NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Aside from spending money on prom night itself, teenagers are now spending an average of $324 on so-called "promposals" - that is, simply asking someone to be your date for prom night, according to a survey from Visa.
“Prom is a fun night for kids to get together and dance, but spending $300 plus on a promposal to simply ask your date is exorbitant,” said Nat Sillin, Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education.
While it’s unclear exactly what this hefty chunk of change is used for, presumably dinner or attire expenses when popping the big question to a teen’s potential date, this represents a little over a third of the total cost teens and their families plan to spend on prom expenses. That stands at $919 and includes attire, transportation via limo, flowers, prom tickets and after party expenses, among others.
Total prom spending fell 6% year-over-year, as teens and their families shelled out $978 in 2014, the report added.
The survey also found that Northeastern families will spend a total of $1,169 on prom expenses, while families living on the West Coast will spend closer to $937 dollars. Midwestern families spent the least, with a total of $733 dollars.
To save money on these expenses, financial expert Bruce McClary with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling stresses the importance of planning ahead. “The sooner you start putting money aside, the easier it will be to reach your savings goal,” he said. “Take the amount you want to spend [on a dress or other expenses] and divide it among the number of months you have until you will go shopping.”
When it comes to dresses specifically, he warns against shopping just days before the big day. “Demand at that time may limit your choices and drive the costs above your budget.”
McClary also points to consignment shops and dress rental services as additional cost saving measures.
—Written by Scott Gamm for MainStreet
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held TK positions in the stocks mentioned.