With New Year’s Eve being one of the biggest party holidays of the year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with planning an event at a time when many of us are already exhausted and financially tapped from the other major holidays that have occurred over the past several months. So how does one plan something memorable when both energy and funds might be running low? Try these ideas on for size.

Quiet Couple’s Getaway

Especially for long-term relationships, affordable romance is a priority it can be tough to maintain. This gets even trickier during times of year when our sense of gift giving responsibilities is running on overdrive. That’s why taking a quiet couple’s getaway is one of my favorite ways to celebrate any holiday on a budget. Many destinations have chalet or cabin rentals available for the cost of a budget business hotel room, and come with fully-equipped kitchens, private hot tubs, fireplaces and cozy living areas for relaxing. If the one you choose happens to be located near a snowshoeing trail, even better.

Casual Television Cocktail Countdown

Rather than worry about cab fees and designated drivers, consider hosting an at-home progressive cocktail countdown based on the hourly ball drops featured on television from around the world. This works especially well if you have sleepover space for your guests. Simply modify your basic holiday happy hour to include a different cocktail for every hour starting with the beginning of your party and ending with champagne at midnight. Select a variety of snacks and finger foods that will appeal to a wide variety of food preferences, and mark each hour’s cocktail switch with the watching of the annual switchover on TV.

New Year’s Day Open House

If you’d prefer something a little more family friendly or you already have private plans for New Year’s Eve, consider hosting a New Year’s Day open house. You can go either the brunch or afternoon tea and snacks route for an affordably stylish salute to the arrival of January. Try out some new gingerbread recipes, have a grits bar with a variety of toppings for a southern flair or make several large breakfast pizzas to keep the teen crowd happy.

Group Vacation Rental

Many managed vacation rentals offer a superior value, particularly if you are getting together with several of your friends or family members to share the cost. It isn’t uncommon to find ones that come with full services that compare to a hotel stay, including turn down service, towel restock, supplied toiletries and even discount coupons for cocktails and entrees at various restaurants in the town you have chosen to enjoy. They also have equipped kitchens so you can bring easy-to-prepare foods to enjoy such as mini quiches, Greek spinach triangles, toasted mushroom ravioli and more.

Intimate Dressy Dinner Party

By limiting the size of your gathering, you can affordably indulge in a few extras such as a more elaborate dinner menu, a higher-end wine or champagne and decadent gourmet dessert items. So try capping things off at four-six guests, getting dressed up and having more time to reflect upon the year’s blessings. You could even take things to the next level by making winter twig wreaths or other adult nature crafts as party favors for your guests to take home.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By choosing to keep things simple and small, you can relax and entertain at the same time. How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends and family? Share your money-saving party ideas in the comment section below.

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.