Prom season, the time when high school girls go crazy over the perfect dress to wear and whether or not the cute guy from the baseball team is going to prompose with some cheesy poster. I'm not against prom by any means, I went to mine both junior and senior year. What I am against is girls feeling like they have to spend an arm and a leg on a dress they'll end up wearing for one night and then never wear again. I know plenty of people who bought their prom dress for under $50, so it is possible. If that isn't inspiration enough for you, here are 15 things you should spend hundreds of dollars on that aren't a prom dress.
1. Concert Tickets
John Mayer at Coastal Credit Union Music Pavilion August 2017
Splurge a little and buy that concert ticket to see your favorite artist live. If there are a few things I've learned from impulsively spending a pretty penny on concert tickets, it's that a) there's nothing like the atmosphere of a live concert and b) the memories make the cost worth it every single time.
2. A road trip with friends
Polina and I celebrated as we finally made it to Glacier National Park after driving for three days straight.
I know what you're thinking, how can a road trip possibly only cost you a few hundred dollars? Well, I'll be quite honest with you it takes careful planning and budgeting but it is possible. This summer I went on a road trip to Montana and the entire trip only cost each of us $325, so it is possible. Also, as long as you're with good friends and have a bopping playlist the memories made far outweigh the cost at the end of the day. This also guarantees way cuter pictures than prom anyways.
3. A new laptop
Unless you just recently invested in the latest MacBook I suggest saving the money from what you would spend on a prom dress and put it towards a new laptop. When you head off to college, I promise you will be thanking me because you won't have to worry about your old laptop breaking down in the middle of a 15 page paper.
4. A new wardrobe
If you play it smart you can have an entirely new wardrobe for under $300. Would you rather have one dress that you'll wear once or an entire closet full of clothes you'll wear time and time again? If you answered the former I'm not going to call you a liar, but I'm not going to call you a truther either.
5. 150 Cookout milkshakesImage: 5 Off-Menu Cook Out Milkshakes You've Never Tried
Found on Google from spoonuniversity.com
This one sounds ridiculous (and maybe it is), but I would honestly go to Cookout 150 times to get a milkshake rather than spend hundreds of dollars on one dress.
6. Plane tickets to somewhere you've never been before
I believe at this point we were leaving Miami for Haiti, either way a beautiful view from outside the plane.
Depending on the airline you choose and where you want to go, airplane tickets are only about $200 - $500. I know it sounds crazy, but save up the move you were going to put towards that fancy Cinderella dress and go on a spontaneous trip with some of your best friends. I promise you will get so much more out of a trip with friends than a dress for a night.
7. A mini trampolineGiphy
You could have as much fun as this cutie pie if you bought a mini trampoline. Fun fact: they only cost about $300 and are loads more fun than a $300 dress that you'll end up getting trashed in the mud trying to get the most aesthetically pleasing Instagram picture
8. A camera
Honestly, I love my camera and don't know what I'd do without it.
I know what you're thinking, that there is no way possible that you could find a camera for under $600 but that just isn't true. Over Christmas break we went to a camera store in New York City and my mom got a brand new camera for $125. You don't need an insanely professional camera, as long as you can take pictures with it to capture all the memories you'll end up making that's all you need. Also, your new camera can capture all the amazing moments you have at prom in your inexpensive dress!
9. A puppy
Adopting a puppy typically costs between $200 - $500 depending on the age of the dog, location you're adopting from, and the breed. All I'm saying is a puppy is so much more fun to cuddle with than a dress.
10. Tickets to a professional sporting event
This one doesn't necessarily work if you aren't a sports fan, but if you understand why it's on here. If you haven't caught on to the underlying theme I'm presenting here, it's more about the experiences and memories than it is about spending the most for one night of your life.
11. Tickets to Hamilton (or really any musical of your choosing)
It wasn't on Broadway, but Hamilton was totally worth every cent I paid to go see it.
I impulsively spent a pretty penny to go and see Hamilton with a close friend of mine and I will, honestly, never regret it. Not all musical tickets are that expensive, but I strongly recommend getting a group of friends together and using the money you were going to put towards a prom dress towards something fun like a night out at the theater.
12. Go on a hot air balloon ridePascale Bushaw
While I have never actually done this before, it is one of the things that I definitely think would be worth giving up the overpriced, mermaid gown in favor of a cheaper version. I mean, just think of all the sites you could see from a bird's eye view!
13. Cooking Classes
In college you're going to want to know how to cook for yourself to save yourself money. Also, taking a cooking class with your best friend or significant other is a fun way to learn a new skill together and have a bonding experience. Also, if you were curious they're only around $200 for two people so really it's practically a steal in comparison to most of the prom dresses out there.
14. Gym Membershipupload.wikimedia.org
If you're like me and find an escape in exercise, then this one is for you. All too often in high school I wanted to work out but a gym wasn't close enough to my house and I didn't want to have to pay for the price of the gym. Well, if you take the money you would've spent on a prom dress you can afford to pay for a year's membership to the gym of your choice.
15. Passes to a theme park
If you're an adrenaline junkie in need of some weekend plans, splurge on some tickets to your favorite theme park and take off the day after prom and head there with your friends. If you do this, you'll be (sort of) knocking out two birds with one stone by splurging on both a road trip and a theme park.
I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't spend a decent amount of money on my prom dresses the two years I went, but I've learned from that. Looking back now three years later I wish I'd done things a little differently. If I were to go back I wouldn't have spent as much on my prom dresses that still, to this day, sit in the back of my closet untouched after their one night in the sun. Instead, I would have used the money I saved and planned a fun spring break trip with my friends or went on one last hoorah before we headed off to college. Sadly, I can't go back, but what I can do is learn from my mistakes and inform others on better ways to use their money instead of a dress you wear for one night.