16th June 2015
The American high school prom phenomenon has crossed the Atlantic and is now costing UK parents £90m per year.
The high school prom is quickly becoming a regular fixture on UK school calendars, with parents picking up the bill for new dresses, suits, limousines, fake tans, professional hair and make-up, according to new research from Gocompare.com
The average amount that UK parents fork out for a daughter’s prom has increased to £220 – up 25% in two years. Meanwhile nearly a quarter of parents say they spent over £300 on their daughter’s prom night.
Sons have a slightly cheaper night out spending on average £157. That’s a slight drop from £167 last year, but still a significant increase from £131 in 2013.
The average cost of a high school prom has increased from £154 in 2013, to £186 in 2014 and now £190 in 2015 – an increase of 23% in two years.
London parents spend the most on their children on average at £262 each, with East Midlands parents spending the least, at £152.
Peak prom season runs from around mid-June to mid-July, when exams are finished and year 12s can let their hair down for one last high school party.
However, whilst 21% of parents are pleased to see their children have a prom night, 31% said that the cost had been yet another drain on their already stretched finances and 9% said they spent too much on the prom. More than a quarter (27%) thought proms encouraged unhealthy competition to be the best dressed or arrive in the most unusual way. 14% of parents with 16 to 19 year old children would prefer it if prom nights were banned.
Ella Hastings from Gocompare.com, says: “UK high school proms have become a £90m a year industry, with parents paying out a small fortune to give their children one last party before heading off to work or further education. However, behind the glitz and glamour of prom dresses, flash cars and spray tans, are cash-strapped parents struggling to meet the ever increasing costs.
“With parents under pressure to spend hundreds of pounds on prom night, families should discuss the topic with their children and consider agreeing a budget from the start so that spending remains within reason. Other ways to save money include picking up a prom dress from a clothes exchange instead of buying new, and having a pre-prom hair and make-up party for girls may be a fun way to avoid paying for professionals.
“Everyone wants to have a fantastic prom night, but it’s not about who can land their parents with the biggest bill. It’s about having a great night out which you, your friends and your parents can look back on with fond memories.”