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You made it through all your Christmas celebrations unscathed; you survived the last-minute shopping rush; and if you don’t see another cup of eggnog for 100 years, it’ll be too soon. You’re not done yet; there’s one more celebration before you can go into hibernation for the rest of the winter: New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve is the culmination of the holiday season. It’s the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae. It’s the icing on the cake, the pièce de résistance. This night, for many, means dressing in their best clothes and attending an expensive end-of-the-year party. However, suppose you’re trying to stay on a budget or get back on one after overspending for the holidays. Suppose staying on budget is one of your New Year’s resolutions. Do you have to give up having fun on New Year’s Eve? No! In fact, you can celebrate New Year’s cheaply in many ways.
Attend an Outdoor Event
Larger cities have New Year’s Eve outdoor events that are free or inexpensive. They usually have ice sculptures (depending on what part of the country you live in), music, games, skits, and various performers, culminating in a countdown to midnight. Bundle up, bring a few dollars for some delicious street food, and ring in the year with the people of your community. You’ll see the city in a new light.
Have a Movie Night
Why would you want to be out in the frigid temperatures when you can be curled up under some cozy blankets, watching a good flick with loved ones? Stock up on popcorn and stay in for the evening while watching a new television show or movie. If you want to do a TV marathon, choose a movie with lots of sequels, such as Star Wars, the Indiana Jones movies, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings. Have fun with your snacks. Enjoy pretzel rods (Harry Potter wands), put a Han Solo action figure in a pan of Jell-O (when Solo was frozen in The Empire Strikes Back), or use whipped red Jell-O to make the monkey brains from the dinner party scene from Temple of Doom. Use your imagination!
Host a Game Night
Have your friends and/or family over for a fun game night. Everyone can bring a snack and a favorite board game. Party games are popular right now, so there are many good ones to consider. Alternatively, go old school and stick with some oldies that you already have, such as Monopoly, Uno, or Boggle. Many stores have sales after Christmas to clear their stock, so you may be able to get some on the cheap. If you prefer shorter games, make it a competition and give a prize to the person who wins the most games. It’ll ramp up the competitive spirit!
There’s nothing quite like looking into the deep sky on a crisp winter night. Bundle up and drive to an area that’s far from the light pollution of the city. If you have a telescope, bring it along. Some libraries have one you can check out as you would a book, or your nearest planetarium may have a stargazing event going on for New Year’s Eve. Be sure to bring along a star map so you can identify constellations, or you can download an app for your phone or tablet that uses your device’s GPS to map out the constellations. Skyview and Star Walk 2 are popular choices.
The year’s end is a time to reflect on things done right during the past year, and things that may need to be improved upon. Many people resolve to do things better, such as getting their finances in order by paying off bills, budgeting, and saving more money for a more secure financial future. People make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, but they often fall by the wayside when someone offers you a piece of cake.
Getting control of your finances should be more than a mere resolution. Getting out of debt is one of the most important things you can do for your financial stability because debt becomes more debt when interest and fees begin to pile on. In the end, you’ve paid much more than the original amount borrowed. When you don’t have debt hanging over your head, you’re in control of your money, and you can begin making smart financial decisions that’ll increase your net worth.
Begin your New Year’s Eve celebration planning now; you don’t have to follow the crowd. Make your own celebration and do things your own way. It doesn’t have to be an expensive night out. It’s actually quite easy to celebrate New Year’s Eve cheaply!