The 26th of December is worse than the first day of school and finals week combined. Your post-holiday depression is as rampant as your Eggnog and champagne hangover. Your darkened Christmas tree looks as sad as a dad at a One Direction concert.
Instead of mumbling half-hearted Christmas songs as you stuff your face with the last batch of gingerbread cookies, turn your attention to the next project: New Year’s Eve. Or better yet, hosting your own New Year’s Eve party.
Besides getting you out of your pilled Santa onesie and into actual pants, hosting a New Year’s Eve party is a smart financial alternative to going out on the town, seeing as you’re in complete control of your budget. Plus, we’re 100% about an event that allows you the freedom to either relax with a few friends or party in your underwear until five a.m. at no extra cost to you.
In the name of FKD, here are some financial tips and tricks to host an awesome New Year’s Eve party:
1. Set the scene – $40
One of the great things about hosting your own party is curating the perfect guest list. In the name of student loan debt and entry-level salaries, keep that list to a minimum and save yourself the financial headache.
We also suggest throwing a potluck + BYOB party, meaning you provide a few snacks and drinks of your own ($40 tops) in addition to each guest bringing a dish to pass and drink of their choice. These few distinctions alone will save you a considerable amount of time and money, while also eliminating the pressure of cooking.
2. DIY Décor – $0 to $50
Here’s where the fun begins. Where else can you have a pizza-themed New Years Eve party other than in the comfort of your own overpriced apartment? The sky (read: your nearly empty checking account) is the limit.
If you just want the bare bones, never underestimate the power of confetti, silly string and some repurposed Christmas lights (around $20 total). Couple that with some boxed wine, and you may just have the best New Year’s Eve ever.
If you’re going the do-it-yourself route, check out this post from cuteandcompany.com for anything from DIY party hats to “Gold Glitter Bowtie Pasta Garland.” Tip from an experienced crafter: plan out your projects before heading to the craft store, or you’ll end up wasting a lot of money on stuff you don’t need (been there, done that).
3. Food & Drink – $30
In addition to your potluck contribution, try your hand at baking this New Year’s Eve. Everybody knows homemade tastes better than store bought anyways. Can’t afford sparkling bottles at the club? Add a lit sparkler topper to your cupcakes like this for a cheap and easy “wow” factor. Do this before utilizing my next tip…
If you’re of age, drink the cheap stuff. Nobody will notice if you switch out the Moet for the Prosecco when the clock strikes twelve. I apologize in advance for your hangover. All in the name of financial literacy.
4. Entertainment – $0 to $50
Depending on your chosen mood and theme, entertainment can range from a simple card game to a black light room complete with glow sticks and EDM. Outside of great playlist and a TV to watch the ball drop, here are my recommendations:
–Cards Against Humanity – $25. (Caution: this game is not for the faint hearted). Although a little pricey, this is the gift that keeps on giving. It will also entertain the wallflower types that won’t step foot onto the dance floor, but still crack up at things like “being a motherf***ing sorcerer.”
–DIY Photobooth – $30. To put it bluntly, everyone’s obsessed with taking pictures of themselves, especially on New Year’s Eve. Play into the narcissism while create memories by crafting a festive backdrop.
–New Year’s Resolution board – $10. Also great DIY decor, a New Year’s Resolution board gives all guests a unique chance to not only share their resolutions, but to see their friends’ 2015 goals as well. This makes for a great New Year’s Eve keepsake!
There you have it: New Year’s Eve on your terms for $70 to $170. Considering the average person spends $200 plus on a typical New Year’s Eve, I’d say you’ve won at life. Cheers to 2015!