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High school prom costs soar up to $1,139 this year

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 12:41 a.m. MDT

Angelica Arias, 12th grade, is all smiles in her "new" prom gown that was donated through the Young Lawyers Division of Utah at Cottonwood High School on Thursday, February 10, 2011. (LAURA SEITZ, Deseret News) Angelica Arias, 12th grade, is all smiles in her "new" prom gown that was donated through the Young Lawyers Division of Utah at Cottonwood High School on Thursday, February 10, 2011. (LAURA SEITZ, Deseret News)

A teenager's social life can be financially draining.

Average prom-night costs rose 5 percent this year, according to an article by Time. An attendee will spend an average $1,139. During the recession three years ago, $807 was spent on average for the one-night event, but since the economy started to improve, costs shot up past $1,000.

“Prom has devolved into a competition to crown the victor of high school society,” Nat Sillin, Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education, said in a release.

The families that can least afford prom tend to spend the most, according to a study by Visa two years ago. Families that made less than $30,000 a year spent the most.

Parents can discuss and help teens cut down on prom costs by simplifying prom dates and looking for deals. Visa also launched a new free app called “Plan’it Prom” that creates a realistic, detailed prom budget. The app can also track spending.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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