Author Topic: Prom spending vs. family income  (Read 4158 times)

MrsPete

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Prom spending vs. family income
« on: July 10, 2017, 12:59:57 PM »
Interesting article:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/would-you-spend-25000-on-your-childs-prom-and-spend-this-much-on-renting-a-camel-2017-06-06

The theme is that the less you earn, the more you spend on your kid's prom night.  In my personal experience (and I'm a  high school teacher), this is true.  While kids are less into prom than they were a decade ago, it's the poorer kids who really splurge on dresses, professional photographs, etc.  The rich kids tend to see it as one night, and they anticipate more special dances, etc. as they head off to college, making this one less important in the grand scheme of things.   

The article says that families who earn less than $25,000/year spend $1,393 on prom night.
Families who earn less than $50,000/year spend $1,109 on prom.
Families who earn more than $50,000/year spend $799 on prom.

Personally, I gave my girls a $200 budget, which was plenty. 

ysette9

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 01:29:52 PM »
I probably paid close to $200 on my prom, back in the late 90s. I invited someone as a date so I paid for two tickets. We split a limo with friends which was a ton of fun. I had a wonderful time and don't regret a thing. My dress was gorgeous and cost $20. I still have it today!
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bobechs

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2017, 01:34:16 PM »
Skipped entirely when I was in high school (70s).

Anyway, lnternet pron is way better than highschool pron, if you ask me.

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WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2017, 01:51:23 PM »
Growing up on Hillbilly Mountain, I knew girls who saved up for years, spent all their money on their prom dress, shoes, and tiara, and then dropped out of school the week after prom. Princess for a day, welfare for a lifetime. And that's how priorities are up on Hillbilly Mountain.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 01:22:37 PM »
Wow, my parents must have been raking it in, then.  I think I spent a grand total of $200, including the tickets.  My tux rental was $55, and I think I spent an extra few bucks afterwards to purchase it.  I've worn it several times since, including our own wedding, so totally worth it.

talltexan

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 11:23:07 AM »
I never understood why men rent a tuxedo, yet women BUY a dress.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 09:56:33 PM »
My high school did not host a prom, so I did not attend one.

I don't feel I missed out on anything.

samusugiru

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 02:23:09 PM »
Very true. I worked in a hotel for a year and for the annual Christmas party the cleaning staff would go all out and rent limos and get professional make up. Compare that to my millionaire friends from college who would borrow a dress for college balls and do their own hair and make up.

SwordGuy

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 04:59:05 PM »
I never understood why men rent a tuxedo, yet women BUY a dress.

Because this is one of the few topics in life where men have more sense than women!

Chesleygirl

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2017, 03:34:13 PM »
Very true. I worked in a hotel for a year and for the annual Christmas party the cleaning staff would go all out and rent limos and get professional make up. Compare that to my millionaire friends from college who would borrow a dress for college balls and do their own hair and make up.

I wonder if spending money that one doesn't really have, relates to a low self esteem.

I went to a high school in a wealthy area, and (as I said above) they didn't even host a prom. People thought it was cheesy. They had other dances, like homecoming, but it wasn't common that anyone rented a limosine for that.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2017, 04:00:06 PM »
My first drill with the National Guard was on prom weekend. So I actually earned money instead of spending it. Had I gone I seriously doubt I would have spent more than $100 or so. The last big dance I went to prior to that I think some friends and I ate at a small diner beforehand and I wore some dress clothes that I already had.

Here in New Mexico a lot of families celebrate a quinceañera for their daughters when they turn 15. Some of these parties easily reach north of ten thousand of dollars. It's basically equivalent to a large wedding between the guests, the food, drinks, photographers, dress, etc.

RidetheRain

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 02:07:08 PM »
Hmm. I spent $60 on my ticket. I wore a cousin's dress so that was free... flowers for the date were $15ish. I did buy new shoes which were in the $30-40 range. I wore them a lot though. Not sure if that counts. An older friend played chauffer with his care (he even dressed up in Classic butler fashion) so that was free.  So... a little over a hundred? I'm pretty sure just asking for what's in that article would have gotten me grounded by my folks.
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Chesleygirl

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2017, 07:12:50 AM »
You have to buy a ticket to attend a prom? And it's $60?  Not sure if I'm ready for my kids to do this thing, although it's a ways off from now. Do some kids just not go?

