How to keep yourself from spending too much during prom

Prom season is a fairytale waiting to happen for teenagers and a prospective horror story in the process for parents. The money that goes into prom can be frightening at first glance. It seems as if no matter how much one spends, something is always forgotten and added at the end of the list, and the spending cycle never ends. However, there is no law that says prom has to run you into debt. Here are some ways to save money during prom season:

Dressing Up/Getting Ready:

Don’t procrastinate assuming that everything will just come together. There are so many things you can do weeks before prom that could save you money. Prom dresses get more expensive as prom season gets closer (go figure). Ergo, it is important to get your dress as soon as possible. If you have a friend or family member that has a dress you like, wear it! Dig deep behind your own closet, and you may find yourself looking at a cute dress you forgot you’ve ever owned. Alterations are less expensive than buying a whole new dress. If you’re on the fence about reusing someone else’s or your own old dress, just remember that Keira Knightley has worn her wedding dress on three separate occasions. The same goes for shoes and jewelry. A brand-new attire is not necessary to make a statement at prom.

If you are buying a new dress, compare prices at different stores. You would be surprised with the prices you find at one store compared to another for the same dress.  

Makeup, manicure, pedicure, and hair can all be done at home. More expensive doesn’t mean better. Invite your friends over, and do your makeup and hair together. Not only will the job be done, but I can guarantee it will be more fun. Pinterest is filled with infographics on eye makeup, nail art, hair tutorials, etc. It’s the age of technology; use it to your benefit.  It’s an opportunity to make memories with your friends. If you and your friends swear doing makeup is not your forte, find a family member who maybe have a talent with a makeup brush and some hairspray. Some cosmetology schools also offer appointments that could be cheaper than going to the salon.

Guys, no one will come after you if you decide not to wear a suit and tux. Tuxedos can be expensive. Nice khaki pants and crisp shirt also makes a great impression. Renting is also an option if you really want to wear a tuxedo. Another option is borrowing from a friend or family member.

Pre-prom and post-prom:

Don’t throw your money on a venue and photographer for your prom pictures. Never underestimate the power of your camera phones. Most smartphone cameras can capture moments really well. If you want to get pictures that are as close as you can get to professional pictures, choose from the millions of apps that are at your disposal. I would recommend VSCO.

Chances are that  you have a friend in your friends circle that can take great pictures. Many students in college also have start up photography businesses that cost less than studio photography. Another cool way to take pictures is buying a bunch of disposable cameras and have your friends group take fun pictures with each other. It’s such a cheap and fun way to remember the pre-prom hassles you and your friends experienced without having to fork over your life’s savings.

When it comes to the venue for taking your prom pictures, there are so many places around Apex and Cary that don’t require money at all! Malls, town parks, even your own backyard could make the perfect place to take your pictures.

Last, but not least, don’t do the limo thing. Carpooling with friends is just as fun and less expensive. Post prom parties are also just as fun when it’s pizza, movies, and friends at home.

Prom can be memorable with or without a huge bill. It is not the money you spend but the moments that you make and cherish forever that matters. Make sure to practice safe driving. Not only is safe driving going to prevent you and your friends from getting seriously injured, but it will also save you from a large insurance bill. Have fun at prom this year, Cougars!

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