June 6, 2018

How Parents Can Save Money on Grad Night


With a slew of events to celebrate this epic milestone, high school graduation can easily add up to a hefty price tag. And if parents can’t afford it, they run the risk of seeing their sons and daughters languishing over their #FOMO status (fear of missing out). But if you follow these money saving tips and tricks, parents won’t have to apply for a loan or get a night job to cover all the expenses. With a little planning and insight, get ready to be the valedictorian of frugality when you maximize the celebrations with minimum cash. After all, nothing celebrates adulthood like sticking to a budget.

Group Discounts

The larger the group, the cheaper the price per ticket, which is why major amusement parks are an economical choice for grad nite celebrations. For school groups of 15-99, the price starts at $31.99 and goes up after a certain period of time, which is why it makes sense to purchase tickets way in advance to lock in the best rate. These savings can then be passed on to parents with lower-priced tickets for senior day.

Another big way to save on grad nite is by bringing drinks and snacks in a cooler and tailgating in the parking lot at designated times during the night. This saves you tons of money at concessions and restaurants within the park. Also, make sure that you have dinner before you go in to save some extra money.

Early Bird Discounts

It’s worth checking if your school offers discounts on prom or grad nite tickets that are purchased far in advance. The money saved on entrance tickets can then be used for other expenses such as graduation invitations, professional photos, and party supplies, among other must-haves. The same method can be applied to grad nite events, which typically offer cheaper tickets the further away from the intended date.  


Instead of renting a limo for a small group, make it an epic event by doubling or tripling the amount of passengers and booking a charter bus to Grad Night. Compared to a limo rental, the price per passenger is significantly cheaper. With a charter bus rental, you also don’t have to worry about hidden travel expenses like parking fees, gas, or interstate tolls, which add up quickly. It also makes a difference if you book your charter bus rental far in advance since prices vary by the season. Reserve your bus ahead of time to lock in the best price.

Buspooling also makes for a fun party with a large group on grad nite, especially since a professional is doing all the late night driving. If you rent the party bus, it makes for an epic dance party on the way there, making the transportation to the event half the fun. And with fiber optic lighting, high tech speakers, and onboard restrooms, this bus is ready to party at a surprisingly affordable rate.

Formal Wear Rental

Say yes to the dress on any budget, even if it’s a stunning designer gown. The simple solution to formal wear for prom and other graduation events is evening wear rental, which is typically half the cost of the retail price, sometimes up to 75% less. The way it works is pretty simple: the dress usually arrives the week of the event and is returned after five days or so. Some companies have a home try on option so you can test it out before you buy. For shoes and accessories, it might be worth splurging on an actual purchase, especially if it can be worn again. For those on a seriously tight budget, programs like Cinderella’s Closet or the Princess Project offer free dresses to those in need.

It is also possible to look red carpet ready without spending a fortune at the salon. Hair salon and make up students are always looking for ways to get some hands-on training under their belt, particularly for big events where professional photos will be taken. Another option is the department store, which offers free makeovers with a small purchase. Professional hair and makeup really ups the glam factor, which makes prom or grad nite a truly special event that will be remembered fondly for years to come.


Sometimes it’s as simple as asking for what you need. After tallying up all the expenses, including any hidden costs of events like grad nite and parties, start a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe, which is a popular crowdfunding site, particularly in the education category. Other sites you can try are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. An effective campaign strategy is a clever video, plus marketing efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow these money-saving tips and give your graduating teen the celebration of a lifetime for a fraction of the price.

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