My friend said that when her daughter was invited to the prom, the boy's parents told her she'd have to pitch in half for the limousine. Why can't they just drive their own car to the prom. Seems like it wouldn't matter either way.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 07:33:16 AM »
You have to buy a ticket to attend a prom? And it's $60?  Not sure if I'm ready for my kids to do this thing, although it's a ways off from now. Do some kids just not go?

My friend said that when her daughter was invited to the prom, the boy's parents told her she'd have to pitch in half for the limousine. Why can't they just drive their own car to the prom. Seems like it wouldn't matter either way.
When I went to prom, the tickets were something like $180 per couple, and that covered the whole evening--dinner, dance, etc.

We went as a triple date, and I drove my parents' (new, paid-for) minivan. :)

iowajes

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2017, 08:25:09 AM »
You have to buy a ticket to attend a prom? And it's $60?  Not sure if I'm ready for my kids to do this thing, although it's a ways off from now. Do some kids just not go?

My friend said that when her daughter was invited to the prom, the boy's parents told her she'd have to pitch in half for the limousine. Why can't they just drive their own car to the prom. Seems like it wouldn't matter either way.

Lots of kids didn't go to prom at my high school.  I kind of wish I hadn't - it was boring- I was never a school dance kind of person, and the faux gambling tables were not my thing, though I had tons of fun at our group's after party (not an official thing, we got two adjoining hotel rooms for 12 people and just hung out and played board games and stuff; but that was the first time my parents let me do something chaperone free like that.)

I also road in my date's truck to prom. Paying for a limo seemed stupid. Then again, I thought the same thing for my wedding and road in a family friend's car. (Granted, the friend in question had a $100k car; but I would have been fine in my Civic too. Having him "chauffeur" was his idea.)

Promposals were not a thing when I was in school, thank God.  (Especially since I had to ask a guy to go with me...) so no money there.  I paid for his ticket, he did buy me a corsage, I think we all paid for our own dinner at a slightly nicer than Olive Garden level restaurant. Gas was flipping cheap then, so that was a non-issue.  I paid for 1/12 of the hotel room, I didn't drink so I didn't pay anything for alcohol.  My dress was from JC Penny.  Two girls supposedly flew (with a few friends?) to Italy to buy their dresses; certainly they were talking about designer I'd never heard of. (um, but their father was about to be the President of the US, so they were kind of on a different level of spending.)

It can be done expensive, or cheap.

RidetheRain

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 11:30:18 AM »
You have to buy a ticket to attend a prom? And it's $60?  Not sure if I'm ready for my kids to do this thing, although it's a ways off from now. Do some kids just not go?

My friend said that when her daughter was invited to the prom, the boy's parents told her she'd have to pitch in half for the limousine. Why can't they just drive their own car to the prom. Seems like it wouldn't matter either way.

Most proms require tickets. It includes the food and transportation from the school to the venue so it can be a little pricey. I know that some kids don't go, but it's very dependant on your friend group as all things are in high school. Looking back, I'm glad I went. We mixed with the cross-town high school and I met my partner there. I still look back on it fondly as a treasured high school memory. For a one time event, I think it was worth the price. Of course, I probably would feel less like that if it wasn't a significant personal event for me or if I paid the ridiculous prices mentioned in that article.
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iowajes

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2017, 11:39:06 AM »

Most proms require tickets. It includes the food and transportation from the school to the venue so it can be a little pricey. I know that some kids don't go, but it's very dependant on your friend group as all things are in high school. Looking back, I'm glad I went. We mixed with the cross-town high school and I met my partner there. I still look back on it fondly as a treasured high school memory. For a one time event, I think it was worth the price. Of course, I probably would feel less like that if it wasn't a significant personal event for me or if I paid the ridiculous prices mentioned in that article.

Wow- I wish! Parking was impossible to find at our prom. 
(I also don't recall food at prom, though maybe there was some sort of light drink and snack?)

PoutineLover

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2017, 11:44:47 AM »
The most expensive part of my prom was the dress, I think it was around $200 and that was half off since it was from the season before. The ticket was probably $50 or so. I got my hair done after a regular haircut, nothing fancy. My makeup was done at the mall for free, as long as I bought something from the store, so I got the lipstick they used on me. I went with 2 friends and we decorated my parent's car with stuff from the dollar store instead of renting a limo. It was a fun experience, and I'm glad I went. My parents are middle class.

Pigeon

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2017, 11:59:36 AM »
My younger daughter spent $20 on her prom dress.  I love that child.

