There are regular ol’ school dances and then there’s prom.
For almost every teenager on the planet, prom is a culmination of all the high school experiences rolled up into one event. Oh, and don’t forget the dinner beforehand and the party afterwards and, for some, a whole weekend of prom-related festivities.
You may be sensing a theme here: prom is not cheap. How not cheap is it? One study found the average teen spent an average of $919 on the special event in 2015.
We’ve compiled a list of the most creative ways to save money on prom. Follow these prom hacks, and you can make those memories without putting a dent in your wallet:
Reconsider the “promposal”
Asking a date to the prom is where the whole journey begins, and as such, many teens have taken the process to new heights. These elaborate “promposals” set teens back an average of $324 in 2015. But the amount you care for someone should not directly correlate to the amount you spend. In fact, a true heartfelt “promposal” should be personalized and thoughtful. Think about writing a poem or incorporating the ask into an activity the two of you like to share before you go and hire an airplane to profess your love in the sky for all to witness.
Limo? More like lim-no
The limo is one of those prom traditions some teens simply are not willing to forego. If that is the case, start doing some research early to find the best deal. Also, be sure to squeeze as many people as possible (and safely) into that sucker. Sure, it may be nice to have a whole limo for you and your date, but splitting the cost with friends makes more sense. If you’re not dead set on the limo idea but still want to travel with friends, look into bus or van rentals.
Secondhand but first class
The outfit you wear to prom will most likely never be worn again, especially if it’s a super fancy set of threads. Go cruise the thrift stores or consignment shops and find something that shows your style. Don’t you want to stand out a bit? Even consider widening the net (literally) with a deeper search online during off-seasons. Many retailers offer discounted dresses during low seasons – never hurts to take a peek!