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Prom: The Ever Escalating Cost of the Social Arms Race

If you’ve got a teen who’s been bugging you about going to prom, then
you probably already know this: prom is much more expensive nowadays
than when you went oh so many years ago.

USA Today business reporter Hadley Malcolm (left, above), who still looks
good in her original senior year high school prom dress, reports that
the average prom spending is – sit down moms and dads – over $1,000:

Prom is the new wedding, and spending on the springtime high school
dance is climbing within reach of celebrations of holy matrimony.

Mary Stirsman says she couldn’t imagine buying her 17-year-old
daughter Madison the $500 dress she found at an Indianapolis boutique
on one recent shopping trip, because Stirsman only spent $800 on her
own wedding dress. But a higher price tag is the new norm for an increasingly
lavish event for which teens and their families are dropping loads of
cash on one-of-a-kind dresses and tuxes, limos or party buses, hair,
makeup, jewelry, flowers, dinner and dance tickets.

This year, families with teens are expected to spend an average
of $1,078 on prom, up from $807 last year, according to data from a
survey released today by Visa that includes results based on a thousand
telephone interviews conducted at the end of last month.

"This is social-arms-race spending. It’s extreme," says
Jason Alderman, director of Visa’s financial education programs.

Read the rest of the report over at USA Today: Link


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