That about does it for 2018. It has certainly been… a year. With New Year’s Eve only a few short weeks away, now is the time to start thinking about how you plan to ring in 2019. Whether you want to celebrate the prospect of burgeoning possibilities in the new year or just celebrate the fact that 2018 will never be able to hurt you again, there are plenty of ways to do it. Unfortunately, most of them are going to cost you quite a bit of cash. It doesn’t help that New Year’s Eve is only a week after Christmas, another event likely to take a vacuum cleaner to your wallet. Since ’tis the season, we’d like to help you have some New Year’s fun without heading into 2019 in the red.

Do Nothing

Don’t be a sheep, man. But seriously, at the end of the day, New Year’s Eve 2018 is just another Monday. You shouldn’t feel obligated to make a big deal out of it if you don’t really want to. New Year’s Eve is one of the holidays that pretty much everyone celebrates. If you live in a major metropolitan area, it’s going to be a zoo out there. You can always watch the ball drop from the comfort of your own home.

House Parties

Speaking of your own home, who says you need a giant club to have the party of the year. Throwing a house party is a lot more work, but it’s a more laidback experience while still providing the social component you’re looking for. You’ll have to spring for some refreshments, but the beauty of throwing a party is that you can put the onus on everyone else to bring stuff. After all, you’re providing the venue. On the other hand, going to a house party is a perfectly good option too. You still have to worry about transportation and you should definitely bring something. But, you don’t have to pay an obnoxious cover or buy drinks all night.

The Bar/Club Scene

This is probably what most people have been waiting for. You’re not interested in staying home or going to a house party. You want to ring in the New Year in the loudest place you can, surrounded by as many strangers as possible. This is going to cost money, there’s no way around it. But, here are a few tips to minimize your costs. Pre-Plan Transportation: On New Year’s Eve, Uber is not your friend. Since just about everyone in the country is out, you’re going to get hit with massive surge charges that multiply what would normally be a reasonable fare into something monstrous. There are horror stories of people paying hundreds of dollars to go only a few miles. Your best bet is to have a designated driver, but good luck finding a volunteer (On the flip side, you might actually be able to make some cash as a DD for your friends, just a thought.). A more realistic option is public transportation. It’s usually offered at a discounted rate for the holiday to discourage drunk driving. Just be prepared for it to be packed. Pre-Game Before You Go Out: Drinks are expensive. This might shock you, but the more you buy, the more you spend. If you can get a free (or drastically reduced) head start, you could end up saving a lot on drinks. Be careful though. The whole point of New Year’s Eve is that the main event starts at Midnight. You don’t want to overdo it and call it a night by 11:15. Also, pace yourself. As you get more and more intoxicated, you’ll want to get more and more intoxicated. If you head out guns blazing, you might end up still spending way too much on drinks, defeating the purpose. Please drink responsibly. Specific Events: If your city has a NYE cruise or the local radio station throws a bash or some such, it may be a good idea to plan to do that. The sticker price will probably be higher, but it’s usually all-inclusive. These types of events can end up being less expensive than an a la carte night on the town. I’d start looking now though. They tend to sell out quickly. Have fun. Be safe.