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Prom spending is now up to an average of $1,078, because people are crazy

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Kids these days. They may be getting less pregnant, but they're also dropping outrageous sums on their magical evenings of cardboard decorations and slow jams. According to a new survey by Visa, families with teens are expected to spend an average of $1,078 on prom this year, which is up from $807 last year. This leads me to ask: when did Deb start making dresses with jewels and gold gilding?

The findings were based on a thousand telephone interviews conducted at the end of last month. And in case you were wondering, yes, this all somehow relates to the whole "everyone's getting married so late!" crisis. According to Kit Yarrow, the author of Gen BuY, since we're all waiting to get hitched, prom has essentially replaced weddings, debutante balls, and coming-out parties as the formal occasion of a young adult's life. (Am I the only one who barfed reading that sentence? Cool, just checking.) It's especially bad in the Northeast and South. A family in the South is expected to spend about $1,047 and Northeastern families nearly $2,000. By contrast, families in the West and Midwest spend an average of $744 and $696, respectively. Even more insane, families in one of the lower income brackets ($20,000-$29,000) are spending twice the national average, over $2,600.

Kids, trust me on this one: prom is not worth any of this. Contrary to what '90s teen movies would have you believe, Heath Ledger is not going to show up and profess his undying love to you, no matter how much you spend on your hair. Now excuse me while I watch this and sob (RIP):