Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: April 17th, 2012
Average prom tops $1000 in out of pocket costs

I spoke to a class of high schoolers two weeks ago, brainstorming possible topics for their school newspaper.

Proms came up in the conversation, with several of the girls rolling their eyes while telling tales of girls spending $500 or more on just the right gown. I almost fell over. Thank goodness I had a son. His tux rental cost annoyed me when it rang up at $100. With the cost of renting patent leather shoes, purchasing flowers and tickets and paying for the car to be washed, we were still on the shy side of two Benjamins.I am certain that if my “he” had been a “she” and there was a couture dress in his shopping cart, there would have been a colossal knock down, drag out.

According to a new survey by, the cost of the average American prom is ringing in at over $1000.

Each teen will spend an average of $1,078 on the prom, a 34 percent boost from $807 spent in 2011. Excuse me?

I’m no penny pincher, but am I the only one who thinks that’s shocking? A prom is high school dance, not a wedding, isn’t it?

If you look at the geographic breakdown, that number doubles in the Northeast. And if you look at income levels, the people who are spending the most are those who make $50,000 or less.


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