Economic slowdown or not, students expect the best when it comes to their prom. That's why American families with teenagers will spend about $1,078 on their kids' prom in 2012, an increase of 33% over last year when they dropped $807.
These figures are revealed by a national survey conducted by Visa Inc. And that's not all. Some other results are really troubling, like the fact that parents belonging to the lower income brackets (less than $50,000) said they planned to spend even more than the national average of $1,307 to make sure their kids would miss nothing.
For Jason Alderman, Senior director of Global Financial Education - Visa Inc., "Prom season spending is spiraling out of control as teens continuously try to one-up each other". He reminded everyone, and parents more particularly, that they should remember that a prom is a high-school dance, "not a wedding", and "parents should set limits in order to demonstrate financial responsibility."
Whether or not parents making little money wish to make sure their kids will not feel apart from the others can be debated, but as the survey shows, parents who make under $20,000 will spend an average of $1,200, while those who make more than $75,000 will spend only $842.
The biggest spenders are found in the Northeastern region of the United States ($1,944), while Midwestern families will stick to an average of $696.
Usually, prom spending includes clothing, limousines, accommodation, food, flowers, photos, and without a doubt a lot of other unexpected expenses. Visa does offer a free financial education program, Practical Money Skills for Life, to help manage, among other things, prom spending.