This Mom Spent $25,000 on Her Son's Prom

By going into excess, this ended up being all about her - and not her son.

A mum in Philadelphia is getting media attention after it was revealed she spent $25-thousand to send her son to prom. The mother, Saudia Shuler, says she actually wanted to send him on a trip to Dubai, but since she couldn’t she brought Dubai to him. To create this fantasy she rented exotic cars, hired a camel and had sand shipped in. Her son, Johnny Eden Jr., took three dates to prom all wearing custom designer gowns. Not to be outdone, Jr. changed outfits several times throughout the evening as well.

Shuler says she’s a cancer and stroke survivor. She decided when she was going through her medical issues – if she made it through – she wanted to do everything she could to make her son’s day special.

So that’s exactly what she did.

The excess in this story is outrageous. For a mother, to spend the equivalent of the cost of a college education on one night for their teenager is, in my opinion, inappropriate.

Despite the fact that she’s overcome some devastating medical issues, it’s still not a good reason to spend money in the way she did.

That kind of excessive spending, even if you’re not going into debt doing it, sends the message that money isn’t valuable. It also take away the true meaning of prom.

Prom is supposed to be about your children and their friends graduating from school. Celebrating the start of their adult life, and hopefully going to college. Instead it becomes all about you the parent and how much you spent.

Since the story went viral, Shuler and her son have been on various media outlets talking about his prom.


Prom was really a movie. My vision is Dubai came to Norrh Philly. S/O @pc.prince for JJ's custom #SnapchatFilter

A post shared by Saudia Shuler (@countrycookin1) on

The night was well documented on social media as well, and taking a look at Schuler’s Instagram feed, it’s clear she spends a lot of money on her kids’ special events. She promoted a graduation party with free food and drink for her daughter only a few weeks ago.


(Warning: Video NSFW - Language)

Nobody says you can’t celebrate your children’ achievements, but to spend a disproportionate amount, compared to their peers, sends a message that to celebrate you have to spend more than everybody else. That’s a dangerous attitude to go through life with.

We can apply this to any situation. It could your children’s birthday party or their first car. As parents, we want to make our kids happy, but even if you can spend more, you shouldn’t. Instead teach them the value of how hard it is to earn money and how easy it can be to get into debt.

If your child is heading into their last year of high school, and prom is a year away, get them to start saving now for it. $25 a month will mean they have few hundred dollars to spend on an awesome night out. You can pitch in too, but not to the point where the prom and the celebrations become secondary, and the spending becomes more important.

I don’t know what this mother’s personal financial situation is, but I hope she has money saved for her children’s university and college education, and even some cash aside to help them out with their first house. From one mama to another, that’s money well spent. It will have a much more positive impact on a young person’s life.



RELATED: What This Teen Planned to Wear Got Her Banned From Prom

Rubina is a journalist and personal finance expert. She regularly appears on TV and radio across Canada and writes for several online and magazine publications. Including CBC Radio and Television, Global News Toronto and Global News Radio 640 Toronto and SiriusXM.  She writes regular columns for several online magazines and has her own website

Rubina began her career as a broadcast journalist in 1999. She is a mom of two and lives with her husband in Oakville, ON.

Follow her on Twitter @RubinaAhmedHaq