Seniors and Prom/Money

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jody, May 7, 2010.

  1. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Okay money is tight, real tight. I have spent so much money on Prom that should have gone for bills. I did pay bills but just not everything. Well, boyfriend says live within your means. I am kind of livid. I don't know how to tell my daughter who is 17and getting ready to go to college who cannot live at home because of her sister's behavior and who goes thru a lot already that she can't go to Prom because I can't afford it. She plays soccer is the most polite and sincere sweet girl. She gets excellent grades all by herself, no help with homework, (couldn't if I wanted to). She hangs with a group of kids that parents that are in a better situation financially. I bought her dress, shoes, got her hair done, some cheap jewelry, paid for alterations, money for dinner and money for after prom, etc, etc. My boyfriend said I will pay your car payment for you this time to help you get by. Great. Thank you. I am appreciative, very much so, but along comes the lecture like I was wrong for making sure that she was able to go to Prom. Is there anyone out here that would have not let their kid go to Prom vs making the car payment? Or am I so out there that this is something I shouldn;t even have thought of and just made the car payment and told her it's not within my means? I do not ever borrow from him though he is able to help, ever. I just go without and I am not living within my means. I don't understand, any one with any suggestions? let me know what you would have done. Thanks for listening.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I've made many a prom dress for folks in your situation for cost of materials. I won't let a kid miss their prom if I can help it, either.

    I try to live within my means, but if my bills were otherwise current, I'd have considered robbing peter to pay paul, too. I might have told her the financial situation and asked her to find a second hand dress or to search ebay, etc, tho. If things were more dire, well, Prom may have had to gone by the wayside.

    Best you can is all you do.

  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I would have done the same in your shoes. Don't beat yourself up, and don't listen to that boyfriend. You don't need a father figure to lecture you. You need a partner who's going to support your decisions and be understanding of what your heart needs. Phooey. It's not like you went to a haute couture shop and dropped the rent on a ball gown, is it? You're only 17 going to your prom ONCE. And she's a very deserving girl. You're a good mom. :)
  4. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I wish I had listened to my grandma better and learned to sew. She found a second hand dress at a bridal shop in a town over. it was 125.00 cheaper than the one that she had last year. She was very thrifty when buying the things she needed and I was very pleased with this. She sent me this little email today and It was so sweet I wanted to share it with you, (part of it). I was a little mad at boyfriend, but he's a great guy and I am just going to endure the little lecture. Sometimes he's right about a few things. He has boys and doesn't really understand the Prom thing. I'll have to cut him some slack. he made it sound like I was totally nuts for dong the prom thing and that kind of upset me. Here's part of the email that easy child sent me:
    I love you soo much and thank you for everything I know this is crazy frustrating for you also thank you for making it possible for me to have an amzing prom I love you more than anyone in the world and I'm not just saying that I think god made our situation the way it is so I can stop and see that there isn't anyone who loves me the way you do and I hope I can repay you someday for all you've done abd given me I love you mommy.

    My easy child has a way of really making me feel better. I am excited for her new college life, I am just going to miss her so much.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    THAT girl deserved that prom.

    Glad she just made your day! Made mine, too!
  6. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Great Mom for finding a way for daughter to go to prom........ Great Daughter for recognizing and appreciating what her mom did for her.......... Note from daughter...... priceless! Take lots of pictures!
  7. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    You definitely did the right thing; some day the car will be rust but your daughter will still have the memories of her prom. Tell the boyfriend to go fly a kite.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Although it sounds like things are resolved...we found Miss KT's prom dress last year at Goodwill for $12. The corsage, my mom made from fake flowers and peacock feathers, cost about $8. The only thing I drew the line on was the limo, especially since the crowd of kids could only afford to have the limo take them TO the prom, not pick them up after, and I told her that was too stupid.

    Hope she has a wonderful time!
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We found a lovely formal dress for easy child in an op-shop for $10. She loved it, was happy with it. As for the limo - we looked around for a friend with a good looking car and asked for them to drive. Slipped them a slab of beer.

    The problem with buying formal dresses (or prom dresses) - they all have similar designs, so you can see girls turn up wearing the same style dress as another girl, just in a different shade. and you can bet all the other girls are saying, "That dress in yellow looks so much better on HER, than the blue one on that girl over there." When I was looking for a dress to wear to easy child 2/difficult child 2's wedding, it was also formal time (aka prom time) and there were a lot of prom dresses I had to fight my way through, to find a good Mother of the Bride dress. I'd already done the op-shop thing for difficult child 1's wedding.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 didn't want the same sort of dress that other girls were wearing, so she found a dress pattern and bought the fabric. We made her dress and it was fabulous. A friend helped. It cost about half what a cheap shop-bought dress would have cost, and it was better quality. and nobody else had anything like it. She did her own hair and her own makeup (did the same thing for her wedding, too).

    There are ways to keep costs down and still keep up appearances.

    But you don't tell a girl she can't go to the prom at all.

  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I understand the pain that comes from not having enough to give your kids the life they deserve--the things you want them to have. I can't tell you how many events have come and gone where I've felt like a complete schmuck for having to watch my pennies over every little thing...

    on the other hand--I have been amazed at what good life lessons those have turned out to be for my kids!

    My children are going to be so good at managing their money it's not even funny! They have learned that you must put necessities first and "wants" second. They have learned that if you choose one thing now--you may miss out on another thing later. They have learned that almost anything can be had for a fraction of the price. They have learned that "designer" vs "off-label" doesn't mean much.

    Sounds like boyfriend was just worried that you were letting your emotions dictate your financial decisions....and was worried that you were putting yourself in a bad spot.

