Budgeting for Events as a High School Senior
Last updated August 30, 2023
Senior year can come with a fair share of expenses. From college applications and senior activities to yearbooks and graduation supplies, the costs can quickly add up– but don’t worry! There are resources and options for you to cover those costs. Here’s how to budget for senior year expenses.
Figure out your costs
Take a moment to make a list of all the senior year expenses that you expect and how much you anticipate spending on them, listing everything from college applications to prom tickets. This will help you figure out how much money you’ll need to earn or save in order to cover all your expenses. Some examples include:
- College application fees
- SAT/ACT registration
- Senior portraits
- Formal dances and events (homecoming, prom, etc.)
- College enrollment deposit
- Graduation regalia (cap and gown)
- Senior class trip(s)
Depending on your school, you may have different types of senior year expenses. No matter the expenses, be sure to note them so you have an idea of how much time and money you’ll need to cover them.
Receive the money
Talk to a parent or trusted adult about paying for your senior year expenses and activities, since they might already have them covered for you. In the event that they are unable to cover some or all of these expenses, don’t worry! You can earn and save money by:
- Finding a summer or part-time job.
- Taking on a side hustle to earn extra cash.
- Asking friends and family to help cover the cost of something as a birthday or holiday gift.
- Find fee waivers where possible. Talk to your counselor about your eligibility to receive fee waivers for things like college applications, SAT/ACT tests, and enrollment fees.
Create a budget
Creating a budget is a great way to help you manage your senior year expenses. Creating a budget can seem complicated or intimidating, but it's easy to do! Simply put, a budget is just a plan for how you’ll spend your money. Learn more here about creating your budget!
Advocate for yourself
You may think that financial constraints mean that you can’t participate in or enjoy some of the activities that come with senior year. If you find yourself in this position, check in to learn if there are any ways to still participate. For example, yearbooks can be expensive! Ask the yearbook staff advisor if you can purchase by making smaller payments. You never know until you ask!
While budgeting for senior year can be stressful, it’s also a reminder of how much there is to celebrate and enjoy! Need more ideas or support in budgeting for senior year? Text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!