April 9, 2014By Christian Jones of South Houston High School
Being a senior is one of the most exciting times of our lives, yet, one of the most expensive! With all the money coming out of our pockets, you have to wonder is it all worth spending so much on. I am going to list all of my expenses from my senior year (these are my expenses, so it might not pertain to everyone), and give a few tips to the Class of 2015 on whether they should skip the purchase of a certain senior item and other ways they can save money that could be going towards their college education.
- One of the first expenses that usually start in your junior year is the purchase of your class ring. It’s shiny, pretty, and is customizable to your personality and your experiences in high school; however, it is extremely pricey. I’d suggest that you buy your ring senior year, so you can get a deal on it. My class ring would have originally been over $400, but I got it for half of that! Yes, I had to choose from a specific range of rings and couldn’t do anything extremely elaborate, but honestly, I’m just going to get another class ring once I graduate college. Simple is sometimes the best! Or instead of buying from the company the school provides, maybe you could find a cheaper alternative to get your dream ring.
- The next thing you are usually told to order is your cap, gown, and invitations. The largest package is approximately $400. I’d strongly suggest just buying your cap and gown from the company provided by the school, then going to Hallmark and purchasing your invitations. Only you know how many guests you would like to attend your graduation. Why buy 50 invitations when you’re just bringing your parents, and two siblings? Also, you get to be a little different and actually choose your own design instead of the one that is chosen for you.
- Prom is probably the only day besides your wedding that you’ll be so stressed and well-dressed. Let’s start off with prom tickets. How much your class has earned in fundraisers can either increase the ticket cost, or lower it. The price for the Class of 2014’s ticket was $80 ($160 for a couple). You might want to REALLY decide if prom is actually for you. You can’t sell or refund your ticket after its purchase. So don’t buy one if you’re not sure.
- Your dress/tux can also be very expensive. Don’t be like me, who purchased a dress that’s almost $700, then add that with the cost of alterations, tax (yes, they added tax onto a dress), etc., the cost is now up to $800. That’s more than someone’s rent! I don’t necessarily know how much tuxes are, since that is not my area of expertise, but I know that they too can be pretty expenses. Be reasonable and if you find something you like that’s too expensive, try asking the attendant for something similar, or cheaper. Or buy your gown/tux off the internet from someone who has graduated and is looking to part with their dress /tux. Keep in mind ladies that you also have to pay for your hair, nails, shoes, corsages, and whatever other things you might like for this special night.
- It is tradition after prom night to spend the entire night with your friends. And many students choose to rent beach houses in Galveston and throw a party. Honestly, I wouldn’t go through all the trouble for a party that is most likely going to be interrupted by the police. You’re better off keeping your money.
So all together, my senior expenses for the 2013-2014 school year rounds up to a grand total of $1,554.34. Basically the down payment on a car... I really hope it’s worth it!