Average prom cost shimmies up to $1,139


The price of prom may be out of step with what moms and dads think it should cost, but many teens will still waltz away with their parents' wallets this spring.

The average cost of prom is rising again as the U.S. climbs out of the recession – up nearly 6 percent to a projected $1,139 for this year, according to a survey of 1,025 parents of prom age teens by payment processor Visa and research company Gfk, the Associated Press reports.

"Dresses are more elaborate," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at market research firm NPD Group, tells the AP. "They are now buying two pairs of shoes, one to go to prom and one to dance in."

KARE 11 examines the annual rite of spring in which parents roll their eyes at the high cost of a high school dance – but often shell out big bucks anyway.

"It's a big expense, but it's a big event in their lives," one mom on a shopping trip tells KARE, as her daughter admiringly eyes a $400 raspberry-hued gown.

KARE also digs out some tips for teens on how to save a few dollars, including: Wear the earrings and shoes you already have in your closet.

Time magazine and the NBC's "Today" show also have gathered some tips that include: Drive, don't hire a limo; Shop for formal wear at consignment stores or online; Have make-up done at a department store’s cosmetics department or enlist a friend to help.

CBS notes this odd fact: Lower-income parents plan to spend more than higher-income moms and dads.

"Prom has devolved into a competition to crown the victor of high school society, but teens shouldn't be trying to keep up with the Kardashians," said Nat Sillin, Visa's head of US Financial Education, told CBS.

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