Teen Prom Spending Is Getting Even More Out Of Control

Business Insider

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Prom in the UK

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Prom spending has climbed to more than $1,100 as teens continue to go all out on the big dance.

This year, the average American family will spend  $1,139 on prom— an increase of 5% from last year's $1,078 average, according to a new Visa Inc. survey.

But spending on the formal varies drastically across the country. Case in point: Midwestern families spend less than half of what an average family spends in the Northeast.

Here's the breakdown of what the average family will spend on prom in 2013 by region:

  • Northeast: An average of  $1,528.
  • South: An average of  $1,203.
  • West: An average of $1,079.
  • Midwest: An average of $722.

In comparison, families spent about $556 on the big dance back in 2008.

Where does all the money go? A Seventeen magazine survey from last year found that girls spent an average of $231 on a dress, $50 to get their hair done and $68 on their makeup. In addition, they shell out $45 for shoes and $32 on jewelry.

Other prom costs likely come from limo hires, tuxedo rentals, and dining out. 

The Visa Inc. survey found a few other stats that take out some of the sparkle of the glitzy event. For one, parents pay more of the expenses than teens, typically shelling out 59% of the funds for their child's big night out.

I n addition, parents who make less than $50,000 a year are often willing to spend more on the event than the national average and single parents often spend double the amount married parents pay on prom — an average of $1,563 versus $770.



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