Visa App Helps Teens (and Parents) Contain Prom Costs

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Visa has released a smartphone app designed to help teenagers budget for their proms.

U.S. households are spending large sums of money on high-school proms, and the Foster City, Calif., company says its free "Plan'it Prom" app for iPhone and Android supports responsible spending.

"Prom has devolved into a competition to crown the victor of high school society, but teens shouldn't be trying to keep up with the Kardashians," Nat Sillin, Visa's head of U.S. financial education, said in a news release.

"The prom is an opportunity to teach teens how to budget. If they want that sparkling dress, fancy dinner, and limo ride, this is the opportunity to set a budget and save."

The average family is spending $1,139 on prom this year, according to Visa's annual survey of 3,000 households. That's up 5% from last year and up 41% from 2011. Visa did not give any reasons for the skyrocketing numbers, though the improvement in the economy could be one of them.

Families with an income of under $50,000 per year actually spent slightly more on prom than wealthier households, according to the survey. It also found that single-parent households spend more than twice as much on prom as two-parent households.

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