Visa reported yesterday that teenagers going to the prom are not taking just their clothes to the cleaners; they’re taking their parents. The average cost of the night that teens regard as the night they’ll always remember: $1,078. Last year Visa reported the average cost as $807.
The lower end of the economic spectrum apparently values the one-night fling more highly than those in the median range; the report stated that parents who make between $20,000 and $29,999 a year will spend more than $2,600, while those who earn more than $75,00 a year plan to spend between $700 and $1,000.
There were also regional differences in the US. Northeastern families plan to spend an average of $1,944, Southern families: $1,047, Western families: $744, Midwestern families: $696. The Visa survey estimated that the high-schoolers are covering 39% of the cost, while parents are covering 61%.
Jason Alderman, senior director of global financial education at Visa Inc, said
One of the reasons that prom spending may be running amok is that parents are paying the vast majority of the costs, giving teens little incentive to economize . . . It’s important to remember that the prom is a high school dance, not a wedding. Parents need to set limits in order to demonstrate financial responsibility.
According to Promgirl.com, some of the assorted costs can break down this way:
Prom Tickets: up to $250
Hair: up to $275
Gown: up to $400
Limo: up to $500
When it comes to celebrating the end of their adolescence, teenagers are conscience-free. And who’s to blame them, since the current administration tells them that the government will always bail them out later?