Prom on a Budget
6 Budget-Friendly Strategies to Help You Afford the Big Night!
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Prom season is another excuse to shop ‘till you drop, but you don’t have to miss out on all the fun when you’re on a budget! It’s pretty easy to pick up that prom dress, get your manicure and even get your hair done without maxing out your credit card. All it takes is some creativity and planning and you can enjoy that special night with plenty of style. Here are some easy ways to get going on that prom makeover without going overboard on expenses:
Prom Budget Tip #1: Check the Sales Racks for the Prom Dress
Head to the bridal shop for post-season markdowns and look for clearance items at the department stores when shopping for your prom dress. It’s amazing what you can find in the sale section, but finding those hidden gems will require some patience and possibly a trip to the tailor. Still, you can find dozens of unique ensembles that will be the perfect match for prom, and some that have been marked down over 75% off! If you miss out on the sale, another way to cut costs is to simply borrow a dress from a friend or family member. Ask around if anyone has an old bridesmaid dress or other cocktail dress that you can borrow for prom night. If your heart is set on buying a brand new dress, then be prepared to spend anywhere from $50-$350.
Prom Budget Tips #2: Have a Friend Do Your Makeup
Why spend up to $100 with a makeup session at the salon when you can have fun with an at-home makeup party? Invite a friend over to get ready for prom together so you can apply each other’s makeup with ease. It’s a simple way to save on extra services that might be pushing your budget to the max. You can also always head to the nearest department store where many makeup counters do makeovers for free!
Prom Budget Tip #3: Head To the Thrift Stores For Accessories
Maximize the vintage look with a few unique bags, headpieces, and even jewelry from the thrift store. You don’t have to shell out extra cash for expensive rhinestones and diamonds for prom – just pick out a few specialty pieces with an antique touch and create your one-of-a-kind look!
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Prom Budget Tip #4: Host A Pre-Prom Spa Night
Skip the expensive manicure and pedicure at the spa and host your own event at home! Invite your girlfriends over for a pre-prom bash where you can give each other manicures, soak your feet in your own miniature pedicure tubs, and just pamper yourselves as you please! This can easily save about $100 which you can use towards your prom dress, shoes, or other prom expenses.
Prom Budget Tip #5: Borrow the Shoes
In most cases, you’ll only wear those metallic sandals or glitzy pumps once. Rummage through your Mom’s, aunt’s or cousins’ closets to see if you can find something that matches your ensemble. This way, you don’t have to fork over the cash for a pair of shoes that you’ll only be flaunting once! If your gown is long enough, most people won’t even see your heels underneath so you can get away with a less-than-perfect pair with ease.
Prom Budget Tips #6: Do Your Hair At Home
Practice creating some stylish and chic hairstyles at home so you don’t have to spend hours at the salon, and save yourself some money in the process (at least $25-$100!). Look for video tutorials online that walk you through the basic French twist and other updo’s. Add a few hair accessories like rhinestones and hair jewels and you’ll have a salon-worthy look in no time! (Check out our Prom Hair Guide for fabulous styles and step by step How-To's)
Need some more budget-friendly prom ideas? Try these:
- Dinner Tips: Pre-Prom dinner can cost anywhere from $25-$150. Instead of spending big bucks to dine out, why not get your friends and their parents together and have the moms and dads cook and serve you dinner? Odds are, they'll be so thrilled that you want them involved in your big night, you won't have to spend a dime and you'll got top notch service!
- Pricey Picture Tips: Picture packages can be costly, sometimes upwards of $100. Instead of paying for those funny-looking poses, have everyone gather together before the dance and ask parents or siblings to snap lots of shots. Take your camera along with you so you'll get tons of candid pics on the dance floor as well. You won't even miss those pricey professional ones with your own camera full of great memories!
- Transportation Tips: It's fun to take a limo to the prom, but it can also be expensive; limos tend to cost anywhere from $50-$500 a night. If your heart is set on taking a fancy ride to your big night, then be sure and gather all the friends you can to ride along and split the cost. If it's still too pricey, consider decorating your car and have your friends do the same, then caravan to the dance in style!
From hosting a pre-prom spa night to doing your own hair and makeup, there are plenty of ways to save on prom expenses and stick to your budget. While it’s tempting to go overboard with prom because it’s a special event, you can still have a terrific time when you cut back a little. Try any or all of these budget-friendly prom strategies and enjoy your big night ahead!
Article Written By: Sabah Karimi; Sabah writes on style, fashion and lifestyle tips for DivaVillage. When she’s not busy browsing the sales rack, you’ll find her catching up on the latest style and fashion trends online.