Families making less than $25,000 plan to spend $1,393 for the Senior Prom. This, compared to families earning more than $50,000, who are planning to spend an average of only $799. This report comes from Visa, who really hopes you use their credit card to finance your kid’s Night On The Town.

For the love of God. Why would parents do this??

I think I know why. It’s like my brother Dennis says, “People want to feel good about themselves”. He goes on to say that for most people it manifests itself in consumerism spending. Some people buy expensive clothes, or spend more as a percentage of their income on grooming such as hair and nails. For others, it’s trucks & other vehicles, or hunting / fishing gear.

For some of us, it might be the latest gadget at Best Buy. (Guilty as charged, your Honor…..)

Getting back to our big Prom Night, parents are more likely to overspend to make their children feel good and have a Big Night Out. It’s not Keeping Up With The Jones’ – it’s Keeping Up With The Jones’ Kids. Understand there’s nothing inherently wrong with buying prom tickets, flowers, clothes, food, accommodations, and a limo; but remember that an income of $25,000 is just inches above the poverty level. Maybe an after-party for Junior shouldn’t be part of your plan.

Now, Christie and I are not picking on you if you don’t make a lot of money, we want you to do well and to the extent that we can help you and be your Financial Coach, we will. We want you to WIN and Do Better With Money! But we are talking about someone with an average income of $2100 a month ($25K a year) spending almost $1400 for the prom. That’s by definition, setting yourself up for failure. Don’t do it!