Prom spending drops nationwide, up for 2014 in the West

Staff writerApril 9, 2014 

It’s spring and if you’re in high school you’re probably thinking about…the prom.

And a survey released Wednesday says you’ll be spending less (or around here, more) this year than last.

According to the nationwide Visa survey, “American households with teens are reining in prom spending this year. The American average household will spend $978 in 2014 on the annual high school rite of passage. That’s down more than 14 percent from the average $1,139 families spent on items including attire, limousine rental, tickets, and dinner in 2013.”

The decrease, Visa said in a release, ”follows three years of steady increases.”

Our neighbors to the frozen north, by the way, will spend about 25 percent less than American households, at $723 U.S. dollars. 

 “The prom bubble has finally burst! I think people are realizing that prom is a dance, and you don’t have to spend like a celebrity to have a great time,” said Nat Sill in Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education, in the release.

Among other data from the survey:

• States on the West Coast led the nation, spending even more than they did last year. The Midwest, once again, is spending the least, although they too are spending more than last year. The Northeast saw a 27 percent reduction in spending and the South a 23 percent drop, when compared with 2013.

Regionally, the survey found:

• Western families will spend an average of $1,125;

• Northeastern families will spend an average of $1,104;

• Southern families will spend an average of $926;

• Eastern families will spend an average of $835.

• Parents who earn less than $50,000 a year plan to spend significantly less than the national average, $733, while parents who make over $50,000 will spend an average of $1,151.

• Parents under 40 years of age plan to spend almost 30 percent more than parents over the age of 40 at $1074 versus $842. Additionally, men plan to spend $1,357 – more than double the $673 women plan to spend.

 • Parents are planning to pay for 56 percent of prom costs, while their teens are covering the remaining 44 percent.


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