    I think I'd keep him...
  11. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I wanted to reply to you (and you might notice that I hardly ever post these days) because this is exactly a situation I can relate to and is/has occurred in our household this year. First of all, had I seen it earlier, I would have donated my daughter's prom dress from last year if your daughter wore a size 9/10. It is a very beautiful dress and brand new. Since you have one that isn't necessary.

    In house my two younger difficult child's are just horrible. Their behaviors have been so over the top it's been unbearable to live for everyone. My oldest difficult child is very intelligent and has found a way to turn into a mostly easy child after so many years. She hides in her room from the moment she gets home from school most days and sleeps if she doesn't have somewhere or something to do just to avoid being around and in the situation because she can't tolerate all their screaming, fighting and such. It really IS that bad. She tries to study and can't. She has had to leave the house sometimes it gets so bad. Fortunately she is able to drive so she will get into a vehicle and head to the library (she has a love of reading) and go there for solace if she can and if not she will just go out and drive or to a friend's house if someone is available and home (and there is enough gas or money for gas for her to do it). She knew there was no one she could go to college and study so she'd have to go away to college. Not something we want or something she'd really want either but faced with this she/we know it must be. Plus, staying AT college costs more as well. Fortunately and unfortunately (depending on how you view it) the college she is accepted to (one of her choices) makes it mandatory that freshman have to live on campus. It does tack on and extra $5, 000 a year to tuition because of it but in the end, I think it's going to be a small price to pay for her piece of mind and in the long run aid her in fulfilling her lifelong dream of getting somewhere in life. It'd be a shame for her life to go nowhere because of siblings and issues.

    I suspect it's much like that in your house. We will very much miss her, like you.

    I can see where boyfriend was coming from to a point but I definitely see where you are coming from and I absolutely did what you did this year for my daughter as well. There was tremendous amounts of expenses involved for her senior year. Many I had no clue of (or ever heard of before). It was all so very worth it and I would do it again. Yes, it put us in a bad way but we seem to recover even though we struggle (d). You will look back on this with pride as will your daughter. You did your best and you gave her the ability to create and have a memory that will live on long after you (or even boyfriend) aren't even around.

    Just wanted to add my two cents to say you are not alone, you did the right thing in my opinion, and to give you a pat on the back! :)
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Senior year is much more expensive than it was in the "old days". I know last year when Mandy (Cory's girlfriend) graduated, he had to pay in almost $500 in graduation fees. He did it on the payment plan because he sure didnt have it in one lump sum.

    I know, ironic that Cory had to pay graduation fees for someone else when he never graduated. Sigh.
  13. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Sort of t/j to Tiapet -

    My daughter (the one who wore a $25 dress from the consignment shop to her prom last year and got more compliments on it than some of the custom made dresses did) was hired to be an RA for her second year of college. Free, single room (no roomie) and partial board will save us about $7K next year. That might be an idea for your daughter for her second year.

    My girl's school interviewed 130 people for 30 positions but as my daughter put it, many of them were just trying to get free room and board and didn't really care about doing the job well. I am spending $2K this summer for her to go to school near home and get 12 credits so that she can get by with 15 credits instead of 19 and graduate on time. It's money well-spent since we're saving so much by her RA job.
  14. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Ok, I feel dumb now. What is RA please? Her tuition package didn't even offer her work study, which I thought for sure it would based on the financial need factor. I thought any/everyone who had financial need or who met a certain level (which we did) would automatically be offered it. We just found out that she is in deficit of $1889 now and that was AFTER the sub and unsub loans she has to take at full limits. Don't know how or where we'll come up with it at the moment or where they thought we would based on financial aid information given. That's my next obstacle to get to besides figuring out how they are counting her AP credits towards her overall credits needed to graduate college in the end. Some one told us that they thought due to the fact of the amount of credits she has accumulated in AP classes taken it equals out to a year of college. I need to get that verified.

    Thanks for the information. She'll need it for next year for sure because everything will change from this year in many ways.
  15. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Tiapet -

    RA is "Resident assistant." She is one of the people whose function it is to try to help students integrate into and enjoy college and to keep an eye on their assigned students to make sure they are not doing drugs, falling into depression, etc., etc. RAs are who students go to in the first instance if they have roommate problems, issues with their room or the dorm itself, etc.

    I can't help you on the AP credits. I had a years worth but I lived at home and went to a local public college. My daughter was one of the few kids in her class to leave HS with NO college credits.

    My daughter had work study the first semester but then the amounts of her scholarships caused them to cancel it. She has lined up a job for next year at school that is not work study, she will earn minimum wage for 10 -12 hours a week working in a departmental office.

    It seems like your daughter is at a very expensive school. Mine is at a state university and will, hopefully, come out with little to no debt. If the AP issue does not preclude it, maybe your daughter could transfer to a cheaper school for one year to save money. You need a certain number of credits at a college to earn a degree from it, usually two years worth. Also, if the AP credits let her get out in 3 years, you will have saved a ton of money.

    As for my girl, if she had not been awarded a significant scholarship by a private organization, we would not have been able to send her away.

    I suggest that you contact the financial aid office and see if something can be done about the $1889. Otherwise, can she get a summer job or a job at school. My daughter is selling some of her books back to get money to buy next semesters.

    Good luck.
  16. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Thank you for the information sven. I'll check into things more. She is attending a State University.
  17. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    You were absoluetly crazy for doing it. And absolutely right. Our pcs suffer so much because of our difficult children. If you can give her one perfect night before she leaves for college, you have to do it.

    I hope she enjoys every minute!