Homecoming on a budget

How you can save money on homecoming

Homecoming season is here! There are plenty of things to do, like buying homecoming tickets, getting new outfits, planning transportation arrangements...and the list goes on.

In the midst of preparing, it's easy to forget that all these expenses can really add up. Having said that, it's not impossible to do homecoming on a budget. If you're looking to avoid spending too much, here are some handy tips to help you save.

Outfit

First things first, has your teen decided what to wear to homecoming? Maybe they've been dropping some not-so-subtle hints about something they saw at the mall. But wait, you might want to think twice before reaching for your wallet, because a new dress or suit can easily set you back anywhere from $30 to hundreds of dollars.

Instead, get your teen to go through their closet and see if there's anything suitable that can be worn to homecoming. Your teens can wear their clothes as they are, or embark on their own DIY projects to makeover their old clothes. For girls, try adding embellishments like studs or crystals, or alter dresses by sewing on straps and chains. For the guys, styling a vest, blazer or a pair of trousers in a different way can easily turn an old outfit into a new one.

And if rewearing old outfits doesn't work out, try checking out the local thrift stores for cool, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that'll help your teen stand out in a sea of store-bought dresses and suits.

Accessories

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Having the right accessories can really jazz up any outfit. When it comes to dainty earrings, necklaces, pocket squares and tie pins at wallet-friendly prices, Etsy and Amazon are two great sites to check out. Alteratively, save money by making instead of buying. Check out online tutorials to learn how to make all sorts of accessories including hair pieces, bracelets, bags and more — it's a fun activity for teens to do, plus you'll save money.

Hair, makeup and nails

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Swap the nail salon, the hairdresser and the makeup artist's chair for your own home salon instead. Ask family and friends if anyone skilled at doing hair or makeup can help out. Chances are they would be more than willing to, and who knows, they might even do it for free. To make things more fun, consider hosting a get-together for the girls to hang out and prepare for homecoming. All those hours of watching hair and makeup tutorials on YouTube will definitely be put to good use, plus you'll save a ton.

Corsages and Boutonnieres

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No homecoming outfit is complete without a corsage or boutonniere. You might think that a simple floral arrangement can't cost much, but a quick search shows that on average, boutonnieres cost between $15-$30, and $30-$50 for corsages. Again, the key here to saving money is to make, not buy. Try setting a budget for your teen to purchase materials (string, ribbon, flowers etcera), pick a few tutorials to follow, then watch in satisfaction as your house becomes a boutonniere or corsage-making factory.

Transport

Ok, so your teens are all dressed up and ready to have a great time at homecoming. But how are they going to get to the event venue? Limousines and party buses are popular with teens, but renting them can really put a hole in your pocket. A limousine for 6-8 passengers costs anywhere from $80 to $200 hourly and there's also usually a rental minimum of 3-hours. This works out to $75 per person for one night.

Chances are, the homecoming venue isn't too far away from your house, so is it really worth paying the money for a short joyride? Cheaper options would be having your teen carpool with friends or getting a friend or family member to drive them. If your teen has a driving license, they can even drive to the venue themselves.

Use Current

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One last thing before your teens head out of the house — they're going to need some money to spend on dinner or an afterparty. You can give them cash, but what if they lose it? With all the partying, dancing and moving around, there's a high chance of your teens misplacing their belongings or worse, losing the cash you gave them.

What should you do then? Simple, get Current. Current is a VISA debit card and app for teens with features to help teens save, spend and earn. Parents can deposit funds into their teens' accounts and track their teens' spending. With their Current card, teens can pay for dinner, their Lyft/Uber ride, and just about everything else.

To find out more, check out: https://current.com/parents/