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The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses

Prom is a night to indulge your Cinderella fantasies but do you know how much to spend? The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses will help!

As we’ve said before, the “problems” with Prom are all linked to the mindset “Prom is once in a lifetime only” therefore “everything little tiny detail has to be perfect.”

Let’s challenge that. Let’s say instead “everything about Prom has to be a lot of fun.”

With that in mind, we’ll share some totally over the top Prom escapades to both make you laugh and help you think twice about just how many of your precious earned dollars you want to spend on just one night.


The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses: Do Promposals Really Need to Be Expensive? (…no!)

Before we even get to the peer pressure to look perfect, these days, promposals are also often expected to be over the top. According to a survey by Practical Money Skills—done “way back” in 2015—the promposal alone will run over $300!

(We wouldn’t lie to you—check it out here: CLICK HERE)

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses: Promposals

Using a traditional inflation calculator, it will “only” be $305 (or more) in 2017 but still. Three hundred dollars? Makes that “ridiculous and embarrassingly corny” promposal done with donuts—at $9 a dozen— sound pretty sweet, doesn’t it?

It wasn’t sweet enough for a 2015 Connecticut teen, though. He skydived from 10,000 feet with a hand-written sign, “Prom?” and had his friends film the promposal. Cost? Today it would be right on target at $225: CLICK HERE

(No, we’re not making that up either. Read it here: CLICK HERE)


The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses: If Your Don’t Look Perfect, Is Your Entire Evening Ruined? (…no!)

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses: You don't have to look Perfect

There are myriad factors that affect how much you can expect to pay for prom, one of the biggest being where you live. Big city schools on both coasts as well as upscale Midwest—like the Chicago suburbs—will run more just for tickets. Let’s take a look at the range of numbers based on research by Prom Girl.

  • Tickets: $20-$250
  • Pre-Prom Dinner: $25-$130
  • Hair/Makeup/Nails: $30-$275
  • Gown: $100-$400
  • His Boutonniere: $10-$20
  • Formal Photos: $30-$125 (per photo, perhaps per small set)
  • Limo: $200-$500

That’s a range from $175 to $2,100 but can you see what’s missing?

  • Your Flowers: $?

Your corsage isn’t listed. Why not? Because the girl’s corsage has the widest price range. Teleflora’s prices for a modest Midwest suburb run from $32-$72 but you can spend as little as a few dollars for a couple of tiny blossoms up to $100+ for a generous wristlet or nosegay.

Never mind that many families just can’t afford to lay out that kind of money, if you’ve been working hard at a part-time job, do you really want to spend all your cash in one place e.g. prom? It’s OK if you do, but give it some thought.

Two examples: $2,000 is a very nice down payment on a used car, or it’ll probably cover all of your freshman college dorm room supplies including a new wardrobe!


The Smart Girl’s Guide to Prom Expenses: When Parents Lose It Over Prom:

Obviously, your parents love you, and they may forfeit something they want to give you a dream night. But have you ever heard that using credit cards is “mortgaging your future”? If your folks have to put too much of prom on a credit card, somebody has to pay that off. So whose earnings are already spent? Yours? Theirs? Maybe both for however long it takes to pay off that limo and over-the-top dress.

Clearly, this next example is truly “insane,” but it is a weird little wake-up call:

  • According to the Chicago Tribune, one mother shoplifted $900 worth of merchandise from a mall with the intent to sell it to raise funds but not for rent or food. She wanted the money to send her son to prom. Here’s the link: CLICK HERE 

Are We Against Prom? No Way!

We want you to have the time of your life—just not spend every dime you’ve earned since junior high doing everything from babysitting to flipping burgers.

We have loads of good info on how to keep your costs down and your expectations realistic, so keep an eye on our blog  and our dresses! Click HERE or on the image below:

Sparkle Prom Blog: Designer Dresses & Ideas