Are you regretting that spur of the moment offer to host a New Year's Eve party? It seemed a good idea at the time, but in the cold light of day? Not so much.
You're committed. You need to come through on your promise. Don't panic. You can host a great New Year's Eve party without spending a fortune. Here are seven steps on how to throw a frugal NYE party.
Limit the invitations
It's tempting to invite everyone in your address book, but limit the invites to close friends. You don't have to invite family - you'll have seen enough of them over Christmas. And whatever you do don't put out an open invitation on social media. By limiting the numbers you automatically limit the expense.
Don't be backward in coming forward
When you invite someone to a party the conversation inevitably goes like this:
You: "I would love you to come to my New Year's Eve party."
Guest: "I'd be delighted to. Is there anything I should bring?"
You: "No. Just bring yourself."
No. That's wrong. Don't be bashful. This is how you should answer the guest's question.
"Yes. Please bring a bottle of wine and a four pack of beer. Some nibbles and snacks would be great as well."
You've immediately slashed your expenditure. If you sense you may encounter a little reluctance from the guest preface your remarks with: "Everyone has been so kind and all the other guests have volunteered to bring alcohol and food. I'd hate you to feel awkward and be the only one to arrive empty handed."
Pound shops are your friend
Don't overspend on decorations. Visit a pound shop or two and stock up on party poppers, balloons and any minimum priced decorations. £10-£15 and you've you'll have more than enough to go around.
Next tear up all the Christmas cards you received. Rip them into tiny pieces and you have free confetti to throw around the place when the clock strikes twelve.
Toast midnight not a quarter to
You need to get the midnight toast right. First of all don't use champagne, go for Prosecco. Even better, find a cheap sparkling Rosa and tell everyone its pink champagne- hopefully the guests will be too full of merriment to notice.
Whatever plonk you go for don't fill anyone's glass too soon. You don't want to be pouring a refill before midnight. The less you pour the more you save.
Save on party games
Raid the kid’s toy cupboard, or the toy boxes of your nieces and nephews. You're looking for games like Twister or Pictionary, anything which encourages interaction without costing anything. You could also visit the apps store of your choice and download free party games.
Why not create your own photo booth? Find a space in the house, preferably an alcove, and rig up a white sheet as a backdrop. Fill a box with hats, scarves, and random accessories. Buy a selfie stick for a couple of quid and you've got your own selfie station or photo booth.
Pay on the door
This is controversial. And not an idea everyone will be comfortable with.
A woman on Facebook recently sparked a huge debate when she revealed she charges her family £30 each for Christmas dinner. She received a mixed reaction. But surprisingly many people supported her actions.
Taking the same approach you could ask all guests for ten or twenty pounds towards drink and food. It's less than they would pay for a night out and reimburses you for the food and drink you've purchased.
You may be surprised at the positive reaction you get. But it may not be wise to charge guests if you've already implemented number 3 on our list.
Feel free to adopt or adapt our suggestions and enjoy your frugal New Year's Eve party.