7 Tips to Spend Less for Prom - Prom | Prom & Graduation Special Section

Don't Make Your Prom Souvenir a High Credit Card Bill
7 Tips to Spend Less for Prom

Cutting spending for prom night can be one of the first major financial lessons prospective high-school graduates learn before leaving for college. Many students plan to spend $1000 or more to mark their final party before graduation, but an equal number prefer to reign in spending associated with prom.

Overspending and overindulgence has infiltrated many aspects of daily living -- from bigger homes to fancier cars. Prom night is no different. Instead of renting a limousine, students now arrive in a stretch Hummer. Instead of a simple manicure, some girls indulge in day-long spa parties. Rented tuxes may be replaced by high-end designer duds. It's even possible for some prom dresses to cost more than wedding gowns.

Balancing when to splurge and when to conserve is essential to enjoying prom night without spending a fortune. Here are some ways to keep spending to a minimum.

1. Gowns: Guys aren't the only ones who can rent their attire. Some gown stores and bridal shops offer rental on gowns. If renting isn't appealing to you, think about shopping for attire to take advantage of sales and get the lowest prices on prom gowns and accessories. Also consider going online to popular social networking or auction sites to see if you can purchase slightly used gowns at a fraction of the cost.

2. Tanning: Research has shown that tanning beds are not good for the skin, and routine visits can be expensive. If you want a healthy glow for prom night, consider a spray tan or a self-tanning cream instead.

3. Jewelry: Find out if you can borrow pieces of jewelry from your mother, grandmother or other relative. You may find one-of-a-kind antique pieces that will truly make a statement.

4. Transportation: If a limousine is a must, split the cost with other students by traveling to the prom as a group. Otherwise, consider taking your regular ride and save a lot of dough.

5. Formal photos: Prom photos are generally marked-up in price. You don't need to buy an expensive package, one or two photos will do. After all, it's generally the candid shots taken with your own camera during the night that are the most memorable.

6. Dinner: If the prom doesn't include the cost of a dinner, don't feel compelled to spend on a fancy restaurant. A favorite hang-out spot, whether a fast-food joint or a chain restaurant, will provide the sustenance you need for a night of dancing.

7. After party: Gather at a friend's house instead of renting a room or cabin for the night. One of the least expensive things to do after the prom is to simply go home.

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