But it’s hard to ratchet down expectations.