Anon in Alaska

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2017, 03:37:34 AM »
I never understood why men rent a tuxedo, yet women BUY a dress.

Because they expect to wear to dress in the future, while (many) men don't expect to wear the tuxedo in the future.
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former player

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2017, 05:40:14 AM »
Interesting article:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/would-you-spend-25000-on-your-childs-prom-and-spend-this-much-on-renting-a-camel-2017-06-06

The theme is that the less you earn, the more you spend on your kid's prom night.  In my personal experience (and I'm a  high school teacher), this is true.  While kids are less into prom than they were a decade ago, it's the poorer kids who really splurge on dresses, professional photographs, etc.  The rich kids tend to see it as one night, and they anticipate more special dances, etc. as they head off to college, making this one less important in the grand scheme of things.   

The article says that families who earn less than $25,000/year spend $1,393 on prom night.
Families who earn less than $50,000/year spend $1,109 on prom.
Families who earn more than $50,000/year spend $799 on prom.

Personally, I gave my girls a $200 budget, which was plenty.
If you are poor/working class and expect to stay that way, then the end of high school/prom is quite possibly the best you expect your life to ever be, so of course you spend on it.  If you are going off to college you are expecting better things in the future and prom is no big deal.
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iowajes

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2017, 06:19:19 AM »
I never understood why men rent a tuxedo, yet women BUY a dress.

Because they expect to wear to dress in the future, while (many) men don't expect to wear the tuxedo in the future.

Who rewears a prom dress?

Dictionary Time

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2017, 07:32:16 AM »
I never understood why men rent a tuxedo, yet women BUY a dress.

Because they expect to wear to dress in the future, while (many) men don't expect to wear the tuxedo in the future.

Who rewears a prom dress?

It's because the girls must have the most special unique dress possible.  The stores keep a list of what school bought which dress and will not sell a duplicate to the same school.  There's no way they can knowingly wear a dress some other girl wore last year.  Guys just need a fun vest or tie to jazz up the uniform.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2017, 03:44:38 PM »

If you are poor/working class and expect to stay that way, then the end of high school/prom is quite possibly the best you expect your life to ever be, so of course you spend on it.  If you are going off to college you are expecting better things in the future and prom is no big deal.

There is probably some truth to that. My high school was full of well-off students, in a wealthy school district; and there was no prom. And nobody seemed to want one or care.

And amongst some very conservative Christians, there is opposition to prom; it's seen as a night of debauchery and sex. Pure evil. They host something called "prom alternative" that is chaperoned by parents.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 03:47:39 PM by Chesleygirl »

SimpleCycle

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2017, 04:24:26 PM »
Wow.  I went to prom in the late 90s.  Junior prom (the bigger deal prom) we drove in my friend's minivan and I wore a dress out of our drama costume collection.  Senior prom we asked our bus driver since Kindergarten to drive us to prom in the school bus (we tried really hard to pay her but she refused everything except the bus fee, which was something like $50 split 20 ways) and I sewed my own dress, which was about $30 in materials.  I did get my hair done for senior prom, and paid for a corsage/boutonnier.  I was from a lower middle class family and headed to college, but I sort of marched to the beat of my own drum even back then.

Edited to add: I guess tickets were the biggest expense - $35!

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2017, 05:58:20 AM »
Grew up poor and spent a good chunk on the prom, all my own money. Got a limo, flowers, tux, pictures and hotel room for a party. When your poor you want something special and you don’t want to make your date regret being asked. One of my best memories and nights from high school, wouldn’t change a thing.

Zikoris

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2017, 11:55:31 AM »
Neither me or the boyfriend went to any sort of prom - he just had zero interest, and I did distance education, which meant there were about six graduates spread out over a large chunk of the province (hence no prom). Most of my friends who I've asked about it did not go. It seems to be a much bigger thing in the smaller, rural school where my dad was a teacher for many years.
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clarkfan1979

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2017, 09:11:06 PM »
Humans unconsciously seek higher social status. Poor people are not able to do it with cars or houses because they don't make enough money. They buy status items that are more accessible like expensive nike shoes or fancy items for prom. 

fattest_foot

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Re: Prom spending vs. family income
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2017, 12:24:45 AM »
My prom was 2002. I was working that night.

It's strange to me how reminiscent adults get about high school. It was 4 years, which in the grand scheme of life is incredibly small. I don't regret not going to prom, and I don't regret not going to my reunion. I don't know those people anymore; they're completely unimportant to my life now.