The latest trend sweeping prom season isn’t emoji-printed clutches or selfie stick canes (though we wouldn’t be surprised by either of those things popping up this year). It’s actually the mind-bogglingly complex and sometimes horribly awkward tradition of “proposals.”
Plotting creative ways to ask people to prom isn’t a revolutionary concept — remember all the “Laguna Beach” cast’s adorable ideas? But what’s ballooned over the years is how elaborate and expensive those schemes are becoming.
A recent nationwide survey released by Visa Inc. found that the average U.S. household with teens will spend $324 on promposals alone in 2015. To put that number into perspective, it’s almost $40 more than the average person makes in a week on federal minimum wage.
And the scary part is, that cost doesn’t even include things like dresses, tuxes, limos, tickets, flowers, food, or after parties. Once all those factors are added in, the total cost that the average teen is expected to spend on prom this year jumps up to a whopping $919.
If that seems like a lot, you’ll probably be shocked to find out that spending is actually down from last year — in 2014, the total was $978. However, this is the first year that Visa added the category of promposals, and clearly it’s become a substantial part of the prom experience, accounting for more than a third of the total average cost.
In case you’re curious about which parts of the country are the guiltiest offenders of taking this whole phenomenon to soaring new heights, Visa’s survey also broke the numbers down by geographical region. Turns out, families in the Northeast part of the country will spent $431 on their promposals, followed by Western families with $342, Southerners with $305, and thrifty Midwesterners with just $218.
Sure, promposals are fun and entertaining, but as we’ve pointed out, there are much better things you could be spending your money on. Then again, the survey also found that most parents are picking up the prom tabs, covering 73 percent of expenses — so maybe this one’s on their shoulders.
What do you think: Is spending an average of $324 on a promposal reasonable or outrageous? Sound off in the comments!