I have to confess: these days, I’m pretty boring when it comes to New Year’s Eve.
The past couple of years, my husband and I have stayed home with our little one instead of hitting the town. In fact, we’ve even pretended to bring in the New Year early so Jack could experience it and we could still have a few hours to ourselves. Such is the life of parents.
While this is admittedly an easy way to save money celebrating one of the glitziest holidays of the year, I want to share some more ideas for the perfect New Year’s Eve night while on a budget.
Close to Home
Some of my favorite memories from past New Year’s Eves are game night with friends. We turn on a movie for the kids and let them play together while the adults have fun just hanging out. Traditionally, we do a potluck for food and everyone brings his or her favorite board games. Games like Apples to Apples (http://www.amazon.com/Apples-Party-Box-Combinations-Edition/dp/B00112CHCK) or CatchPhrase (http://www.hasbro.com/en_US/shop/details.cfm?R=9123011A-5056-900B-1050-2561B00AB1CF:en_US) are great for big groups and someone you know undoubtedly has a set you can borrow, if you don’t already own one.
You can also create your own games. For example, have everyone write their resolutions down and mix up the answers in a hat so people can guess who wrote what. Or, you can put your own spin on Charades and have guests act out events or memorable moments from the past year. http://www.thedailymeal.com/10-great-games-new-years-slideshow
Add to the festive atmosphere with simple decorations or party favors. A big trend for decorations this year are metallics. Pick up some gold or silver paper plates, napkins and glasses in these fun neutral colors and you’ve got an easy, gorgeous party theme. Don't forget to pick up some inexpensive plastic champagne glasses and add some sweetness to the New Year with glittery sprinkles or colored sugar. http://creativepartyideasbycheryl.blogspot.com/2012/12/new-years-eve-party-ideaseven-if-you.html
Out On The Town
Don’t fall into the trap of overspending on your outfit, drinks and dinner for the evening. Plan ahead and you can snag some great post-holiday deals on clothes and New Year’s Eve packages. Many area hotels will have specials running where you get a night’s stay, drinks and dinner for a reasonable price.
If you just want to head out for dinner, make sure to check if the restaurant is only offering a prix fixe menu that night. These menus can be extremely pricey so do your homework before heading out.
Instead of paying a fee for an expensive nightclub, consider getting the gang together and renting a limo for the evening. Drive through the Plaza or hop on any of the holiday lights tours around town before ending the evening at someone’s home or low-key bar. This way, you can manage your tab, avoid losing your friends in the crowd and save money on expensive cab fares, while staying safe, too. http://www.kansascityairportcarservice.com/christmas-light-tours.html
Regardless of how you choose to ring in the New Year, it will undoubtedly be wise to wake up on the first day of 2015 with a little extra money in your pocket. Have fun, plan ahead and happy New Year’s!
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.