New Year's Eve doesn't have to mean bidding a frantic farewell to your budget. It's possible to send the year off with a bang and barely spend a buck.
According to Event Brite, the average New Year's Eve event ticket costs $68. Of those surveyed, however, 47 percent spent less than $50 for last year's New Year's Eve celebrations. So why stand in line all night only to pay a ridiculous cover charge when there are surely several fun and budget-friendly things to do wherever you live? Events in your area may include fireworks or special happenings at local parks, museums, and the zoo. The best way to stay in the know is by regularly checking your city's websites and local papers starting at least a few weeks before December 31.
Here are some additional ideas that will get you out of the house without completely sabotaging your New Year's belt-tightening resolutions.
1. Look for bars with no cover charge.
The bars that aren't charging an arm and a leg for admission may be a bit more low key or less trendy than the ones hosting New Year's Eve blowouts, but consider what's more important -- being in the hottest spot versus actually enjoying yourself once inside the door. Save the cover fee for an extra drink and some grub.
2. See an unknown act.
Spending New Year's Eve being entertained by a local artist is much more likely to provide affordable fun than watching a nationally known entertainer. Scout out local coffee shops, small bars, and even colleges, where you may find student performances.
3. Book a last-minute hotel room.
In search of a cheap way to get a change of scenery on New Year's Eve? It sounds ironic, but you may be able to get a local hotel room for much less than you would had you planned in advance. Check out our review of some of the numerous apps that can help you find low-cost hotel rooms in your area. Caution: This go-with-the-flow idea is likely to cause heart palpitations in type-A planners.
4. Dine at the diner.
A late night diner trip on New Year's Eve is bound to leave you surrounded with rowdy revelers, but doing dinner early at your favorite local joint is a cheap way to dine out without the stress of packed restaurants and overpriced prix-fixe menus. Plus, low diner prices mean you'll have plenty of cash to spend on as many courses as you want.
5. Race into 2015.
No one says you have to celebrate New Year's Eve by sitting around eating and drinking. Many cities organize midnight runs on New Year's Eve as well as daytime races on New Year's Day. Options may range from a 5K to a family-friendly walk. With minimal sign-up fees, these events provide a healthy way to ring in the New Year with a like-minded crowd.