Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Save Money During Prom Season

Prom season is here. Many parents take their children shopping for the prom and are shocked at the price tags on prom clothes. Clothes for the prom can range from $100-$1,000, not including the costs for accessories, shoes, transportation, dining, pictures, jewelry, hair, makeup and other costs.

1. Plan Ahead. Purchase all necessary items at least one month ahead of time. The ideal time would be to purchase items the day after Christmas or no later than February.
2. Be Different. Look for unique colors and styles. Shop online and on websites like Craigslist, eBay, or online consignment shops for unique pieces.
3. Create. Hire a seamstress to make a unique prom dress or tuxedo for half the price. Buy your own fabric to save even more money.
4. Comparison Shop. Use coupons or look for discounts and bargains on social media and online websites. Consider visiting thrift stores, consignment shops, outlet stores or bridal stores that to shop for a prom outfit.
5. Rent. If you can’t afford to buy a prom dress or tuxedo many stores offer rentals.
6. Ask for help. Ask friends or relatives if they have any items you can borrow such as jewelry, shoes, makeup, accessories or other items. Also ask for assistance getting ready on prom day.
7. Share. Share the costs of prom expenses such as car-pooling; renting a limo or use items from friends closets instead of buying a new item.
8. Flowers. Reserve your corsage and boutonniere at least 3 weeks ahead of time at your local florist.
9. Preparation. Go to a training school or have a friend assist with your hair or haircut, makeup, nails, etc. on the day of the prom.
10. Reuse. After the prom is over, consider letting someone else reuse your prom outfit, alter it for future use or sell it to a consignment shop.

Parents don’t stress your child out about the prom. Let them have the freedom to make decisions about their prom outfit. Don’t be too strict. Discuss with them your budget and ask them to contribute if the total cost exceeds your budget. Be supportive as much as possible of their decisions so they can enjoy the prom. Remind them to have fun and don’t let anyone ruin their prom experience.

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