Average 2012 Prom Tab: $1K+
Average family now spends $1,078 on big dance
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2012 1:14 PM CDT
Proms are increasingly pricey affairs.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you have a teenager nearing prom age, hopefully you've got good credit. Between dresses, flowers, limo rides, and hairdos, the average family with a teenager is expected to plunk down a whopping $1,078 on prom this year, up from $807 last year, according to a new Visa survey spotted by USA Today. "This is social-arms-race spending," says the head of Visa's financial education programs. "It's extreme."

That arms race is being fueled by social media, the glut of celebrity fashion news, and teen-focused reality TV. Teens see prom as a "red-carpet" moment and "want to dress to impress," says the advertising director for Seventeen Prom and Teen Prom. Parents, particularly affluent parents, are eager to oblige, and "use their kids to proclaim their stature to other parents," one marketing psychologist says. The trend toward marrying later in life is helping too, making prom the preeminent young adult formal occasion.

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Apr 14, 2012 3:20 PM CDT
Does that include condoms? If not it will be costing you for many years to come!!!
Apr 14, 2012 1:39 PM CDT
Just one more way of teaching the youth of America how to live beyond their means and put it on the credit card for someone else to worry about later. Parents need to wise up.
Apr 14, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
In my day it was a whole lot less about social climbing and a lot more about having fun.