So the new year is upon us. 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.
But New Year’s Eve can be tricky because it can set you back financially and leave you starting the year broke, hungover, and unhappy. But it does not have to be this way. Here are my five cheap New Year’s Eve ideas tips to help keep your celebrations affordable and fun.
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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. Instead, 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.
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 using MeetUp and Eventbrite to avoid going to a random bar or place. If you feel like spending some cash, check out events that have a prepaid entrance fee and an open bar — pay once, and you're set for the night.
4. Plan How to 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-hailing services cost more due to demand. You can manage transportation costs a couple of ways:
- Agree on a designated driver and make sure to give that person money for gas and for their trouble.
- Use public transportation. In many cities in the U.S., especially in Washington State or California, transit can be incredibly cheap.
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 for it. Some themes you can do include:
- College sports teams
- Everyone follows recipes from the same cookbook
- If you have friends from different countries, ask them to bring a traditional dish
- Breakfast for dinner
These will make your house party rock. You might also want to 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.