Figuring out Prom Budget – For girls
By: Lori Kremen
Preparing for the prom can be an extremely expensive endeavor. When planning your prom night, you will have to think about all of the expenses and how you will pay for them. Your parents could help; you and your date can split the mutual expenses, or can use the money from your job. Here are a few of the things you will have to think about when planning your prom budget.
Tickets $______: You can cut corners on everything else, but the prom tickets are the one non-negotiable cost of prom. Depending on the formality of the event and where it is held, the ticket can cost anywhere from $10 to $200 with an average cost of about $100. Surprisingly, your prom ticket will probably be one of your smaller expenses. If you are paying any part of the cost for the ticket, you should consider splitting the cost with your date.
Dinner $______: The pre-prom dinner is an optional cost. Some restaurants have pre-fix menus to choose from, if you want to keep the costs down. Depending on where you go, what you order and how you and your prom party decide to split the costs, this can be anywhere from $25 to $150 per person with an average cost of about $40. Just because this is the prom, doesn’t mean you have to eat at a restaurant that has food with foreign names you’ve never heard before. If your prom includes a dinner in the cost of the ticket, you may want to skip this additional cost entirely. Tip: Coke or Pepsi at fancy restaurants can be $5.00 or more per glass. If you want to cut costs, stick with tap water.
Dress $______: It goes without saying: the dress is THE expense of prom. You can cut corners on some expenses, but you are going to have to buy a prom dress. Assuming you aren’t planning on buying a second hand dress or recycling a sibling or friend’s dress you should put aside about $250 to $500 for your prom dress. However, the cost for a dress can skyrocket into the thousands if you have a specific designer in mind. Shopping early for your dress is a good idea, so you can start saving up.
Hair $______: Your hair style for the prom is almost as important as what you are wearing. You might even want to take your perspective hair style for a test drive before the big day arrives. Your Prom hair style can cost anywhere from $75 to $300 depending on the location and scale of your salon. Double the cost of a normal hair style at your salon, and that will be your approximate cost for your prom hair style. Remember this is your big night. If you do not like what your hair dresser does to your hair, do not be afraid to speak up! Tip: if you want to have any color done for the prom, get it done at least a week in advance, that way, you can dye it back in a worse case scenario.
Make up $______: Make up is one thing that doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are having professional make up done for the prom, on the other hand, this can be very costly. You may just need to adjust a few colors in your pallet, which may cost you as little as $20. If you want to completely revamp your look this will cost you a maximum of $300, assuming you buy the best products. If you, like me, know how to shop the sale items, this price is drastically reduced. Put aside about $50 for new make up and $100 if you are getting professionally made up.
Mani/Pedi $______: The manicure and pedicure is an important part of any prom preparation period. You can cut costs by doing your nails and toe nails yourself, which will be the price of a bottle of nail polish. But a manicure and pedicure combined is about $40 and well worth the cost. If you are planning on getting brand new tips, put aside about $80 and $20 for the pedicure.
Shoes $______: I don’t need to tell you that shoes run the gamut of prices. IF you want the hot new Jimmy Choo or Manolo Blahnik strapy sandals, expect to pay upwards of $400. But if you want the same look for less, you can easily find a discount shoe store that will sell a similar knock off for about $40.
Pictures $______: Expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $75, depending on the package you get. You may consider pictures an optional cost, but your parents won’t agree with you. The way they see it, you spent all this money getting dolled up, but it all counts for nothing if they don’t have professional photographs to show your relatives. If a girl gets dressed up in the forest.
Transportation $______: If you and your date are taking your own or your parent’s cars, this cost is non-existent. If you are taking a limousine, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $300 per hour depending on the size and quality of the limo service. Alternatively, you can rent a fancy classic car for the evening for a lot less money. You’ll probably have to have your parents or guardian rent it for you.
Boutonnière $______: No matter what other expenses you incur from the prom, you will definitely have to purchase a boutonnière for your date. A high end boutonnière will cost you no more than $40 dollars with an average cost of about $25. Make sure you ask your date what flowers he intends to purchase for your corsage, because you will want the flowers to match.
After Prom $______: depending on the activity you choose, you will have to spend anywhere from $0 to $150 per person. If you are spending a weekend at the beach or at a hotel, your after prom activity will be very expensive. If you have something planned locally, or plan on going to a club, the activity will a lot less expensive.