American families with teens are spending less on prom this year, but the spring tradition is no cheap date, according to a survey by Visa Inc.
The average American household will spend $978 this year on the annual high school rite of passage, down more than 14 percent from the average $1,139 families spent in 2013. The decrease follows three years of steady increases in prom spending, the survey showed.
As part of its annual survey, Visa launched a free Plan’it Prom app that lets users set a prom budget and track their spending as they shop. The app is available in the iTunes store, the Google Play store and from www.practicalmoneyskills.com/prom.
The Visa survey, based on 4,000 telephone interviews conducted nationally in January and February, found that states on the West Coast led the nation in prom spending, spending an average of $1,125 – more than they did last year – on items including clothing, limousine rental, tickets and dinner. Midwestern families spent the least, an average of $835.
For the first time since Visa started the survey, parents who make less said they plan to spend less. Parents who earn less than $50,000 a year plan to spend an average of $733 – significantly less than the national average – while parents who make over $50,000 plan to spend an average of $1,151.
The Visa survey also found that parents are planning to pay for 56 percent of prom costs, and their teens plan to cover the remaining 44 percent.