image by macktakmart via instyledress

You’ve seen it. Your dreamy dream prom gown. You may not have a date yet, but you want that dress. Still, you have some of the proverbial road blocks ahead of you.

You’re a student. You have an allowance of either about $8 or $15, depending where in the U.S. you live and what nebulous standard your parents adhere. Apparently Americans give their children an age-based allowance of either .50 cents or $1 per year.

So, if you’re 16, you’re either earning $8 or $16 or thereabouts. Given all the temptations at the local mall, you have a long way to go before you can afford the dress that’s your heart’s desire. Today’s prom dresses are rarely less than $200 and often skyrocket to $600. So what do you do? Simple. In a word: save.

But let’s be realistic. You should save at least half of your allowance. Keep your cash hidden at home or in a savings account at a local bank. For your birthdays and the holidays, you can find a polite and ethical way to ask for money.

Or, if you know where you’re buying your dress, you can ask for a gift card. For example, the popular website offers gift cards for $25, $50 and $100. This (gift cards are/) is a great way to collect the coin, and ensure that your brother(s) won’t try to steal your cash if he knows where the stash is hidden.

Do you have the kind of household that allows you to suggest a token economy? You could ask your parents if you can reach an agreement to do an additional set of chores for more money. For example, if your mom goes to the car wash weekly, offer to wash and clean and detail her car, for say, the reasonable rate of $25. Ask her to pay you in a gift card so you can afford those clearance sale prom dresses from, or to put it away in your piggy bank. If you don’t usually make dinner, you can also make an offer to make dinner X-number of times in exchange for – yes – more money.

You need to put your thinking cap on: What are other things you can do to make money which you will then save for your prom dress?  Can you offer to do laundry? Of course, if you already do these things as chores around your house, it’s going to be a tough sell to suddenly start getting paid to do them. And, frankly, it would be easy for your parents to resent the suggestion.

What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Are there children? Do you babysit? Make yourself more appealing than the average babysitter. Offer to make snacks for the kids when they come home from school. Tout yourself as a “tutor” and you will definitely be able to earn more money than just a “regular” babysitter. Does your schedule allow you to walk or pick up elementary school-age neighbors?

Are you good with pets? Why not market yourself as a dog walker? Or someone who can be relied upon to feed cats or dogs? Dog owners are looking at a very large expense when they need to “board” their dogs while they go on a trip. Clear it with your parents first, but you may be able to find a way to offer to care for animals while their owners are away. You’d have to have very understanding parents who’d allow you to take in pets, but you can also agree to visit and feed their pets in the mornings before school and in the afternoon afterschool. You can do your homework at their home, feed the dogs dinner, and come back later for an evening walk. Get a family member or a friend to go with you.

Will your parents reward you for good grades? Why not try to set up a system (if one is not in place) where you can get money for “As?”  Monetary rewards can correspond to your grade report card or to scores on individual tests.

A clever and tenacious spirit will help you and your entrepreneurial endeavors as you save for your perfect prom ensemble.

[ This article has been contributed by Mediabuzzer ]
sonia // daring coco

metaphoric love child of debbie harry and stevie nicks. weaver of words. infatuated with shoes.

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