8 Ways to Make Your Prom More Affordable

Make Prom Affordable

Did you know that the average Prom night totals $1,000? Thats more expensive than the dates mom and dad likely go on! Yet before parents worldwide break out into panic, rest assured that the average teen covers about 41% of Prom costs. Boys might be more concerned than girls, as it is common tradition for the male to pay for the tickets to the dance and pick up the tab at dinner, although depending on the trends in your own circle of friends these customs may vary. Even when partially paid for, girls (on average) still spend more money on Promnails, hair, the perfect dress, it all really starts to add up! Male or female, going to your Prom does not have to feel like early college tuition, there are many ways to make your night affordable without hampering any regality. Enjoy these 8 tips to save money while still having the best night of your life!

  1. Throw a Jewelry Party

    Call up your closest gal pals and get ready for a giggly good time. You are going to have a girls-only pre-prom party where you will create your own jewelry. I don't mean silly beaded BFF bracelets, but instead start scoring the Internet for more mature ideas. Pinterest is the perfect place to discover inspiration before hitting up local craft stores to find the necessary pieces. Not only will the process be a blast but its an affordable way to wear jewelry precisely personalized to your dress, plus with costume jewelry costing an arm and a leg, it will save some serious money.

  2. Call Ahead for Fixed Menus

    Prom night traditionally begins with a fancy dinner, although a lot of prom-goers have been switching it up, swapping sushi bars and steak houses for pizza parlors and burger joints no matter how much they stand out in their fancy attire! Yet if fine dinning seems unavoidable, there are ways to make the meal cheaper. I've heard a few horror stories about dinners gone wild where kids rack up an extravagant bill ordering all kinds of caviar and crème brulee. To make sure nothing like this happens, call ahead to a couple of restaurants and ask for their fixed menu options offered for special occasions and large parties. Many fine dining establishments create menus with a limited selection of three-course meals, and, like most package deals, this will cut costs and it also offers a chance to order ahead and know exactly what the bill will be.

  3. Dress For Less

    Prom dresses are not cheap, especially during the month of Prom when local stores hike up their prices in light of demand. Therefore, shopping ahead of time is the first way you can save money on a Prom dress, during the off-season these dresses are much slower to sell and regularly end up on discount racks. If its too close to date to find sales at your local mall, seek out discount stores like Ross, Nordstrom Rack, or TJ Maxx (just to name a few), all stocked full of dresses appropriate for Prom year round, and at prices up to 90% off of the listed retail price! If unable to find an affordable dress you love, some bridal shops offer dress rentals; here you will find a very high quality gown for a one-time rental fee.

    Keep in mind, the chances of getting a stain or trailing your dress in some water is likely after all this is Prom, reserved for upperclassmen for a reason! Things might get a little wild so be wise with your attire, don't overspend on something that will ruin your night if it gets a stain or a tear. Not only will this mentality save money, but it will also decrease stress so you can really let loose and relax.

    Donate My Dress is an organization that helps low-income teens get Prom dresses for free, check them out online for a dress of your own, or to donate your dress after the big night.

  4. The Tux: Rent or Buy?

    At Prom the tradition is for young men to wear a tux but more commonly dress codes call for suits, and considering any 16-18 year old gentlemen will only be getting larger in upcoming years, buying a pricey tux might not only be unaffordable, but unnecessary as well. In the instance you will need to wear a tux on more than 2 or 3 occasions this year, purchasing a tux starts to look like the more cost productive option, as it generally costs anywhere from $70 - $150 to rent a nice tuxkeeping in mind that usually a rented tux comes with all of the necessary accessories, shoes included.

  5. Get Your Make Up Done For Free

    Usually girls buy new makeup in the name of Prombe it lipstick, eye shadow, or bronzerbut no matter what you do, don't buy any of it until the day of Prom! The cosmetic counters in large department stores, such as Nordstrom or Macys, and independent beauty stores like Sephora, all offer a variation of the same awesome policy: spend X amount on cosmetics and get your makeup done by a professional artist for free! At MAC, purchasing a set of $15 fake lashes is enough to get your entire face done up at the time of purchase, while at Sephora limits are set around $50, call ahead to a few places and see who has the best deal. Another perk is the one-on-one time you have with an expert who can help you pick out the colors most appropriate for you and your unique Prom look.

    With your makeup done, its less important to pay for a fancy up-do on your hair. A full face of makeup is glamorous on its own, with hippie styles on trend right now, try wearing your hair down and wavy with some flowers or sparkle clips spread throughout, an easy look such as this will earn you compliments all night long and be more unique than any top heavy bun.

  6. To Skip or Not to Skip the Limo

    I see it time and time again; the number one tip to save money on Prom is to skip out on the limo. Limos are not cheap and account for a big chunk of Proms overall expense; therefore, if you hire a socially acceptable friend or family member to drive you around it will cost considerably less. Some still cannot imagine their Prom without a limo, in which case try these quick tricks to save money booking your chariot.

    • Check out betransported.com, a site that offers an easy way to compare and find limo drivers in your area. Compare the prices of at least 5 different local companies before making your decision.
    • Get as many people in the limo as possible, when split 12 ways a couple hundred dollars dramatically decreases. If you are not going in a large group, look into smaller cars that can drive a couple around comfortably for less.
    • Save the Cadillac limo for later, very few of your peers actually see you pull up to Prom and with everyone jumping out of their own shiny rides no one notices the difference! Picking a less flashy limo will save money and provide the same amount of fun.
    • Don't be fooled by base rate quotes, as this does not include fuel costs, tip, insurance, toll roads, or any other hidden fees.
  7. Carnations Please!

    Flowers are another costly expense, one for her wrist and one for his lapel. Carnations are a popular flower choice because they are less expensive and can be dyed any color one wishes, allowing you to coordinate flower color with outfit. Just make sure to order your flowers early, those that wait 'til the last minute will be stuck choosing between the left-overs which are typically the most expensive and least attractive flowers!

  8. Plan Ahead & Fundraise

    Already know you struggle sticking to a budget, or no idea how you'll begin to pay for Prom in the first place? Start planning ahead of time and create a fun way to raise money for the evening, if you pull together enough friends you can turn a good time into a business venture. Say for example, your Prom group can raise money for the limo by hosting a community carwash; charge $2 less than the drive through carwash down the road and you'll score all the business in town. If trying to raise money on your own, gather up any old clothes and clutter clogging up your bedroom and have a garage sale.

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