ESSENCE Poll: Should Your Child’s Prom Be a Splurge?
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If you’re sending your teenager to prom this spring, chances are it feels more like you’re preparing for a wedding.

A new study reveals that a ticket, a glittery gown, the primping, the limo and possible after party plans cost an average of $1,139 dollars per student. Nope, we’re not kidding.

Visa interviewed over 3,000 respondents for their recent prom spending survey and the results were shocking. Despite the state of the economy, students and parents are splurging more and more each prom season. Last year, the average prom cost was $1,079 and in 2011 it was $807.

There is, of course, a regional factor: Northeast families will shell out close to $1,528 per student while those in the Midwest will budget $722. For those attending prom on the West Coast, their parents can expect to spend $1,079.

Those parents with less to give actually spend more, the study revealed. Families with an annual income below $50,000 spend more than wealthier households do, while single parents spend nearly double what married parents typically pay.

On the bright side, teens actually cover 41 percent of the cost with money they’ve earned from part-time work.

Do you think these numbers are realistic or absurd? How much would you be willing to spend for your teen to have a memorable prom?

Discuss below and take our poll now.

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