9 Ways To Ring In 2019 Without Spending A Ton Of Money

by Kaitlyn Wylde
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images News/Getty Images

First there's Thanksgiving, then there's Hanukkah, then there's a million holiday parties, then there's Christmas... then, just when you think you can't possibly muster any more festive energy, New Year's Eve comes along. All of your tights are ripped, you're out of money, your red lipstick is worn to a nub, you're exhausted — and yet you know you have to pull it together and do something fun for New Year's Eve or else you'll regret it. So, to ease your burnt-out post-holiday brain, I've created a little list of cheap things you can do on New Year's Eve. Because let's be honest, you can't spend money you don't have.

Despite how glitzy this holiday can present itself to be, you can get away with having a very entertaining or glamorous night without spending a ton of money. If you live in a city or busy town, chances are there are already some free festive activities that are available to you on New Year's Eve — and if you do some planning ahead of time, you can find other things to do that will keep you busy until midnight without buying your time with expensive drinks at bars or restaurants. Here are a few ways you can have a full and fun New Year's experience without overspending.

Go See Local Fireworks

Lots of major cities have free fireworks displays scheduled for New Year's Eve. Check your local listings to see which fireworks are closest to you and head over with some friends or on your own. If you do nothing else on NYE, get out of the house for an hour to way the festive show, it will definitely make you feel like you celebrated properly.

Head To An Ice Skating Rink

Check out your local listings to see what public ice skating rinks are open on New Year's Eve. Typically entry is cheap, if not free, so this can be a great way to have a good time doing something wintery and festive without spending too much. Pack some hot cocoa or cider in a thermos to keep you warm, you'll be glad to have it if the lines are long!

Host A Potluck Dinner Party

If you want to have a big dinner party, but don't want to spend the money feeding your entire posse, have a potluck party. Assign each friend with a different type of dish or drink and get the best of both worlds. Ensure that everyone's well-fed and with lots of options without emptying your bank account.

See A Movie

Lots of movie theaters have special midnight showings so check your local listings to see what the theaters are doing. You might be able to see an old classic, or a new film that's paused for a New Year's toast.

Use A Groupon Deal

Head to and pick out an activity at a discounted rare. Whether it's a pottery class, a spa treatment, or a special deal at a restaurant, there's tons of affordable options. What's more, it's a great way to open up your mind and try something on New Years that you might not have thought to do otherwise.

Cook A Restaurant Meal At Home

A lot of restaurants have prix fixe menu options on New Years, which essentially means the food is way more expensive than usual and reservations are way harder to come by. Instead of going out, get the ingredients to cook you and your partner a home-cooked version of whatever you would have ordered. It's both an activity that you can enjoy together and a great way to save money and stress.

Go To A Local Bar

A New Year's Eve bar bill can be expensive, especially if you go to a club and spend a few hours drinking before midnight. Instead, have a drink at home with friends and then head out to a local bar just before midnight. The less time you spend there, the less money you'll spend on drinks.

Have A Trilogy Party

If staying up until midnight isn't as easy as it used to be, throw a trilogy party and allow the excitement of a movie keep you up for the ball drop. Invite over some of your best friends and watch a trilogy from the very beginning — back-to-back. Order food or make food and keep the night inexpensive, intimate and totally entertaining.

Have A PJ Party

Invite over some friends and have an OG pajama party just like you did when you were a kid. Create a giant fort in your living room, watch TV, eat snacks, listen to music and enjoy the luxury of being able to go right to bed after the ball drops. Oh, adulthood.