It’s that time of year again when Pomp and Circumstance softly begins to play in the heads of all high school senior parents and senior-itis kicks into full gear. Senior year is a big money year, but you can still send your senior out in style and not break the bank.
Try these ideas on for size:
1. Buy graduation announcements and invitations from on-line printing companies. Websites like Vista Print can help save on these costs. You can design your own or use one of their designs. Either way it will be less expensive than the graduation companies’ offering.
2. If you are thinking of having a graduation party, chances are your senior may have a friend (or better yet a relative) who is also graduating. Consider contacting the parent and discuss splitting the cost of a party for both seniors. That way you split the costs and the planning.
3. Have the party at your house. Make it a barbeque luncheon on a sunny afternoon. Set the time for noon to 6pm. Keep the menu simple like hot dogs and burgers, beans, chips and sodas. Buy in bulk from Costco or Sam’s.
4. Start looking for dresses, suits, tuxedos and limo rentals now. Consider sharing the cost of renting a limo with other parents. Tux companies such as National Tuxedo Rentals give group discounts per tux for weddings. Perhaps they will do the same for a group of seniors.
5. If your senior has a job, insist that he or she pay for one part of their senior expenses. Maybe they can buy the prom tickets or chip in on the party.
6.Take your own graduation pictures. Most digital cameras take pretty good pictures. You can go to a local park (with outfit changes in tow) and snap away. Share them online or order some prints from an online service. Many retailers like Target or Walgreens offer on-line photo services.
7. Instead of buying paper invitations use email to spread the word about your senior’s bash. There are lots of electronic invitation services. Many are free and you can incorporate your social network lists. (Evite, Google Calendar or Pingg)
Lastly, for those of you who may have a few years to go before senior year or want to look ahead to college graduation, open a savings account and earn a little money aside monthly.