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Prom Night Too Expensive?

Here’s how to give your teen daughter a magical prom night without going into debt.

Prom couple. Photo from 123RF(r).

Prom time can be expensive for parents. In 2012, it was estimated by CNN that parents spend an average of $1078 for prom night. 

Growing up in a blended family with six teenagers still living at home, our parents didn’t have the extra money for prom dresses, shoes, tuxedoes, limousines and expensive dinners. 

When I was in high school, I attended three proms and every prom dress I wore was borrowed from a friend. I am sure my shoes were borrowed, too. I think the only thing I bought was the corsage for my date.

Even though my dresses were borrowed, they were new to me, and I still felt beautiful. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t wearing a brand new dress. I still had fun with my friends.  

Are you on a tight budget? Are you worried that you can’t afford the extra prom expenses for your teen daughter? Here are a few ideas.

1)  Research your area for prom ministries such as Love That Dress. These are great organizations that provide gently used prom dresses at a minimal or no cost if you make a donation. Some organizations even have fun events where they demonstrate make up applications and have refreshments as your daughter is trying on her dresses.

2)  Borrow and swap prom dresses from friends. This is a great way to teach your daughter to share and receive new styles at no cost.

3)  If you have to invest in a new purchase, pick a stylish dress that your daughter can wear more than once. This will teach your daughter how to expand her wardrobe by using a newly purchased dress with different accessories. 

4)  If you have a teen son, instead of renting a tuxedo, invest in a new sports jacket, tie and slacks that can he can wear for several years.

5)  Host a special dinner party for several of the teen couples with the help of other parents as waiters, hosts and cooks. Let them pick the menu and the décor.

Give them the experience of being at a nice restaurant without the cost. Make sure that the helpers give the teen couples privacy as they enjoy their meal together. No parents joining the table.

Prom night can be an exciting time for your daughter and you don’t have to go in debt to help to make it a magical.

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