10…9…8…7…the countdown will soon begin, do you know where your credit card is? Every December 31st, millions of people decide to paint the town red before resolutions kick in and work starts up.

New Year’s Eve Statistics

Before I launch into lecturing  you on how to have a fun and safe New Year’s, I wanted to share some fun stats I learned about the holiday. This infograph created by Fountainebleau shows some interesting facts about the Holiday. Such as:

  • $25,000: The most spent on a ticket for a NYE event. The event was held at Miami’s Fountainebleau Hotel and included 4 Magnums of Belvedere Vodka and 4 Magnums of Dom Perignon.
  • 59.5% of single people say they’d rather have a  midnight kiss than a new laptop computer.
  • 40% of 18-to-25-year-olds have woken up with an “unidentified party injury”.
  • 80% of all champagne consumption takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  • 1 in 8 18- to-25-year-olds say they’ve broken up with their significant on New Year’s. Harsh.

Unfortunately, a large portion of these people also make embarrassing and expensive mistakes while “painting the town red”. Here are a few tips and tricks to surviving New Year’s Eve without burning a hole in your wallet and possibly minimizing embarrassing snafus.

Step 1. Carry Cash

No one is looking forward to getting their credit card statement in the mail next month. Between the flights home, holiday gifts, and all the other stuff you have been buying, your wallet is probably tight. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on New Year’s.

Buying a drink here and there is a nice gesture, but if you are one of those people who like to say “This round’s on me!”, you end up regretting it when you get your credit card bill.

Problem: Overspending on your tab.

Solution: ONLY carry cash. Calculate approximately how much you’ll need for dinner, drinks and possibly a cab ride — then round up. Make sure that you have enough to cover your tab and a little extra for emergencies.

Takeaways: The problem with carrying cash is if you lose it, that’s it. With credit cards you can at least call a number to cancel them. So if you plan on carrying cash on you, make sure to keep a close eye on your wallet at all times. The good thing about ditching the plastic is you’ll be less likely to forget it at the bar.

Step 2. Eat. A lot.

The New Year’s Eve dinner is a popular one, especially among 20-somethings. According to Restaurants.com 20%, or 100 million Americans, go out to eat on New Year’s Eve. I personally think it’s more fun to save on an expensive restaurant meal and have a dinner at home with friends – and 22% of the population agrees with me.

Whatever you decide, it is highly important you eat a big meal to avoid getting too drunk on New Year’s.

Problem: Your friends want to go to an expensive prix fixe meal.

Solution: Suggest foregoing the expensive dinner in exchange for a nicer venue afterwards. By having the dinner at someone’s house, you can start the festivities and save a lot of money on the bars.

Takeaways: I am all for treating yourself right and having a good time. But I think that going to a nice dinner and going out to bars afterwards is unnecessary financially. Besides, I think it’s better to scarf down a cheap greasy, dinner and ensuring that you’ll be able to have the energy to have a successful party night.

Step 3. Buy Tickets in Advanced

The best way to avoid overspending is planning ahead. If you want to go out in a certain part of town check to see if there is a cover at the door. Many bars that do not typically charge cover capitalize off this big party night, so make sure to check.

Problem: You don’t want to pay an expensive cover.

Solution: Buy tickets in advanced or figure out who is throwing parties/bars with no cover.

Takeaways: Many bars offer discounts for people who buy tickets in advanced, although it may be hard committing to one place before your night out, it is better if you can rally the troops and figure out a place to go. A lot of the bars that do not charge cover will most likely be just as packed (if not more so) as the ones that do.

6…5…4…3… All you really need to make sure to have a fun and safe New Year’s is to make sure you have a good game plan. One thing I’d like to stress is that everyone who is going out in a city to make sure to put the number to car service in your phone so you have a safe ride home. You never know when things may fall through or plans may change. Here are 6 questions you should have answered before you even step out of your apartment:

  • How much do I plan to spend tonight?
  • What will be my transportation home/how much will it cost?
  • How many places am I going to?
  • IF you are going to multiple bars: What is the cover for each place? How will I get from one place to the next?
  • How many drinks am I planning on having?

2…1 Hope you all have a happy and safe New Year!

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