Prom Spending Drops to Slightly Less Absurd Amount

The average amount American teens and their parents expect to spend on prom has dropped this year—to a mere $978.

Oh, is that all?

That's according to the L.A. Times, reporting on the results of survey by Visa, which predicts a 14 percent drop from 2013's average of $1,139. That includes everything from tuxes to tickets to limos, but it's still a pretty penny. According to the Times, the biggest spenders are out West:

Families in Western states will spend an average of $1,125, the highest average in the country. Families in the Midwest will spend the lowest amount, an average of $835, for prom. Folks in the South will spend an average of $926 and those in the Northeast said they'd spend an average of $1,104.

On average, teens cover 44 percent of the bill while parents foot the rest. (Visa announced the launch of a budgeting app for teens alongside the survey results; somehow I doubt that's going to stick.)

And that's the average, which means some kids are spending even more. Where does that money even go?

Well, according to the Wire, these days prom includes such requirements as an elaborate "promposal." (Back in my day, we got asked through the door of the debate office and the after-party was the Waffle House. Most people left after 45 minutes to get shitfaced, anyway.) This is thanks in no small part to social media. Not only do #teens want to look their best for all those selfies, but there's also loads of accounts pumping out suggestions for the ultimate night out. The Pinterest effect isn't limited to young single women debating whether to blow that paycheck at Anthro, folks.

Photo via Shutterstock.