Graduation season comes at a steep price



Posted on June 5, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 8:01 AM

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. -- Graduation season is here and it comes with a price tag.

Even families on a budget say it is tough when parents are paying a little here and there throughout the year for something related to their child’s graduation.

“We try to be as conservative as we can. We consider ourselves frugal, but it is expensive,” said Wendy Ward, whose daughter, Mikayla, is graduating from Tahoma High School.

The Wards have a two-person income: a firefighter and teacher salary.

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According to CNBC, families can spend thousands of dollars on graduation memorabilia alone, which have become more elaborate and expensive.

Here’s what a family is spending on average for graduation items in our region.

  • Class ring = $400
  • Graduation announcements and photos = $300
  • Graduation night = $165
  • Graduation outfit = $100
  • Yearbook = $60
  • Gap & gown = $20
  • Total = $1,045

This is a conservative estimate and doesn’t include buying other 2014 keepsakes or hosting a graduation party which costs hundreds of dollars.

The Wards skipped on buying a class ring, had a friend take Mikayla’s graduation pictures for free, and bargain shopped for a graduation dress under $25.

“Just having a little graduation celebration, they’re not cheap. To be able to celebrate that moment with your child is expensive,” said Ward.