Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock Photo: Girls at Dance

We already save up for college... is it time to start saving for prom too? MSN News reports that this year, Visa’s third annual survey on prom spending estimates an average of $1,139 per family, up five percent from last year.

We totally understand if you need to take a second to freak out. The average amount families in 2008 told Seventeen Magazine they were planning on spending was $566. Clearly the times are a-changin’!

Visa conducted a telephone poll of 3,000 families between February and March — twice the size of last year’s sample.

"It's become a social arms race," said Nat Sillin, Visa's head of financial literacy, of prom. "It's an opportunity for parents to engage their teens and have a conversation about budgeting."

This inflated price tag doesn’t cover just the dress for the girl, mind you. Families also have to think about the hair and makeup, the corsages and boutonnieres, the shoes and jewelry, tickets to the function, food selection, the limo, the hotel room, after-party stuff, and whatever else the kids choose to roll into their special night.

We remember shopping for other formal dances at used clothing stores, since the dress just had to be (for us, at least) comfy and sparkly. However, when it came to our prom, we went for the whole shebang, paying a visit to David’s Bridal for the good stuff!

This year, David’s Bridal says their prom stock is starting on average at $100–$150. Windsor Store is also checking in with similar price tags on their prom dresses, adding that families are spending about $300 total on their complete purchase, so we’re assuming shoes, jewelry, and tax are all rolled in.

When we did prom, we went all out on the dress, but our friends held a hair and makeup party and our parents drove us. We weren’t all that interested in the extras. Since our cost was only about $250 total, our parents footed the bill. This year, Visa’s survey found that parents would be covering just under 60%, while the teens made up the difference.

We’re not sure whether the prices are going up or our kids’ expectations are ballooning — or both. Either way, $1,000 is a hefty amount to pay for a single night!

We want to know what you think of the rising cost of prom. Comment below!

Source: MSN News


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