Jan. 1, 2016: You Don't Have To Wake Up Broke, Hungover, Unhappy

Don’t Start the New Year Broke, Hungover and Unhappy

•  2 minute read

Smart ways to save your money – and your sanity – on New Year's Eve.

So the new year came and went. Almost. As always, we have been inundated with television specials that reminisce about the year that was, reminding us of people we’ve lost, and highlighting all the bad news we hope will not be repeated in the new year.

For me, New Year’s Eve is tricky because it can set you back financially and leave you starting the year hungover, broke, and unhappy. But it does not have to be this way.

Here are my five tips to help keep your New Year’s Eve affordable and fun.

1. Shop Your Closet

The issue of what to wear has driven many a fashionista crazy. Don’t go broke looking fierce for just one night. Shop your closet.

See what you already have and repurpose the different components. If you don’t usually wear statement jewelry, borrow a statement necklace from a friend and make your outfit pop. Don’t be afraid to add color or go for a simple and chic black outfit. Wear your hair differently and rock your makeup.

If you’re a guy, pull out one of your jackets, wear some nice cologne, trim your beard or shave. Pull together a look that your friends and family wouldn’t expect. Make sure your shoes are nicely polished and you’re ready to roll.

2. Enjoy Some Home Cooking

Instead of eating out, dine and, if you’re over 21, enjoy a glass of wine at home before you leave for the night. If you prefer to eat out, consider tapas or pho, which will fill you up and are easy on your pocket.

3. Find Free Events

Where to go becomes the next problem. If you’re looking to keep expenses low, consider finding free events in town and avoid going to a random bar. If you feel like spending some cash, check out events that have a prepaid entrance fee and an open bar — pay once and you are set for the night.

4. Plan How to Your Get Home

Perhaps the most daunting task is managing transportation when everyone and their mother is out having a good time.

How in the world are you supposed to get to where you’re going and return safely without paying an arm and a leg? Taxis and ride sharing cost more due to demand.

You can manage transportation costs a couple of ways:

  1. Agree on a designated driver and make sure to give that person money for gas and for their trouble.
  2. Use public transit. In many larger cities, public transit will be free.

Make sure to triple check how late your train or bus runs, travel in groups for safety, and park your car somewhere that is safe and easy to reach after you get off the bus or train.

5. Stay Home

Many people would prefer to avoid dealing with large groups of people, driving around town, and going out.

So instead of hitting the town, throw a themed potluck and ask your friends and family to dress up and bring the different components that will make your house party rock.

Invite people to sleep over so they stay safe.

New Year’s Eve can be a ton of fun, but don’t go broke for one night. Start the year hangover-free, with money in your pocket, and with great memories of the night before.