How to Host a Budget-Friendly New Year’s Eve Party

Celebrating the New Year can be fun and exciting but also an easy excuse to splurge. From the food and the alcohol, to the parties, transportation and hotel stays, people seriously shell out a lot of money just to celebrate one day. There are plenty of fun and affordable ways to host a budget friendly New Year’s Eve party.

With the year 2020 right around the corner, you may even want to step your New Year’s Eve celebration up a notch since we’ll be entering a brand new decade. However, splurging on New Year’s Eve can leave your bank account looking pretty empty afterward and no one wants to start off the New Year without any money.

If you want to celebrate the New Year in style, there’s no need to go all out and blow your budget in order to have a good time. You can actually host your own New Year’s Eve party and actually save quite a bit of money with this option.

Here are 5 fun and affordable ways to host a budget-friendly New Year’s Eve party.

1.  Have a Potluck Party at Your Home

Hosting a party at your home is the perfect way to avoid overspending at the bar as well as the hassle of transportation. Be sure to invite friends and family over well in advance so they know not to make any big plans and you can get a solid headcount.

To save money on food, ask everyone to bring a dish to pass and a bottle of champagne to try. Food is often the biggest expense when you host a party so split the cost and have a signup sheet so everyone can pitch in with food.

If you decide to order or prepare the main dish, it will be easy to get others to bring side dishes, drinks, desserts, and silverware.

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2. Attend a Free Celebration in Your Town

Most cities have free New Year’s Eve celebrations with live music and other entertainment to enjoy. You can still unofficially ‘host’ a party at one of these events. Instead of paying to get into a club or private party, search online to see what public celebrations are going on in cities near you.

You will most likely have to pay for drinks and food, but you can bring a few friends and take public transportation or Uber to minimize transportation costs.

The closer you are to your home, the easier it will be to make it back home at the end of the night and avoid staying in a hotel.

3. Serve Finger Foods and Cheap Snacks

If you’re going to take the responsibility of providing most of the food, you can still keep it pretty affordable with finger foods and cheap snacks. Serve foods like pretzel bites with cheese, chicken kabobs, or homemade pigs in a blanket. You can buy your food at warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club to get more bang for your buck.

Serve snacks like chips and dip, popcorn and a homemade veggie tray to keep cost low but keep everyone full. You can also bake dessert like brownies and cookies which will be much cheaper than buying it from a bakery. Box cake mixes cost around $1.50 and will get you 24 cupcakes so it’s definitely a deal.

4. Go Easy on Decorations

Don’t spend all your money on decorations when you’re trying to host a budget-friendly New Year’s Eve party. There’s no need to go overboard with disposable decorations that you’re just going to have to toss out the day after.

Repurpose some of the holiday decor you already have and consider visiting your local dollar store to find decorations as well. Use items you already have like candles, vases, tablecloths and centerpieces to decorate for the party as well.

If you don’t want to deal with all the hassle of decorating, just skip this step in the process altogether. So long as you have food, entertainment, and good company, your party can still be a hit.

5. Utilize Frugal Entertainment Options

There are plenty of affordable and free activities you can do at your party. Don’t let the idea of planning and hosting a New Year’s Eve party make you feel overwhelmed. Most people will be looking forward to just talking and catching up with one another but to keep things, flowing you may want to plan a few games and activities.

Before you run out and buy something, start by narrowing down the games you have that might be good at the party. You may have certain board games or card games that would be perfect for the party. Don’t forget to ask friends to bring some of their games too so you can avoid buying something altogether.

You can play cards and stream music from your phone. Or you can play games like charades or Pictionary. There’s an interactive charades app that you can download to your phone and it’s super fun.

Another option could be to encourage guests to start a vision board for the following year and provide some supplies. Or, you can ask people to share some of their highlights from the year to get some conversations going.


Ring in the new year without overspending or adding to your debt by hosting your own frugal party or event. Hosting a budget-friendly New Year’s Eve party can help you eliminate financial stress without sacrificing a fun night. Keep it simple with food and don’t be afraid to ask guests to pitch in especially when it comes to providing alcohol since those costs can add up.

Come up with a few games or conversation starters to keep the party fresh and fun.

How will you be celebrating the New Year?