Homecoming 2019 on a Budget - PromGirl

From beauty costs to your dress and dinner, here’s how to make it all work!

Saving for Homecoming Costs

Make a Homecoming Budget

Once school’s back in session, homecoming comes up fast. After a summer of fun (and the spending to go along with it), you don’t want to realize you haven’t set aside any savings. As soon as you can, start budgeting for homecoming. Write down all the potential costs—tickets, wardrobe, beauty, and so on—along with some guesses on price point. If you’ve been before, you can use last year’s homecoming costs as a starting point. If this will be your first dance, ask an older friend or classmate how much they’ve spent. This will give you a goal to work towards.

Start Saving ASAP

The total homecoming budget you come up with may seem high, but try to look at it in small steps, rather than one big number. The key is to start saving months ahead of the dance. If you work part-time, calculate how much of each paycheck you’d need to set aside to reach your goal by homecoming. Then do it! Put the money in a special savings account or stash cash somewhere safe in your room so you’re not tempted to touch it. You can do the same thing with your allowance if you get one.

Work It This Summer

Because homecoming happens early in the school year, summer is a great time to get your budget together. Brainstorm ways you can make some extra money. Here are a few of our favorite summertime ideas to get you started: babysit, pet sit, find a seasonal job, sell old clothes to a consignment store or app like Poshmark, help your family host a garage sale, tutor, help with odd jobs for neighbors or family members.

Paying for Homecoming

Your Dress and Accessories

Your wardrobe is likely going to be the most expensive part of your homecoming budget. But you can still look red carpet-ready without a celebrity-sized spending limit. There are plenty of ways to save on your homecoming style. Why not try:

  • Host a dress and style swap with friends: Invite people from other schools and grades to trade dresses, shoes, and accessories. You can make it a fun party by setting up racks for the clothes, playing music, and having treats and beverages available like a high-end store. The items may not be brand new, but they’ll be new to you. And everyone goes home with something they love.
  • Shop the sales: If you’re on a budget for homecoming, don’t start your dress shopping in the full-price section. Instead, start by looking at the sale section (start with ours right here on PromGirl!). You’ll be less tempted to buy something out of your price range if you only scan the discounted options.
  • Choose re-wearable shoes and accessories: That wild print may be calling your name, but if you choose something more neutral for your homecoming shoes, clutch, or jewelry, you may be able to wear it again to another dance.
  • Sign up for deals and discounts: Sign up for emails from your favorite stores (like PromGirl, ahem!) and follow along on social media. You’ll be the first to know about any special promo codes or sales.
  • Splitting up the costs: What if you find the perfect dress, but haven’t finished saving for homecoming quite yet? There’s an app for that. Using Afterpay, you can split your spending at hundreds of your favorite stores (yep, like Promgirl!) into four interest-free installments. That way, you can snag the dress before it sells out and lessen the pain of upfront payment.

Paying for Homecoming Makeup and Hair

When you were calculating your homecoming costs, you likely included a beauty budget which can rack up quickly. However, with a little creativity or DIY magic, you can feel 100% beautiful at a fraction of the potential price. Why not try:

  • Host a pre-homecoming spa day: Getting ready with friends is more fun anyway. Host a spa day where everyone helps out with each other’s face masks, nails, hair, and makeup. You can even ask a friend or sibling who isn’t attending the dance to play the part of hair stylist or makeup artist if they have the skills!
  • Hit up a makeup counter: Beauty stores like Sephora and makeup counters at department stores will typically do your makeup for free. Of course, they’re hoping you’ll buy a product. But spending $20 on a foundation you’ll use again and again is more economical than spending the same just to have your makeup done once at a salon.
  • Go to a beauty school: No, we’re not expecting you learn all the tricks of the trade, but if you can find a local cosmetology school, chances are you can get a homecoming-worthy updo or makeover at a deep discount. The students get to practice their craft, and you get a great deal. Win-win!