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Prom Planning Timeline
• Creating a Prom Budget
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Finding a Prom Date - Part 2
Surviving Prom Night Without a Date
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Creating Your Prom Budget

Prom can be an expensive time, and, as a teenager, you may not have a large amount of cash readily available. In a survey of teen girls across the country, prom expenses ranged from a whopping $800 to just over $300. While you may be able to ask your parents to foot the prom bill, you will be prouder (and in better graces with your parents) if you pay for the majority of prom yourself. So, how do you create a budget to cover all of the many prom expenses? The list below will help you know what you need for prom and how to cut costs when necessary. Once you create your priority list, check out our list of ideas to help you earn some extra cash in the months before prom.

Prom Night Priorities

  1. Prom Dress: Your prom dress should take up the largest percentage of your budget. Prom dresses vary widely in price, so start shopping early to know how much you want to (and can) spend. If you have your eye on a designer dress, try budgeting the other items on your list to help you afford it.
  2. Dress Accessories: Your accessory list includes all the touches you need to make your prom dress perfect. This list will include your shoes, purse, jewelry, and any special undergarments you may need to wear with your dress. If your dress took up quite a bit of your budget already, try being creative with this category. Wear inexpensive shoes (no one will see them if your dress is long, anyway), borrow jewelry from your mom or friends, and use a purse you already have.
  3. Beauty: Your beauty budget includes your cost for hair, make-up, and nails. While it can be fun to have your beauty treatments done professionally, this category also allows some budget wiggling room. To save some money, do your hair and make-up yourself, or plan a party where you and your friends do each other’s hair, make-up, and nails. This can be a fun experience to remember forever with your friends.
  4. Photography: You will want to have great pictures to help you remember your prom. If nothing but a professional photo will do, feel free to splurge on this item. Otherwise, have your mom snap a few pictures at the house (you know she will, anyway), and then bring a camera to the dance for some prom night shots. Digital prints are much cheaper than a professional print, and they will allow you to be more flexible with the shots you choose.
  5. Transportation: If you are taking a limousine to the prom, transportation should be the next item on your priority list. If your budget is wearing thin already, save money on this item by either investing with more friends or forgoing the limousine. Pulling up in a stretch Hummer can be fun, but spending time with your friends and your date is what really matters.
  6. Tickets: Your date may be paying for the prom tickets himself, but he may need a little help from you (boys have expenses, too). Tickets are a vital part of your budget, so be sure to allocate enough money for them.
  7. Dinner: Once more, your date may pay for this part of the evening; however, if you are going with a group of friends, it’s more likely you will split the cost all around. While going to a fancy restaurant can be fun, you can save money here by hosting a potluck dinner at your house or choosing a less expensive restaurant.
  8. Boutonniere: The boutonniere for your date should be the last item on your priority list. The flower won’t be very expensive, but you don’t want to hurt your date’s feelings by not showing proper appreciation for his companionship. If you are flat broke by this time, ask your mom to help you make a boutonniere from some flowers in your garden.

Tips for Earning Extra Cash

  1. Let your family and neighbors know that you’re willing to do small jobs like babysitting, lawn mowing, car washing, or pet care.
  2. Ask some older residents of your neighborhood if they need help running errands, cleaning the house, or cooking.
  3. Ask your mom for extra jobs to do. She will likely be able to think of an attic or garage that needs to be cleaned out.
  4. Sell your old clothes, books, and/or CDs at a yard sale. You can get all of your friends involved to create a larger profit.
  5. If you’re great at a particular school subject, try tutoring younger kids at your school or in your neighborhood.

 
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