As we continue the transition into spring that means prom season is already upon us as students begin to pester their parents for money for the first must-attend social event of adolescence. When you calculate the limo rides, corsages, entry fees, dress purchases and tux rentals, this one-night affair can quickly add up to a hefty bill. In fact, according to a recent survey of 1,000 random people conducted by GfK Roper OmniTel, parents can expect to pay an average of $1,078 per teen for prom this year. That’s a 34 percent increase from last year’s national average of $807. Now we’ll Decode prom costs by region and financial brackets. —Anslem Samuel
Families located on the West Coast also expect to pay less than the national average with just $744 working out as the average.
The prom price starts to spike when looking at Southern families, who expect to spend $1,047 on average for their teens’ annual dance.
However, it’s the Northeast that takes the cake on prom related expenditures with an expected average of $1,944, that’s almost double the national average.
One of the more interesting outcomes of GfK Roper OmniTel’s survey was how families’ expected prom spending didn’t correlate to their income. For instance, families who make less than $50,000 a year reported that they planned to spend more than the national average. In fact, parents who make $20,000 to $29,999 expected to spend around $2,635.
Conversely, the survey found that families who made more (over $75,000) were actually more frugal with their prom plans as the average expected spending worked out to be just $842.