Jill Simonian Answers Viewer Questions About Prom on a Budget

Why do parents spend so much money on prom?
Parents want to give their children the night to remember, but the main reason is competition. Kids want to impress. They see the reality shows and they do want to keep up with the Kardashians. It's hard to tell them "no."
My kids are obsessed with designer dresses. Is there any alternative to those designer prices?
Your kids can get the designer looks they desire at deeply discounted rates. You can find deals up to 70% off on sites like or Also, rent! It's true! You can rent designer dresses from sites like for nearly 10% of the actual retail price of the dress. We didn't forget about the guys! You can secure group rates at local stores. Get his friends together and watch the prices fall! For guys, group rates on tuxes are offered at many stores.

I've already bought the dress and the shoes for my daughter and now she wants to get her hair and her makeup done. I'm looking for an affordable way to do that. Can you help me?
Have your daughter invite her friends over and get ready together! It's called a "beauty bash." Do each other's makeup and hair! Save a ton of money and create a great bonding experience between your daughter and her friends that they'll never forget.
My daughter and her friends want to take a limo to the prom. Do you have any other alternative transportation recommendations?
You can find really great rates on party buses or even taxis! Get creative!
I have a daughter going to prom. She wants to go to an expensive restaurant. I need help with alternative prom advice.
Invite a group of friends over to one house. Parents bring and/or make dinner/appetizers/food for kids. Set up a fun scene outside like a fancy party.
What about the photos? Professional photographers can charge an arm and a leg.
Professional prom photos can cost up to $100.00. Having parents or friends take your photos can cut your prom expense dramatically! The way cameras are made these days, even the newest photographer can take professional grade photos. They will turn out more personalized, too!
What about the corsage, they can get pricy?
Flower companies will have prom deals, but also look to discounted gift cards. or have discounted cards for companies like 1-800-Flowers.

Do you have a final piece of advice?
Kids don't always understand the value of a dollar. Ask them to contribute a portion of the cost and they will not only work hard to meet you somewhere in the middle, they will also treasure the night that much more.

Prom on a Budget

Please visit Jill Simonian, consumer reporter and The Fab Mom, at

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