Families spending more on high school proms

April 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM

FOSTER CITY, D.C., April 25 (UPI) -- U.S. families are spending about $1,139 each on high school proms this year, the Visa credit card company said Thursday.

A release from Visa said the spending outpaces inflation and grew for the second straight year, an increase of 5 percent from the $1,078 a family with a teenager attending a prom spent in 2012.

Visa said it launched a new free smartphone app Thursday to help parents and teenagers plan and budget for responsible prom spending.

The Plan'it Prom app lets users "make a realistic, detailed prom budget and then helps them stick to that budget by allowing them to track their spending as they shop," Visa said in its release. "Plan'it Prom is available in the iTunes store, the Google Play store and from www.practicalmoneyskills.com/prom."

For the second year in a row, the Northeast led the nation in spending, with $1,528 per famiily, and the Midwest spending the least, $722.

One troubling trend, Visa said, is that parents surveyed who fell in the lower income brackets (less than $50,000 a year) plan to spend more than the national average -- $1,245. Parents who make more than $50,000 will spend an average of $1,129.

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