It’s that time of the year again when teenagers and money-strapped parents begin planning for the big Grade 12 Matric dance. Peer pressure often drives families to spend outrageous sums on their son’s or daughter’s dance but there are still ways to look good without totally breaking the budget.
African Bank’s Alfred Ramosedi, African Bank Group Executive: Sales and Marketing says prudent and creative planning can help parents save money on their teen’s big night.
Here are 10 of the best money-saving ideas:
• Set a clear budget: Let your teen know how much they have to spend, and then ask them to choose how to allocate it. If they’d like to spend more, encourage them to earn some extra money to offset the difference.
• Consider borrowing a dress: It doesn’t make sound economic sense to spend so much on a once-off event. Ramosedi says rather encourage your teen to capitalise on their social networks. “Chances are a friend has a perfectly awesome dress to lend you. There’s no shame in asking,” he says.
If you can’t find a dress consider buying material from somewhere like the Oriental Plaza where you can often find a good bargain and then get a local dressmaker to design and make the dress.
• Rent a tuxedo: Renting is often more cost effective for the guys. It is also acceptable for guys to wear their own suits, or even just a nice sports coat and slacks.
• Shoes online: It is worth trawling the many online sites for a good pair of shoes at a great price. This is also a good option for dresses and suits if you have not come right.
• Accessories: Rather than buy at an expensive retail outlet make a shopping day at anyone of the many rooftop or country markets. There are some great bargains to be had. Second hand shops are also a good option where you can even pick up some vintage chic!
• Beauty services.: For hair and makeup, try and enlist the help of an apprentice beautician or see if any of the local cosmetic counters will assist you at a reduced rate.
• Flowers: Do a little homework before purchasing a corsage or boutonniere. Call local florists to inquire about prices. “Opt for the pin-on corsage and then use a ribbon to tie it onto a wrist to save money or even better, make your own. Youtube has dozens of tutorials.
• Pictures: Today’s smart phones take great pics so rather than splashing out on an expensive school photo package just take plenty of pics at home with your friends.
• The limo: Hiring a limo can be really expensive, even if you split the cost with other families. Consider finding a family friend with a nice car or investigate other options like Uber Black.
• After party: Rather than going to an expensive club consider arranging a house party.
“Thinking creatively can definitely save money and can be a fun exercise for the whole family to enjoy,” concludes Ramosedi.