Prom: A Waste of Money

Infographic by Samantha Barnum
Infographic by Samantha Barnum

Prom is one of the most anticipated events for juniors and seniors; however, it is also the most costly.  While it may be fun and exciting to get dressed up, it does not feel good to see money that could be spent elsewhere, gone.  Prom is a waste of money because a person does not need to spend hundreds of dollars just to hang out with his or her friends.

The cost that students are spending for their prom has risen since last year.  According to Carl Azuz from CNN, a recent survey from Visa Inc. found that American families spent an average of $1,078 for prom. Though it does depend on a person’s budget, according to PromGirl, it could cost anywhere from $175 to $2,100.

There are many expenses when it comes to prom.  Dresses, hair and makeup, prom tickets, dinner, and limousine rentals are some of the costs breaking the bank.  However, the cost does depend on the gender.

Guys buy the tickets, which are $20.  Since they need to buy two, they will have already spent $40.  In a survey, it found that 71% of guys rent a tux which is usually an average of $127.  Of the students surveyed, 81% said that guys have to pay for dinner which could range from $25 to $130 per person.  On the high end, guys could pay $297 on just the items that they need to directly buy themselves.

Girls, on the other hand, will have more expenses.  The average cost of most prom gowns are from $100 to $400.  Only 35% of girls survey said that they spent between $150 to $300 on their gowns while 13% girls said that they spent $300 to $400.

Hair, makeup, and nails are additional expenses girls have.  It could range from $30 to $275.  On the high end, girls could spend $675.

If a group of friends wants to rent a limousine, then it will cost even more.  Renting a limousine could cost anywhere from $200 to $500.  Splitting the money with a group is the best option.  If it is split between eight people, it would cost $62.50 per person if the rental cost is $500.

According to these websites, the total cost for prom could be $1,097 for a girl and a boy combines if they pay on the higher end of prices.  However, a survey found on average, girls spend about $450 and boys spend about $200 on prom.

Is that money worth hanging out with friends for three to four hours?  Is it worth it for girls to spend hundreds on a gown that will never be worn again?  Prom is supposed to be a night of fun.  Sure, it may be nice for a girl to feel like a princess for a night, but in the end, that money has been wasted.  Fun does not have a price; spending time with good friends is priceless.