How to Throw a Low-Budget New Year’s Eve Party

You don’t have to spend your whole holiday bonus on a one-night celebration Terentyev

Making plans for New Year’s Eve has its flaws. Tickets to parties are pricey. Sometimes the celebration falls in the middle of the week, making it hard for friends or family who live farther away to come in for the night. Transportation prices surge. Not everyone in your group will want to do the same thing. But don’t let the burden of planning hinder you from ringing in the new year with those closest to you.

Rather than drop a ton of money on overpriced drinks and mediocre DJs at the most popular clubs, ring in the new year at a dive bar.

If you go the dive-bar route, you can host a pre-party at your house. Have your guests bring their own booze and make the snacks a pot-luck.

Games are always a good way to get a party warmed up. Turn board games into drinking games if you’re partying with adults, or set up old classics like Charades or Twister for a more interactive night. Have your year-in-review playlist playing in the background for added ambiance. You may have so much fun that you'll end up just staying in.

If you're set on going out even if just for the big countdown, search for local bars a few days before that don’t have extravagant cover charges. Many bars will post their New Year’s Eve festivities on their social media pages, or you can call to check on cover prices.

Once everyone is ready to move on to the bar, split the cost of transportation. This will spread costs evenly and ensure that no one is paying the high price of Ubers or Lyfts alone. You also won't have to worry about dressing up, no one at a dive bar is going to judge you for not wearing a fresh-off-the-runway ensemble.


The best part about the local dive? You can depend on them to have reasonably priced drinks, and you know they’ll serve the classics. No worries about eclectic cocktails with names you don’t know how to pronounce and ingredients you’ve never heard of. For a jumping off point, try the best dive bar in your state.