How much do you really need to spend on prom?

By Annie Goode

Dress, nails, hair, makeup and shoes can come out to cost a pretty penny when prom season rolls around. According to NBC, the average teen spends about $1000 on prom. So what can you save and splurge on for prom?

Senior Syrie Rodriguez said she did not set an exact budget for her purchases for prom, but made sure to keep the prices of the dresses she was looking at low. 

  “My dress was around $300,” Rodriguez said. ”And then the shoes were … like $40. And then I just got some earrings off Amazon, which weren’t expensive but I’m doing my own makeup and my own nails to save money as well.”

Senior Emery Himes said her dress was on the more expensive end, but still tried to save on other aspects of her prom look. 

“We tried to keep it as low as possible just because a lot coming up with being a senior, graduating, so like making sure you’re not spending a bunch of money,” Himes said. 

Penn Live says prom dresses typically cost $300-$700 before alterations; tuxes are around $100-$250 for a rental and flowers can be $50-$100. Lane’s prom tickets also cost $125 each. 

“I’m probably going to go get my nails done and a blowout for my hair, so that’ll probably add a couple of hundred, and everything else I’m going to try to do at home,” Himes said.

Though Himes did not feel that there was a pressure around spending a lot of money on prom, she did feel that there is a unique pressure around appearances at prom.

“I think there is a pressure of looking your best, and that does cost money, but I feel like people don’t talk about the cost as much because everybody has their different range of money, and it’s respectful to not pressure people on spending a certain amount,” said Himes.

Himes and Rodriguez both thought saving on prom costs was important to their decisions. Many websites recommend saving money on prom by renting a dress or a tux, or buying a dress with less fabric to lower the cost.  

“I feel like prom, if you find a dress that you really love, you don’t have to spend so much on it,” said Rodriguez. 

“I would say just like when it comes to a dress, you can even buy used ones or maybe even thrifting it or repurchasing something and just like going to as many places as you can and finding the best deal,” said Himes. “And then trying to do maybe your hair, makeup, nails at home or with a friend to help you save money.”