Many teenage girls who look forward to prom. As the parent of a teenage girl, it falls to you to do all you can to make their first prom the best you can afford, but that's not always easy if you're working within a tight budget. From the dress to the transportation, there are things you can do to help make your daughter feel special without maxing out your credit cards in the process.
DIY Dress Making
Rather than paying hundreds, if not thousands for a designer dress, with a little skill and the right supplies it's possible to make a dress that looks name-brand. Craft stores, fabric stores, and even the internet are home to a host of easy-to-follow patterns, some with very simplified instructions that even a novice tailor can follow. Getting a head start will make all the difference and will allow you to find the fabric and other components at the lowest possible price.
If you lack the time or skill to make the dress on your own, it's also possible to hire a professional tailor to do the work. This is more costly than doing it yourself, but if you provide the design and fabric, you'll only be paying for their time. A tailor or dressmaker averages around $14 per hour, but if you budget for $30, you'll stand a better chance of finding the professional you're after.
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No teenage girl wants to turn up at their prom in the family mini-van, but if you lack the finances to cover the cost of a limousine for the night, there are other options. The easiest of which is to split the cost with other parents whose children your daughter will be attending prom with. This can reduce the burden on any single household, while still allowing a group to arrive in style.
If your daughter will be going with just her date, consider renting a town car for the night instead. Daily rental rates for luxury sedans are often far less than the hourly rate for limousines. Best of all, anyone with a valid license can drive it. Call around to different rental car companies in your area to find exact daily rates, and reserve the nicest car you can well ahead of prom night.
Saving money on these two high-dollar areas of your daughter's prom can make the entire ordeal a lot less daunting for you as a parent. Now all that's left is convincing her that having mom or dad drive her to prom in a homemade dress won't be the end of her high school social life.