The final chapter of the holiday season — New Year’s — is only three days away! After spending bundles of money on holiday gifts, parties, and meals, a lot of people want fun ways to bring in the New Year while staying under budget. Instead of the traditional expensive club scene or dinning at a pricey restaurant costing hundreds of dollars, I have devised a list of fun and frugal substitutes for bringing in 2012.
1. Throw a home gathering/potluck – Invite 10 to 20 friends and have each person bring a bottle of sparkling white wine or Champagne as well as appetizers. At midnight watch the ball drop on TV. This is a great way to celebrate while avoiding all the crazies that come out on New Year’s Eve. This option will be much less harsh on your wallet compared to throwing a party all by yourself.
2. Go to the beach and watch fireworks – If you are lucky enough to live near a beach, take your family or friends up there with some snacks and champagne! Bring in the New Year looking at serene nature and exciting fireworks! If allowed in your state, let older kids have fun with sparklers while you enjoy some bubbly.
3. Church – Bring in the New Year with neighbors and friends at church! This is obviously the most economical option for bringing in 2012 and may give you a clear mind about what new obstacles to tackle and how to make the most of the New Year.
4. Movie & Dinner – Spend quality time with your significant other at home by renting a holiday movie and ordering to-go food. A lot of restaurants have to-go New Year’s Eve specials that are affordable and yummy!
5. Midnight Pizza & Slumber Party — If you are a parent, this is a great option that will allow everyone to have fun and remain safe at home. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are performing on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve special with Ryan Seacrest this year. Let the kids have fun watching pop stars sing their hearts out and then watch the ball drop at the stroke of midnight. Other fun entertainment ideas include playing music, eating pizza, and then having a slumber party. This way no one has to drive late at night.
6. Go to a comedy show – Couples can laugh their pants off into the New Year by going to a comedy show. Many cities host comedy shows on New Year’s Eve and offer drink and dinner specials at an affordable price.
7. Take a New Year’s Cruise – Bring in 2012 with family or friends on a one-day cruise! If it’s not too cold where you live, you may be able to find an affordable cruise for under $100 and bring in the New Year on the water!