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Why parents spend so much on prom

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Many girls spent the weekend trying to find the perfect dress that no one will have. Prom season is near in the Puget Sound area.

How much do you think the average household spends on prom night? Think about the dress, the tux, the limo, and all the stuff teens think they’re entitled to.


“They’re on the Internet so they have a wider exposure of accessories, be it a limo or a manicure, that they believe is part of the standard prom experience,” says Kit Yarrow is the author of “Generation Buy.”

In many cases parents – mostly moms – are trying to re-live the prom experience they probably didn’t have. Sweet 16 parties aren’t a big deal in the Northwest, so prom is the top excuse to throw a glamorous party for a daughter.

“Parents also use prom as a way to have a great adult party for their kids because they know that their kids are going to be marrying later, and in some ways it’s replaced the wedding,” says Yarrow.

Worse yet, for some parents the prom is a way to show off.

“In some of the more affluent households, parents also use prom as a way to showcase their wealth, through their kids, to the community,” she says.

The average family spends $1,078 on prom, according to the National Retail Federation.


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