Free Ebook.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« How Do You Value Your Time? | Main | Advice for People Early in their Career »

June 01, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

i'm about 10 years past prom now but i remember spending almost $300 on my dress junior year and then getting smart and spending $30 on my dress senior year. i still have the dress from senior year and it's something i could still wear if i had a formal occasion. junior years $300 dress was a monstrosity that i've since donated.

Hahaha. I totally mis-read the title. I thought it said "The Cost of Porn."

If you think there's any chance your kid might drink at/around prom (and, frankly, for most kids, there is), I think a limo might actually be a wise investment. As odd as it sounds.

Weird! I'm similarly the parent of 2 young children and must be about the same age. I have similar memories of Prom as a total non-event that many people skipped and no one spent much money on. That was in 1979 on the West Coast, if anyone is researching!

It was not expensive at all. I wore a home-made granny-style dress in a Laura Ashley-type style that I had made for myself a year or two earlier. We went to dinner before the dance (which was held at a downtown hotel ballroom) and later on we just drove around in my GF's boyfriend's parent's car all night until the sun came up. Then we went home.

I remember it as being an incredibly boring night. We were all anxious to leave town and go to college, where we imagined our lives would really begin. And that was mostly what happened!

I find it sad that today so many people appear to think that graduating from High School is the pinnacle of their lives. Unfortunately, HS graduation isn't much of an achievement, no matter how much $$$ you spend on Prom.

I'm 5 years past prom, and spent $50 on a dress, $25 for dinner, chipped in for a limo and the tickets. My friends and I did each other's hair and makeup. I don't think anyone went over $250 even with the profesional pictures. The night was fun, got to spend time with everyone. I have no idea why anyone would drop much more cash on the evening though. I did have to look to find that dress, the only area I would have been willing to spend more on if I had to.

Those numbers....although expensive are not too surprising. Prom now days continue to try to one up the years before.

Junior year, my mom who's quite the seamstress made a dress for me. Senior year I decided to splurge on a $40 dress from Ross. I did my own hair and makeup, spent $20 on a nice dinner, $40 for the prom ticket, and I drove myself, my date and another couple. I never understood why anyone would spend up to $500 on one night of semi-awkwardness.

I only went to my senior prom (four years ago now). Tickets were $50, my dress was $300 (with free alterations, which was lucky because I'm a hard size AND very short), and I didn't have any other expenses because I took care of my hair and everything else.

It's kind of obnoxious that there's really no prom dress rentals; guys can still get away with a $50 rented suit for the night. Most prom dresses are unwearable for any other event, so it's kind of wasted money. When I think back on it, I had a good time, but maybe not $350 worth of fun.

I'm a Boomer, and in my day the prom was a very big thing. But the fun was selecting fabric after hours of sifting through fabric stores, sewing a dream dress, and investing in a carnation for my date's lapel. When my daughters had their turn, they delighted in searching for their dream dresses. One daughter decided on one of my vintage gowns, and the other spent $70 on a basic dress she wore for years afterward. What a shame that somehow later generations got into limo rentals, expensive clothing, and the like.

I bought my prom dress (5+ years ago) in Delia's magazine for $78. I did NOT rent some fancy car -- I drove myself in a friend's parent's Mercedes. Prom doesn't have to be expensive. I was one of the most popular girls in my class and I was not willing to part with so much money. I deliberately went without a date (I went with my friend, who didn't have a date, either) and had a blast regardless. Prom ends up as a competition, usually, and that's too bad.

Rick Springfield is STILL hot. :-)

My daughter is a junior and just went to her prom last month. Her date bought a suit for about $125 because the tux rental was about the same price. That floored me. I hadn't rented a tux since my wedding over 20 years ago. But it's true, they cost about $130 to rent for a day.

A typical dress at a shopping mall department store could be had for between $70 and $300. Many girls borrow dresses from older friends or sisters. There are second hand stores that have large selections of prom dresses in the spring for considerably less.

The parents put on a big party after the prom for the kids. Parents worked and local businesses donated thousands of dollars worth of items,services and prizes. iPods were big, as were gift certificates to portrait studios (senior pictures). The party was very well attended, and while I'm sure there were kids that went out drinking and drugging after the dance, we saw no evidence of it at the post dance party.

$566 is more than my daughter and her date spent, but I can see where it wouldn't be that difficult, or even extravagant to spend that much. Times change, except Rick Springfield sucked then and still sucks:)

As a guy, my biggest expense was renting a tux at $100 and paying for dinner, which was about $60 to $80, and my part of the limo for about $40 to $50. So, I got away with about $200 for prom, because we didn't rent hotels. We always had an after party at a friend's house and we just crashed on the floor somewhere.

However, for girls, you've got the dress, shoes, make-up, hair, accessories, etc. The dress alone can cost $500, which is ridiculous for something that they will most likely never wear again. That is such a waste. I am still pissed that I didn't just buy a suit at JC Penney every time I went to prom or was in a wedding. I could have about 8 nice suits right now that I would wear on a regular basis.

("I'm sure some of you are much more in-tune with the costs of porn . . . either because your kids had one recently or you did." Wow, that was a weird sentence to misread.)

Ugh, proms. I already wrote up my thoughts on them and called it "Why You're Better Off Missing the Prom":

We don't have proms in Ireland, we have Debs. I was lucky enough to borrow a dress from a friend who bought one for her debs. So, Dress = $0. Ticket = $50. Drinks = $not sure. Cost of dry cleaning the dress I threw up all over = $40 :)

Who's Rick Springfield? ;)

Cost of my prom was zero because I didn't go.

BTW nickel's a sicko.

Nickel isn't a sicko, he is just the first one to admit it... i sure as hell thought it said that at first glance

This tracks with the current trend of "giving our kids everything we didn't have". I have spent more on my son through age 7 than my parents spent on me through 18 (inflation adjusted of course.) Why do we do this? Part of the reason for any success I have had financially was my hunger to achieve and earn. Will my son have this? Why would he?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Start a Blog


  • Any information shared on Free Money Finance does not constitute financial advice. The Website is intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. You are advised to discuss your specific requirements with an independent financial adviser. Per FTC guidelines, this website may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. All posts are © 2005-2012, Free Money Finance.