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  • 5 tips for planning a budget-friendly New Year’s party

    On December 31st, ushering in the New Year with friends and family is a staple of the holiday season. After all, you want to start the New Year with the people most important to you. However putting together a shindig for this momentous occasion takes a lot of work, and for many, a lot of money. Believe it or not, there ARE ways to stick to a budget when planning your New Year’s Eve celebration.

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    Check out these tips to keep your New Year's party cost on a dime:
    1. Nix doing dinner. The great thing about New Year's Eve is everyone on the invite list will likely stay at your party until the turn of the New Year, 12:00 a.m. This means (unless you want to do a marathon of a party) you can start the festivities at 8:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m., giving your guests plenty of time to figure out dinner plans on their own. This will cut a large expense out of the budget since you won't be providing anyone, but yourself, a full course meal. Instead supply appetizers and desserts as munchies for your New Year's Eve party. Or even better, treat the gathering as a potluck, prompting your guests to bring goodies to share. This will mutually cover everyone's cravings while not starving your wallet.
    2. Repurpose and DIY your decorations. “Going all out” for New Years is great, but it can put a lot of financial strain on the host who will be creating the ambience for the evening. With all the classic trappings of a New Year's Eve party - champagne glasses, year-themed accessories, and all the glitter and pizazz to mirror the celebration in New York, this can put quite a wear on the wallet. So, instead of sweeping through the decoration section of Target and cleaning out the shelves of all the nick-knacks you desire, try checking out some of the DIY projects that can be easily created on the cheap. You may be surprised how far gold glitter and balloons will go when it comes to decorating your party.
    3. Save the Champagne for last. Champagne toasts are a New Year's Eve tradition for many (at the legal age of course), but fronting the cash to provide enough for everyone can very quickly demolish your budget due to the high price tags associated with this drink. To keep costs reasonable, provide alternatives early in the night and break out the bottles when it's time to toast to the New Year. If you want to shave even more bubbly off the budget consider asking your guests to provide their own champagne for drinking at their own leisure and not at the cost of yours.
    4. Hunt for holiday food sales. As with any major holiday, after the actual day is over stores will do a mass retail purge of any seasonal items. Taking advantage of this in preparation for your party will save you some dough on any food that you provide as a host. So what if your humus is shaped like a snowman? It will still taste good and chances are your guests won't mind the themed food, since it is free food. Watch out for any sales that you can use to provide food for a steal.
    5. Pick priority items. There are just somethings that cannot be DIY'd, received at a discounted price, or given for free. In these cases, if there's something that is a must-have at your party dedicate your budget towards that item. If you want to rent a cotton candy machine, do it! Just don't spread your budget too thin on any other alleged “must haves”. To avoid temptation when planning, sit down and specify your priority items that will be an allowable splurge. Limiting yourself will not only help your wallet, but also be a great lesson in self-control.

    Planning a New Year's Eve party that stays within budget can be difficult, especially since it's the prime time to let loose before resolutions kick in the next day. But by following these tips it is possible to have a New Year's party to remember all while saving your budget for the coming year.



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