Avoiding the pressure to have fun (and spend money)

photo by yoniamir

As much as I love the holidays, I breathe a sigh of relief when Christmas is over. This year I managed to escape the pressure to spend a ton of money on gifts and entertaining. Instead, I found frugal alternatives to extravagant shopping to show the people I love that I care.

Now comes the pressure of New Year’s Eve.

The older I get, the less pressure I feel. But there was a time when all of my friends were heading out to fancy, expensive parties to ring in the new year. All dressed up in new clothes, they’d drop $50 a person on tickets to these parties or head out for expensive nights on the town at fancy restaurants.

One year in college, Tony and I gave in to the pressure. We packed some party clothes and headed to the city with some friends. I have no idea what we spent after travel costs, hotel, food, and a night on the town, but I know it was a lot. The worst part was that we were pretty miserable the whole time. It was freezing, and every place in the city was charging $50-$100 just to walk in the door. We ended up going back to the hotel at 9 p.m. and watching the ball drop in our pajamas … something we easily could have done at home for free.

I know many of my readers will be celebrating the new year with young children this year, so you may not be feeling this pressure. If you are feeling pressure, though, my advice is to resist it!

Instead host a small get together or a movie night. You’ll have plenty of time to go out on the town in the coming year if that’s what you want to do — and you’ll spend a fraction of what you’d spend on New Year’s Eve.

Two years ago, Tony and I stayed home in our pajamas and enjoyed a 24-hour “Seinfeld” marathon. We made a lovely dinner, and toasted to the new year at midnight. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on New Year’s Eve, and it cost practically nothing.

What’s your favorite frugal New Year’s Eve activity?

4 thoughts on “Avoiding the pressure to have fun (and spend money)

  1. Bobbi

    I agree totally. NYE is the one night I make a point to stay home. I usually play Nintendo with my daughter & some friends. This year it will be with the Wii! :)

    Not only is it expensive, but it is dangerous. It is senseless to spend a lot of money for ONE evening. That combined with the possibility of hurting someone, if you over indulge, or getting hurt yourself it is just plain STUPID.

  2. tiffanie

    hubby and i are having 4 friends over, i’m making a big crockpot of chili and some quesadillas for snacks and we’ve got a ton of alcohol stocked up from random purchases throughout the year. super cheap and great fun since we’ll probably be playing rock band and guitar hero, which is always fun with a group of people!

    tiffanie’s last blog post..in need of guest posts!

  3. Janis

    We normally go to friend’s for NYE, but this year I think we will stay home with the kids and have a “mini-party” complete with food, movies, and watching the ball drop at midnight. I would much rather be cuddled up on the couch with my kids than at a stuffy party.

    Janis’s last blog post..Christmas Blessings!

  4. Margot

    In addition to it being impressive from a frugality perspective, I’m impressed that you pulled off a 24-hour Seinfeld marathon!! That should be a record of some sort!

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