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Prom Costs Continue to Increase, How You Can Save

PromCostsSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — In a sure sign that the economy is improving today’s teens, or their parents, are spending a fortune on high school prom.

Visa’s annual prom survey shows the average family spending over $1,100 on prom this year.

And here in the northeast it’s even more with the average at over $1,500.

ABC40 went to see if teens around here are emptying their pockets for prom.

High school senior, Emily Duchesneau, has the right idea.  “I really don’t want too expensive.”

But everything adds up quickly.  Your hair, if you want to get your make-up done and then people pay for a bus, manicure, pedicure you have to pay for all of that. Oh and don’t forget about the shoes too!

Tack on another few bucks for flowers.

“Corsages range from $20 to $25.  Wristlets a little more,” explains Jeanne Suffriti with Flowers by Webster.

How about a limo and the actual prom tickets?

And probably the biggest investment, a prom gown, with many girls spending at least a couple hundred dollars and that’s if they’re only going to one prom.

“I’m going to hers and she’s coming to mine and she’s spoiled so she’s getting two of her new dresses,” says Scott Simpson who was shopping at Formal Affair Tuxedos today.

The guys have a bit of a different story.  Scott spent less than $100 to rent his tux and shoes.  Accessories aren’t exactly needed.

“I guess we could get a new bottle of cologne,” says Jarren Pacheco, a High School Senior.

But their average cost, far under the $1,000 marker.

“Maybe around $400 or $500 because we have to buy the girls tickets too, only if you’re a gentleman,” explains Jarren.

In reality most of the teens aren’t the ones actually paying the bill.

A visa survey shows parents cover 59% of prom costs.

Jarren told us, “Her parents know it costs a lot but she’s a princess so…”

A high price to pay for one night of dinner and dancing. But most agree this is a once in a lifetime celebration.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to go to prom though.

Local boutiques we spoke to say they have gowns that fit every budget. Or you can borrow a dress from a friend.

Doing hair and nails at home is always an option and it’s recommended to split the cost of a limo with other couples if that is your transportation of choice.

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