The Broke Girl’s Guide to New Year’s Eve

You’ve spent entirely too much money for the holidays and the holidays aren’t even over yet. After all the celebrations and partying, all the gift exchanges and Boxing Day blowouts, your wallet is feelin’ pretty light. But you still have to ring in 2016! What’s a broke girl to do?

I’m just gonna say it right now. I’m just gonna burst your bubble of hope and rip off that band aid in one fell swoop.

You’re not going clubbing.

Unless you’re smart and bought reduced-price tickets well in advance (and even those can go for a pretty penny), clubbing is just not an option for you. Between cabs, cover charges and cocktails”not to mention a hot new dress”a night out dancing is probably the priciest way to party on NYE.

But don’t worry. There’s more to life than bottle service. It is entirely possible for you to have an amazing night without breaking the bank and here’s how.

Stay in.

Host a party with your closest friends (or have one of them host). Hit up Dollarama for some decorations, noisemakers and party favours. Have everyone dress up fancy but since it’s your squad staying in, you don’t have to worry about getting a new outfit to impress anybody.

For dinner, make it a potluck. The host can handle the main course”pot roast is easy, delicious, and relatively affordable”and everyone else can cover the rest. Be sure to assign the rest of the dishes to everyone else so you don’t end up with 5 different salads and no dessert. If the roast is big due to the number of people, get everyone to pitch a few dollars toward it because after all, you’re hosting! Make it BYOB or stock up your fridge and split the cost of the booze amongst everyone too. Actually, your best bet is to have a cover charge of say $10 to help with the cost of food, decorations and champagne. Whatever works best for you and your friends. In the end, you will all be saving money so everyone will be happy.

After dinner, play some games. Cards Against Humanity is always a good one and it’s free! You can print it from their website and cut out the cards at no cost. Heads Up! is a great app and only costs like a dollar to download to your phone. Twister is also fun once the alcohol has kicked in and someone is bound to have it in their parent’s basement.

Then it’s dance party time. Make an awesome playlist of your crew’s favourite tunes, clear some space in the living room, and pump up the volume. It’s New Years Eve”noise complaints don’t exist. Dance the night away until the ball drops.

The great thing about staying in for the night is that you’re less likely to deal with drama, disappointment and douchebags. The more places you have to go, the more complicated things get and when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to, the night could get ruined quick. When you’re at home, you’re more in control of what’s going on and you know exactly what to expect. Plus, you’re with your favourite people so you won’t have to deal with creeps, jerks, or otherwise unfriendly folk that stand in the way of fun.

But if you must go out¦

Go to Nathan Phillip’s Square and celebrate with your city. The TTC offers free service from 7 pm to 7 am so you’ll have a safe ride there and back. Before heading out, make sure you’re fed. They have food trucks at NPS but they aren’t necessarily the cheapest. Instead, make dinner or order in some Chinese food so that you also have some delicious leftovers for when you get home and need to eat something before passing out. And since you’ll have to bundle up, there’s no necessity of purchasing a new outfit. Bring a thermos or two full of wine (or whatever your poison may be) and you’re set.

The Square is free and has a lot to offer. You can go skating, listen to live music, dance to a local DJ, get silly in the photo booth, or even play street curling. This option has a lot of potential at minimal cost to you. And if you’re with the right person, that midnight kiss will be made all the more magical by the fireworks going on above.

Tags: New Year

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