How to Save Money on Prom

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According to the annual prom survey conducted by Visa, parents making less than $50,000 per year intend to spend nearly 10-percent more on prom than those in higher income brackets. Prom costs an average of $1,139, with families in the northeastern U.S. planning to spend the most on the one-night event.

Though prom is an important milestone in your teen’s life, there’s no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money to make it memorable. Consider these tips for keeping your budget grounded while helping your teen achieve his or her dream night.

1. Rent a Designer Dress
If you are considering purchasing a designer gown for your teen, you aren’t alone. These days, high-end brands sweep highschool hallways as students become evermore obsessed with Hollywood fashion. You don’t have to give up on your daughter’s designer dress dream nor drop $300 for a fashionable frock, however. Instead, check out RenttheRunway.com where you can rent a luxury brand dress for the night starting at just $50. This way, she feels like a princess without emptying your pocketbook.

2. Share the Expense
Though prom costs more than ever, teens are increasingly sharing in the cost of the event. The same Visa survey reports 41 percent of prom costs are covered by teens thanks to savings accrued from after-school jobs. Make sure your teen pays for some of the costs, especially “extras” that you didn’t budget for or don’t feel are priorities.

3. Skip the Limo
Limo rentals can cost anywhere from $60 to up to $150 per hour depending on the type and region. Like most industries, limousine companies increase rental costs during peak periods like prom and weddings. Skip the inflated prices and have your teen use his or her own car. Alternatively, fancy transportation can be part of your childa€?s budget.

4. Print Photos at Home
Photo packages range from $30 to $125. Skip this unnecessary expense by taking your own photos before the dance or get the teens to share smartphone photos taken during the event and then print from home. Since photos require a lot of ink, be sure you stock up on cheap cartridges from InkjetWilly.com, where you can compare prices of OEM, compatible and remanufactured ink.

5. Department Store Beauty
Make an appointment for a free cosmetic consultant at department stores like Macy’s at one of their many beauty counters. Though the beauty artist will urge you to buy the makeup applied, it isn’t required. You may consider purchasing the lipstick for touchups later on, but don’t fall into the trap of buying everything since it can be really pricey. This is way your daughter will feel pampered without the high cost. Then do hair and nails at home.

6. Cut Corsage Costs
Corsages can cost anywhere from $10 to $30 depending on design and flower type. While corsages and boutonnieres represent some of the smallest costs associated with prom, there’s no need to request orchids when carnations will do. Even a corsage made of baby’s breath is a simple and stylish way to stay in budget.

7. Buy Budget Accessories
Dresses and shoes eat up a big chunk of girls’ prom budgets, which is why accessories should be purchased on the cheap. Stores like Claire’s or Charming Charlie offer beautiful baubles for less than $10. You can also hit up thrift shops or antique stores for more unique pieces.

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