Senior Year Tips ~ Your Budget - GO MOM!


Senior Year Tips ~ Your Budget

Senior Year Tips ~ Your Budget |

If you have high school junior, it’s time to talk senior year tips and your budget.  If only someone had told me during my son’s junior year of high school how expensive his senior year would be, I would have at least not been so shocked and perhaps even had a senior year savings account set aside.  I don’t know about you but things are a LOT more expensive than when we were in school so when it comes to senior year, there is no exception to this trend.  Of course this is just what we’ve encountered in our school district in this part of the country.  Every family is different, every school is different, and every budget is a personal choice. But if you are looking for a list of possible expenses, here’s my list of senior year tips for your budget to get your started.


Budget for ACT and SAT Testing Fees

Yes they are changing the test in a few years but most of us will follow the current trend where our kids take both of these tests 2-3 times totaling closet to $300.

Budget for Senior Year Pictures

Often taken in the summer leading up to your child’s senior year, something you will want to schedule as soon as possible. Pricing can vary widely from having a friend who is a whiz with a camera to a professional photographer who is off the charts. And there is always somewhere in the middle with the school arranged service that often delivers wonderful senior packages.  $250-$500

Budget for a School Parking Pass

Its costs $175 to park on this campus and there’s not a junior or senior in town who doesn’t want to have that privilege.  We prefer our child foots this bill so you want to make sure to give them to save so they are ready to buy when they go on sale. This often happens in the summer so you want to check those dates to make sure you are around to snag a pass when you can.

Budget for a Yearbook

$75 for a hardcover with a small discount if you order early.  Yes it really is that expensive!

Budget for Cap and Gown

This one really surprised me ~ it can run anywhere from $50 – $100 and this is mostly for the basics. Our school used Jostens and there were all kinds of possible add ons but I was amazed that at it’s simplest package it still cost so very much.

Budget for a Letterman’s Coat and Class Ring

For many of today’s kids these are both somewhat optional.  Some kids are all in and others could care less.  But either way, the Letterman’s Coat runs $150 and the Class Ring is $300 or more. So talk with your child to see how important it really is for them. Do they really think they will wear it enough to merit the purchase.

Budget for Prom

If they haven’t gone before, encourage them to consider going this final year simply for the fun of the tradition.  No boyfriend or girlfriend needed, its awesome to go in a group where everyone can have a great time. There are so many cool things that make prom the bomb.  Its going run you about $200-$300 at a minimum. Think bus for transportation, tuxedo or dress and all related accessories, personal grooming with for the girls can cost a fortune, and of course dinner and flowers.

Budget for College Application Fees

These applications run anywhere from $50 – $100 a pop and your child will likely apply to at least three colleges.  Just in case, its always good to apply to more so have that money tucked away just in case you’ve got a stack full of opportunities to consider~ its worth every penny!

So there you go!  Are you stressed yet? I know!!!  When I look back over the last year I can’t believe how much we spent that I really didn’t realize was coming.  But the good news is we have a rising Junior so we’ll be much more prepared when it’s his turn to take center stage. I so hope you find this to be a helpful post for your child’s senior year as you work through those unique expenses that only come up for this very special time.  Tell me…

What kinds of unexpected expenses have you run into during a child’s senior year?

Its not a cheap year and there is no question that an extra $2,000 comes in quite handy.  I know.  Just breathe!

Leave us a comment and let us know. If you love Pinterest, check out our Graduation Pinterest Board where I’ve collected all kinds of ideas for our first born’s recent high school graduation this spring. Just like you, I learn as I go so feel free to share any tips that served you well.

Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!


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  • Nancy April 23, 2017, 11:26 pm

    One of the unexpected expenses that came up for my senior son was having to pay a deposit for the dorm he will be staying in while in college. That was $300 that they say is refundable if he chooses to go somewhere else.

  • Mandi May 20, 2017, 8:34 am

    Our son’s senior class does an all day class trip – cost was $50

  • Cheryl Pope June 14, 2017, 2:06 pm

    This was very helpful. My daughter graduates in 2019 and I needed this to start preparing a budget

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