Prom on a Budget

I recently attended my last prom as a high schooler. I went through many trial and errors since my first prom to make sure my senior prom wasn’t a disaster. My mom was even impressed on how much money I saved preparing for prom since my brother’s prom experience was more expensive than mine. She was so impressed that she kept nagging me to make a blog post about it. So here I am. A week after prom. Sharing the easiest ways to be nice to your bank account on prom night.

As we all know, prom has sadly (or happily) come and gone for most of us high schoolers. Although the glam and the glitz allows us girls to finally have our princess fairytale, the money that comes along with being a princess (we’ll pretend that we’re actual princesses) is over-the-top. I think our parents can agree with me on this one. It actually isn’t fair how guys can just rent out a tux for the night and brush through their hair one swift time and bam they’re ready and rushing their date out the door (or if you’re like me and didn’t have a date, moms do the same thing) and us princesses need weeks of preparation. What? Weeks? Are you out of your mind? Well maybe, but if you talk to any girl who has went to prom they will agree with me. So you might be saying “okay Kelsey get to your point, I’m trying to save money here.” Well good news, hold onto your panties because your mind is about to be blown.

The first thing girls need for prom is a freshly coated set of fingernails and toenails. Most of the time, we call a few weeks or even months before prom to get a nail appointment. So yes, I lied earlier it takes longer than weeks to prep. Oops. Here is the first hack of how to get pretty nails without spending a fortune. You paint them. But Kelsey why would I paint my own nails when I could just pay 40 bucks for them to fall off eventually. Exactly. Prom is one night. Your nails will hold up for one night I promise. But Kelsey what if I want a cute design on them? Good question. Walgreens has the answer so check there for easy stick on prints to add that glitz to your nails.

The next problem that us girls encounter is HAIR. Maybe you have too much or too little or just enough. Still, the perfect up do can make or break our emotions for that night. The key is to not pick your hairstyle the day of or it will result with tears on your light-colored dress. Nobody wants an emotional break down on their prom night so save yourself the tears and the Clorox sticks and choose your hairstyle before hand. Then have whoever plans to fix it on prom night to practice a few days before to make sure you like it. But Kelsey how does that save money? That’s the easy part. Just don’t pay. It’s that easy. I’m not saying to dine and ditch with your fresh locks. I am saying that there is SOMEONE you know of that can fix your hair for you whether it being your mom, friend, or even yourself.

Now that we’ve saved a small amount of cash, we have room to splurge only to save even more cash. Makeup meltdowns happen when someone else does your makeup and you’re too afraid to tell them that you don’t like it so you wait until the moment you see your mom to cry it all off. We don’t want makeup meltdowns so here’s how you avoid them. Do your own makeup. But Kelsey I don’t know how to do winged eyeliner and I don’t know which eye shadows, lipstick, or blush will match my dress. Have no fear because Pinterest is here! Hop on the Pinterest train and search “prom makeup” and then you’ll be a pro. Once you’ve found the colors you think you want on your face, head down to your local convenient store and purchase whatever makeup you don’t have of your own. The tricky part is to by the cheapest but best quality product because, again, you’ll only need it for one night.

Now that you have your Pinterest inspired prom look, you see that the girls in the photos have all sorts of accessories. Bracelets, necklaces, head pieces, you name it. So you look at shops to find your perfect pieces only to find out that it all costs an arm and a leg. Don’t feel intimidated. There is a solution. Make it. But Kelsey I don’t get it make what? Make your own jewelry. For example, this year my friend McKenzie insisted that I have some sort of head-piece in my hair. So we surfed the web to find the perfect “Vanessa Hudgens bohemian Coachella inspired hair piece” only to find out that there was no way we would have time to order one online. So we put our brains to work and realized that we had all the supplies to make one ourselves. All you need is old necklaces and a chain clipper. We popped that hair piece out in 5 minutes tops. If you don’t have the skills or time or patience to make your own, you can always just look for a cheaper alternative at a thrift store. Trust me, no one will notice.

Now the most important part. The dress. Buying the perfect dress is torture and I think most girls can agree with me. There’s nothing better than being surrounded by beautiful girls trying to find their dresses with their moms gasping at how beautiful they look and you’re wishing your mom would’ve taken you out to lunch after the dress extravaganza instead of before so you could actually fit into the abnormally small dresses. Just kidding I could think of a lot more things better than that. However after the day is over and we have our perfect dress, the stress and bickering has finally come to an end and we realize how fun it actually was to try on dresses. Kelsey, you’re rambling again get to your point. Oh, right I almost forgot. Instead of trying on the dresses you like before looking at the price tag or noticing the price tag before hand and trying it on anyways just for funzies. Don’t. Just don’t. I know it will be hard but it will be worth it. Find cheaper alternatives instead and think of ways to fix the parts you don’t like. You will find one dress that has potential and then you’ll know what I’m talking about. If your grandmother is a sewing pro, ask her to help you. If not, take it to an alterations store. Get the dress altered the way you want it and boom you have your Cinderella-dressed-in-yella dress.

After prom, you start to head toward your eating destination that you’ve already reserved. Yes, that’s me telling you that it’s a great idea to reserve a table before hand. But you realize that the restaurant that you’re going to is super expensive. No problemo! Just order off the kid’s menu, or better yet just order the cheapest meal. Also, order water. That’s a given.

Once your tummy is nice and full, it’s time for activities. During your prom planning meeting with your friends you notice that their suggestions involve paying your other arm and leg. We don’t want that to happen so collect yourself. Stay Calm. Don’t worry. Gently tell them that you read a blog post about how to save money on prom night. That will catch their attention. There’s plenty of wholesome things to do for fun after prom without getting arrested. You could go to someone’s house that’s in your group and have a bonfire and laugh (or cry) your night away by telling stories and catching up. Or you could project a movie onto a white sheet outside. The only advice I have is to not tell your siblings about your plan to watch a scary movie. Outside. In the dark. Next to the woods. From one scaredy cat to another, just avoid telling the pranksters in your family. This next activity is for all the competitive people out there. A scavenger hunt around your town. This, too, can be found on Pinterest by simply searching “prom night scavenger hunt.” It’s that simple.

Bada bing bada boom. There we have it, folks, a nice quality, common sense list on how to save money for prom. I have no doubt in my mind that over half the girls that go to prom already do these things. For the girls that have many proms left to go to and are desperate to save a buck or two, these tips will save your lives. And here’s the finished look.

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