Tips for a budget-friendly prom

Prom is a momentous night in the lives of teenagers. Prom night is often described as a night teens will never forget, but it can be just as memorable to parents footing the bill for the festivities. A 2015 survey from Visa found that families spend in the neighborhood of $900 on prom. While costs fluctuate and may have risen or declined since then, parents can expect the cost of financing a teenager’s prom night to be several hundred dollars or more. Budget-conscious parents might be inclined to run and hide their wallets upon hearing such estimates, but there’s no need to apply for loans as prom night approaches. In fact, there are several ways teens and their parents can enjoy prom without breaking the bank.

Borrow rather than buy. Whether you’re in the market for a dress or a tuxedo for prom night, don’t overlook the option to rent rather than buy. Prom night attire tends to be formal, and teens likely won’t need such attire again for years to come. By then, teens’ personal taste and general consumer preferences will likely have changed, rendering dresses and tuxedos one-night wonders. Renting a dress or tuxedo is more budget-friendly.

Travel in packs. Traveling to and from prom in style often means renting a limousine for the night. This classic way to get about town on prom night can be expensive. Thumbtack, which connects local consumers with local businesses, notes that the average cost of renting a limousine is between $95 and $130 per hour, with many services requiring a minimum rental time of three hours. Splitting that cost with friends is budget-friendly and can make the night more fun. Many companies charge more per passenger, but traveling in packs is still less expensive than it would be for a couple to go it alone.

Accessorize with some help from mom and dad. Rather than buying new jewelry or other accessories for prom night, teenagers can borrow such items from their parents. Ask dad if you can wear some special cuff links and spend time alongside mom going through her jewelry box for accessories like necklaces and earrings. This can save money and make the night more special for mom and dad.

Prom night can be memorable and expensive. Budget-conscious families can take steps to save money while still ensuring teenagers enjoy a night they will remember for the rest of their lives.