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How To Ring In The New Year On A Budget Featured

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  • Author: Misty Fawber
  • Press: Miami Business Magazine
  • Date: Sunday, 01 January 2017

Want to say goodbye to 2016 without breaking the bank on cover charges, car service, and black tie dress? Prefer to stay closer to home than trekking to parties in hideous traffic with sobriety checks and detours? If so, you're part of the latest trend for New Year's Eve parties! While it may cause some serious FOMO to stick to house parties or have a chill night at home, more and more Americans are eschewing the ideas of glitz and glamour in favor of comfortability and cost-savings. It may come as a surprise that the average American spends approximately $295 on a New Year's Eve on the town, but restaurants, bars, and clubs all inflate their costs for the night, some on the upwards of 175%. Uber, Lyft and taxis are in double or triple surcharging, and parking costs are astronomical. Is it any wonder that money flies out the door before you've even had one sip of champagne?

So why not try something a little different this year? We asked a few of our most party-savvy friends what they would do with the average cost of a New Year's Eve out for one to entertain a party of ten--and their answers will delight you! So put on your favorite party clothes, get your noisemakers ready, and let's ring the in New Year without giving our bank accounts a hangover.

"For $300, I would do a gourmet sit down dinner for friends. We have a great deck with a fire pit and grill, so I would take advantage of the seasonal sales on lobster and pick up some tails. I'd splurge on a couple of steaks, cooked in butter and herbs, and serve them on top of some delicious homemade mashed potatoes with horseradish. I can only imagine what a meal like that would cost in a restaurant on New Year's Eve, but I could certainly feed ten with just half that budget. The rest would go toward getting a couple of nice bottles of champagne, and some locally make sparkling cider, so we could have a midnight toast. One of my favorite New Year's traditions that doesn't cost any money is letting go of the old year symbolically. I'd ask every guest to bring something that reminded them of 2016 that they could safely toss in our fire pit--for me, it's always the previous year's calendar. It's a nice way to say goodbye and remind ourselves to start fresh." Annabell Glades, video game designer

"Three words: private room karaoke. You can find fantastic private rooms for 8-10 people for around $60 for the whole night, especially on New Year's Eve, since they are clamoring for business. The coolest part about private room karaoke is that most establishments don't mind if you bring in your own food or drinks. So I would use the remaining budget to grab some delicious pizzas, wings, and beer. I've actually done this on previous New Year's Eves and it's been such a good time. Everyone is relaxed, you have your own space to party, and there's generally always parking. It's also cool for friends who have kids, since they usually get stuck at home--kids love to karaoke and it's fun to watch them stay up and celebrate at midnight. It's also an awesome idea for people who are a little more reserved, or who don't love karaoke. Something about having your own room really helps the inhibitions go away, and before you know it, everyone is belting out Madonna and Prince. It's such a great time." Luis, nurse

"Three hundred dollars for ten people? That's easy: LAN party. You have a few people bring over their gaming systems and you set up co-op games. My favorites are Mario Kart and Halo, because they are classic games that just about everyone knows how to play or can quickly learn. I'd do a taco bar, so people could socialize when they aren't gaming, and have some great snacks. My favorite thing to do is homemade carne asada, homemade pollo asade, and soyrizo. You can really feed an army with a taco bar, especially if you grab lots of veggie options. I'd include rice, beans, and maybe a couple pans of enchiladas, with some frozen churros for dessert. It's easy to serve yourself, it doesn't feel fussy, and it matches the party atmosphere of a bunch of friends sitting around, kicking each other's butts at video games. You can also get some sweet home karaoke going--there are tons of karaoke videos on YouTube and it's simple to hook a mic up to your sound system." Karen, retail marketing manager

"I would call my best girlfriends over and treat everyone to a spa night. You can grab some great deals on sheet masks, hair masks, and nail polish at post-Christmas sales, so you could certainly get enough for everyone to really indulge for around $150. With the rest of the money, that's easy...pizza and champagne!" Eleanor, vet tech

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