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High School’s Big Night: Are we spending too much on prom?

by AirTalk®

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Juniors and seniors from John McDonogh High School celebrate at their prom June 1, 2007 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The struggling inner city school held its first prom today since Hurricane Katrina. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sending your kid to prom? Headed there yourself? If the answer is yes, chances are you’re in for one expensive night. The cost of attire, limousine rental, and tickets to the actual event can add up quickly.

Luckily for 2014 prom attendees the average cost of attending a prom is expected to decrease for the first time since 2010. A survey conducted by Visa found that prom spending by teens and their families is expected to fall by 14 percent from $1,139 in 2013 to $978 in 2014.

Families in California may not be as lucky. The survey anticipates that prom spending in the Western United States will average $1,125, the highest regional average in the country.  Families in the Midwest will spend the least, only $926, while those in the northeast are expected to spend $1,104.

When it comes to who actually pays for all of proms expenses, Visa found that parents are footing 56 percent of the bill while teens pay for the remaining 44 percent.

How much did you spend on your prom? If you are a parent, how much would you spend on your child’s prom?  How much money is too much money when it comes to prom?


Kit Yarrow, PhD, consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and author of “Decoding the New Consumer Mind” (Wiley, 2014)


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