If you’re one in the legion of people resolving to save some dough next year, you probably don’t want to ring in the new year in the red. New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular nights for going out on the town, and one of the most expensive. Between buying a new sequined party dress you’ll likely not wear for the next 12 months, to marked-up drinks at the bar, and a pricey cab ride home, NYE celebrations can rack up quite a bill. But just as money can’t buy happiness, you don’t need a ton of cash to have a great time. Read on for some tips on how to throw a wicked NYE bash on a budget right in your own home.
1) Send evites
Though formal invitations are appropriate for events like weddings or graduations, there’s no need to spend $10 on stationery, plus the cost of stamps, to invite guests over for a house party. Some of your friends probably don’t even check their mail regularly, and chances are even those who do will likely toss your prettily-packaged invitation after reading. Post an event on Facebook and invite those you wish to attend, or send out an evite via email (you can use Paperless Post or Evite for a festive touch) or Facebook messenger. One of the great things about posting an event on social media is you’ll be notified as to how many people have RSVP’d. It also makes organizing the event a heck of alot easier, allowing you to plan food, drinks, and carpools, while keeping everyone in the loop.
2) Serve desserts or appetizers only
Since the culminating point in any NYE party isn’t until midnight, your party doesn’t need to start until 8 or 9 in the evening. Starting a little later provides a couple of benefits, mainly that you won’t feel obligated to provide dinner. As with any party, providing snacks, and drinks, is essential; but serving appetizers, or sweets, is a whole lot cheaper than a full meal. You can also ask your guests to bring a dessert, or perhaps a plate of bite-sized eats—to share!
3) Make it BYOB
Alcohol is probably the biggest expense in any 21+ party budget. Asking your guests to bring their own beverage is a great way to significantly cut down on costs. As the host, you can offer to provide some mixers like juices and sodas, as well as some backup champagne. Making a champagne punch is an excellent way to make the bubbly you’re providing last a little bit longer. Try a recipe like this one from All Recipes.
4) DIY décor
What would New Year’s Eve be without some sparkle? Arguably the most important factor in NYE decorations is glitter, which is relatively inexpensive and can be bought from your local dollar store or a craft store like Michael’s Crafts or Jo Ann Fabrics. If you’re planning well enough in advance, you can also find it in bulk online via eBay or Amazon. Glitter up some streamers and make a few handmade festive signs with construction paper or leftover wrapping paper. You can also cut up your leftover wrapping materials to use as confetti, and tape swirls of ribbon from the ceiling. You can even leave your Christmas lights up, or re-distribute them around your home for some added good cheer.
5) Play party games
Break out some of your favorite group-friendly games like Jenga or Apples to Apples, or ask your friends to bring a game or two they’d like to play with everyone. As a creative alternative, you can try out New Year’s Bingo, conceptualized by Nikki Carlson, co-founder of ChicExecs PR. As Carlson explained in an interview with ABC News, the game involves making some Bingo cards describing funny things that happened to you and your pals throughout the past year. Not only will you and your guests have a blast playing New Year’s Bingo, but you will have fun making it too — reminiscing about all the memories of this past year.
Here’s to wishing you a happy and budget-friendly New Year! If you’ve got some stellar NYE party tips of your own, share them in the comments!