The “broke college student” narrative is real, especially around the holiday season. Ringing in the New Year comes at an expensive cost, which is often too much for a college student to pay. The lavish parties and dinners add up quickly, and this may leave college kids stuck at home or searching for inexpensive ways to celebrate the start of the New Year.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the holiday on a small budget.
1. Throw a party at home with friends and family.
If you can’t afford to go out for New Years Eve bring the party to you! Gather up your close friends or family and host your own soiree. First things first, get your playlist together. You want to be able to ring in the New Year with the top songs of 2016 around people that you love and care about. Next, start planning the menu. Keep in mind that you are on a budget; you don’t have to get too fancy for people to have a good time. Finger foods, snacks and cold drinks are guaranteed to keep the party going all night. Also, be mindful of the length of your guest list. More people means more food and money spent, so keep in mind how many friends you select to join you. Last but not least, you can’t forget about decorations. Head over to the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart and pick up all of your New Years gear, streamers and confetti poppers.
2. Find free events in your area.
Google is your friend during the holiday season. Search for free and inexpensive events in your area. I’m sure that there will be something that interests you. Bring a couple of friends and make your own fun. Another way to get more bang for your buck is to use public transportation or rider services to take you to and from those events. Often, there are ride share deals specifically for New Years Eve.
3. Go downtown.
Get all dressed up and find somewhere to go. Explore a different part of your city that you haven’t been to before. Or, if you aren’t that adventurous, take a trip downtown. I’m sure people will be out on the town just as you are, and you might even catch a fireworks show.
4. Go to a restaurant.
Grab some friends and/or your partner and head to your favorite restaurant. They may have drink and meal specials because of the New Year. You might also want to try a visiting a restaurant with a live band or dance floor. This way, you get both food and club experience.
5. Check out a comedy show.
Again, search engines will be your best friend and don’t forget to browse Groupon. Find a local comedy club and laugh your way into the New Year for an affordable price. If you want something larger than your local comedians, try finding inexpensive tickets to big name comics in your area for cheap.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate the New Year, make sure that you have fun. But also keep track of your spending, because damaging your finances before the New Year begins is no way to bring in 2017.