Get all the prom tips from Cheerleading Blog by downloading the free Cheerleading Guide To Planning The Perfect Prom! Prom is just a few weeks away, and whether it’s your first or last time attending, the key to a fairy tale evening is in the planning. I may be lacking the official Fairy Godmother title, and that all-important wand, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you make a truly magical memory! I hope you enjoy this four week prom series! Planning your budget may be THE most important step to preparing for prom. Setting detailed and realistic guidelines will help keep your stress levels under control and let you focus on being fabulous. Skipping this step could mean that you’ll be at home while everyone else is at the ball. Here are some of the main items to consider: The DRESS. Shop your dress (or a similar style) online and in stores to get an idea of the cost. The sooner you start looking, the more room you give yourself to bargain hunt or wait for sales. Don’t forget to include any special under garments or taping for the dress, and alterations you might need. $ Saving Tip: Choose a simple dress and pair it with unique and flashy accessories to dress it up. Go retro, or shop in a friend’s closet or at a second hand store. You are not stuck with what you see – a seamstress can change the hem and neckline if necessary. You can even dye the dress to change the color! Accessories. Shoes, jewelry, purse…the little details add up! Be sure you know what pieces you’ll need to achieve your desired look. Include even the smallest details (like a hair bow) when estimating the cost. $ Saving Tip: Borrow! Ask a family member, older sibling or friend if they have any accessories to loan you for the night. Beauty. The glowing skin, manicured nails and perfectly placed hair that are a staple at proms don’t come without a cost. Include tanning, your hairstyle, a manicure and pedicure, eyebrow waxing, a massage and facial, your makeup and anything else that is part of your beauty regime. $ Saving Tip: Find out if there is a beauty school near you. Cosmetology students can style your hair, do your nails and apply your makeup for half of what you would pay at a salon. Be sure to check next week’s Prom Beauty blog for even more $ saving tips! Tickets and flowers. Many times, these are costs that your date will cover, but be sure to have a conversation about it instead of assuming. If you are going solo, visit some local florists to compare prices. $ Saving Tip: If you have a garden, consider making the bouquet and boutonniere yourself. Photos. Check with your school’s administration to get the official prom photographer’s pricing list. Keep in mind that in addition to the photo you take with your date, you might want to take group pictures with friends and other couples. $ Saving Tip: Before the big night, make a list of people that absolutely MUST receive the professional pictures and order only enough to cover those people. Take a nice picture on your camera and give prints or a digital copy to everyone else. Transportation. Are you looking for a stylish ride in a stretch limo or a classic entrance in a horse-drawn carriage? Make sure to finalize the list of people that you will be traveling with, so you can split the cost ahead of time. $ Saving Tip: If you are going to rent a limo, reduce the cost per person by traveling with a group. Of course, having someone drive and donating to their gas tank is the most cost effective way to get to prom. Dinner. Are you planning on going out to eat before or after the dance? If you are splitting the cost with your date, or paying for your own way, make sure that you are familiar with the restaurant’s menu prices. $ Saving Tip: If you are meeting a large group at one person’s house before leaving for prom, consider having each person (or their parents) bring a small dish or appetizer for snacking in between photo opps. Prom Weekend. Are you planning a trip with a few friends or a large group during prom weekend? Be sure to plan this as far in advance as possible, and consider the supplies you will need to purchase, including food, for the weekend. $ Saving Tip: Plan a weekend of local activities for a group, like going to an amusement park, the beach or camping, instead of going away for the weekend. Need to earn some extra cash to help cover prom costs? Here are some ideas to increase your prom budget: See if a local dance or gymnastics studio is looking for teachers (be sure to request prom night off!). Sell Fund2Raise cards. Spring clean! If you can part with it, sell it at a yard sale. Remember, you’ll be off to college soon and can’t take everything with you. Try the oldest trick in the book – babysitting! Offer to wash your friends and family members’ cars for a small fee. Be sure that you charge enough to cover the cost of supplies. Are you a super-genius at one or more subjects? Become a tutor for your classmates. Share your prom budget advise with our readers in the comments section below! Be sure to check back next week for the prom series’ beauty blog.