How much are you willing to invest on a Quinceañera?

Quinceañera celebrations have traditionally been part of our culture for hundreds of years and I'm probably one of the few Latinas who can admit that she has never had one or really wanted one in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of the celebration, but the amount of money people shell out for them is sometimes absurd.



Take the case of Jaset Alonso, a 15-year old girl from California whose family reportedly spent almost $19,000 to celebrate her Quinceañera. Now, unless you're wealthy and this is pocket change for you, that is A LOT of money. I grew up in a modest household where my traditional Latino parents always emphasized the importance of our culture, but when my 15th birthday came around, we found ourselves in agreement that it was pointless to spend money that I could spend on my college education and future wedding over an ostentatious party.

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Statistics have shown that the investment that goes into a Quinceañera can cost up to more than a year of college, which is about $8,000. Does anyone else think that's crazy? While so many people have a hard time paying forhigher education, others don't mind dropping all that dough on a party.

Sadly, a survey featured by shows that out of 2,174 girls, 601 of them would be willing to pay $800 or more for their dress. This just goes to show that teenagers today don't have their priorities in check--it seems like the meaning of the Quinceañera has been lost in midst of the actual party: to celebrate the physical and spiritual process of the transition of girlhood into womanhood. 

I'm a supporter of the significance behind the Quinceañera tradition. What I'm against is shelling out an excessive amount of money for a party, which comes off as a way for a family to show off to relatives, as opposed to sincerely celebrating their daughter's womanhood. Americans are also catching on to our special party and making a market out of it since so many Latinos find it important to have.

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Here's a crazy suggestion for those of you preparing to celebrate your daughter's new life chapter: Save money by having a simple party at home with her closest friends and family without the chamebelanes, damas, the costly dresses, and you'll not only have a fuller wallet, but I'm sure your kid will be just as happy being surrounded by the people who matter most.

What do you think about our Quinceañera tradition? Would you spend big for a huge party or keep it small? 

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: hispanic children  raising daughters  quinceañeras