You did the holiday season up right with awesome gifts and amazing food. But, oops, you didn’t set funds aside for New Year’s Eve and now you’re broke as a joke. No need to despair or to resign yourself to watching the ball drop alone on your couch. Swing into action now and check out these New Year’s Eve ideas to salvage a celebration worthy of ringing 2014 in right, while still sticking to your budget.
1. Attend a Local Fireworks Display
Check your local news listings for fireworks displays in your area. If there is one scheduled for New Year’s Eve, most of your planning is done. All you need is to gather a few friends, folding chairs and some snacks. If you want the best sightlines, plan to arrive early and make it an all-day event. If you’re more concerned with sharing the ambiance with a few thousand of your best new friends than with getting the absolute best view, then you can relax at your place beforehand and show up closer to midnight.
2. Participate in a Local “First Night” Celebration
If you have kids or just don’t like the idea of dealing with hordes of holiday drunks, consider participating in a local “First Night” celebration. Towns large and small host these family-friendly, largely alcohol-free affairs to ring in the New Year by promoting a sense of shared community. You’ll find plenty of tasty treats along with a variety of entertainment, including musical acts, demonstrations and other interactive offerings.
3. Throw a House Party
By throwing a house party, you avoid the hassles of trying to hail nonexistent cabs or dealing with drunken revelers. If you’re really broke, start the party at 9:00 p.m. or later so that people won’t come expecting dinner. Instead, set out inexpensive munchies, play background music and allow guests to bring wine, beer and other snacks. You should, however, spring for a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine for a midnight toast.
4. Opt for the Early Restaurant Seating
Many restaurants have an early seating and a more expensive later seating for New Year’s Eve, with the later seating overlapping the midnight hour. By opting for the early seating, you and your friends (or that certain someone) can still celebrate New Year’s Eve and get back to your place in plenty of time for the countdown to midnight. You’ll also benefit from not being on the roads when all those inebriated folks finally make their way home.
5. Volunteer at a Local Celebration
Do a bit of research to scope out local charities or social service organizations that may be hosting New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you find one or more that interest you, offer to volunteer. You may find yourself in the midst of a blowout party that you could never have afforded to pay for, having so much fun that your duties hardly seem like work.
Follow the KISS Principle
After going over our list of New Year’s Eve ideas, don’t stress over creating an ornate event. If you really did blow your budget over the holidays, you probably can’t afford to carry out that sort of celebration anyway. Instead, follow the KISS principle and keep your plans simple. Just be sure to nail down any other people you plan to celebrate the holiday with before THEY make other plans. You’ll enjoy yourself more while ensuring that you have your own fun accounts to share after the holidays.
This article was written by staff writer Audrey Henderson. Her mission is to help fight your evil debt blob and get your personal finances in tip top shape.
Photo: *Sally M*
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