PROM PRICETAG: Area high school students trade moola for memories

Editor’s note: The following is the first of a three-part series on prom season.COLUMBIA CITY — How much is too much to spend on one night out on the town? With a national average of $1,139 spent for a night of dinner and dancing, is prom becoming an escalating luxury for high schoolers?This weekend, Columbia City High School will hold its prom at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne. As teens plan for the momentous occasion, purchases can start to rack up — making for a costly night. Visa, Inc. conducted a survey and determined the national average spent on prom to be more than $1,100. However, the results showed Midwest families keeping the cost below $800, and local students are finding ways to cut that amount down even more.Claire Kauffman is a senior at CCHS and recently ticked off the purchases made for her night out. After listing what will go into her prom night, she estimated her cost to be $550, well below the region’s average.“It’s crazy how expensive it all can be,” Kauffman said. “I did find some ways to cut some cost. My shoes and jewelry are from last year. I am doing my own hair and make-up so that won’t cost me anything.”Other seniors are taking a budget-friendly approach to the prom season. Kirstie Crisp and her date, Kyle Weigold, are both seniors at CCHS. They decided to scale down their prom costs, but without diminishing the night’s memories.To read the rest of this story, see the May 1 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.