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Thrifty Canadians Spend 26% Less Than Americans On Prom

Visa Canada survey reveals Canadians plan to cover more of their teenagers' proms than Americans but will spend less overall; Visa's "Plan'it Prom" App helps manage budget and savings

Toronto, ON – April 9, 2014– According to a new Visa Canada survey released today, Canadian households with teenagers are planning to cover a whopping 81 per cent of prom costs, compared to their American counterparts who are planning to cover only 56 per cent, with their teens picking up the rest. Surprisingly, the survey also revealed Canadian parents will spend 26 per cent less than American respondents. With the exchange rate taken into consideration, Canadians plan on spending an average of $804 on their teenagers' proms compared to American households with teens, who plan to spend an average of $1,086.*

To help parents and teenagers plan and budget every aspect of prom in order to support responsible spending, Visa Canada has launched a free smartphone app. The free Plan'it Prom app allows users to make a realistic, detailed prom budget and then helps them stick to that budget by allowing them to track their spending as they shop. Plan'it Prom is available in the iTunes store, the Google Play store and from

"Prom is a major event for teens, but it's also clearly a major expense for families on both sides of the border," said Michelle Michalak, Visa Canada's Head of Financial Literacy. "A special event like prom requires calculated and thoughtful planning. With our Plan'it Prom app, parents and teens have the opportunity to use the app's budget calculator, suggested tips, and detailed timeline to help save and plan for both a fabulous and affordable prom."

Visa Canada's prom survey asked Canadian parents about intended spend on various prom items including attire, limousine rental, flowers, pictures, food, and accommodations. The survey was also conducted separately in the United States during the same time period. The survey found:

  • Canadian men are planning to watch their wallets as they will spend 42 per cent less than American men on their teenagers' proms ($875 vs. $1,507).*
  • Canadian women will spend slightly less than American women on the big event ($718 vs. $746).*
  • Canadian parents who make an income of over $50,000 a year plan to spend 36 per cent less on their teens' proms than American parents who fall in the same income bracket ($817 vs. $1,279).*
  • More than half of Canadian parents (56 per cent) will cover nearly the full price of prom compared to one quarter of American parents.

Here are a few cost-saving tips:

  • The Favourite – Focus on investing in one desired item and spend frugally on other items.
  • The Makeup and Hair – Suggest your teen partner with a talented friend to do their hair and makeup for free.
  • The Outfit – Considering they will only wear their prom outfit once, suggest that your teen to start looking early for a great deal on their formal wear.
  • The Transportation – Split the cost of a limo with friends or research untraditional like renting a bus.



About the Survey
The survey results are based on a sample of 1,005 nationally representative live telephone interviews conducted across Canada from January 28 and February 2, 2014 in cooperation with GfK Roper OmniTel. The American survey results are based on 4,000 nationally representative live telephone interviews conducted nationally from January 24 – January 26, January 31 – February 2, February 7 – 9, and February 14 – 16, in cooperation with GfK Roper OmniTel.

About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks – VisaNet – that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit and @VisaNewsCA.

*USD amounts converted to CDN dollars based on exchange rate on Monday, March 10, 2014.

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Visa Canada
Christine Gondos
+1 (416) 860-3869