Bringing in the new year without breaking the bank

From private parties with friends to large gatherings at hotels, the possibilities for how you bring in the new year are endless - and possibly expensive.

Between the champagne toasting and trying to figure out what Auld Lang Syne means, you stand to spend quite a bit of money from your checking account. This can include payments for food and drinks leading up to the toast, transportation and your attire for the evening.

Although many of the festivities can put a strain on your finances, there's no reason you can't find ways to save money while you celebrate. This is especially true if one of your New Year's resolutions is to save money in the upcoming year.

Dining on a dime
If you're headed out to a restaurant with your partner, friends or family, beware of price hikes due to the holiday. Some establishes - especially high-end restaurants - offer only special New Year's meals that include all courses but are expensive. Additionally, avoid eating at hotel or other parties. These events may also offer all-inclusive packages for food and drinks that are expensive.

If possible, have a home-cooked dinner before you head out. If you're set on dining out, consider a more affordable restaurant rather than splurging on a fancy meal.

Getting from point A to point B
Alcoholic beverages are a staple of New Year's. Whether you're planning to knock back a few cocktails or have only one glass of champagne at midnight, you must consider how you're going to get home because drinking and driving is illegal.

If you live in a major city with a sizeable transit system, taking a bus or the subway home can be an affordable alternative to driving. Just make sure the routes you need will run after midnight. If you can't or don't want to take public transportation, call a cab. However, consider how expensive this option can be depending on the distance you'll have to travel.

Dressing to impress for less
Although you may want to hit up a high-class hotel party, consider whether you can afford to meet the dress code. You can spend a pretty penny buying a tux or formal gown for a black-tie event. Instead of exhausting your finances, consider renting your formal attire. You can also pool your money with friends for affordable food, champagne and wine at someone's house. Everyone can dress comfortably and affordably while counting down to the new year.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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