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With the New Year comes the hope of a fresh start and the chance to bring family and friends together to celebrate the end of another year. But with the night itself also comes the expectation to go out and spend, a daunting prospect for those still recovering from Christmas. So to help you start the year as you mean to go on, we’re going to take you through how to have a budget-friendly New Year’s Eve.*

Staying in

Now, we know staying in might not sound like that much fun but trust us – with the right company it could be just what you need to bring in the New Year with a bang.

Host a house party

If you can’t face paying the high prices of going out this New Year’s Eve, then why not bring the party to you? Hosting a party at your house doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but the beauty is you set your own level.

You could opt for fancy dress (with ‘the best of 2015’ as the theme) or keep things smart-casual. When it comes to food and drink you’re likely to have some leftover from Christmas that you could use or you could ask each guest to contribute a dish of their choice. For entertainment, you could put together a playlist of your favourite songs from the year or get everyone to write their New Year’s resolutions for 2016 down and take turns reading them out – if they’re not too personal, of course!

If you’d rather keep things a little more intimate on the evening, limit things to just your family or a few of your friends. You could all chip in for a takeaway and settle in on the sofa to watch Jools Holland and the fireworks come midnight.

Heading out

If you don’t mind braving the crowds this New Year to see the fireworks, there are a number of free events taking place across the country, check out the following:

1) London New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Although tickets for the main event have long sold out, there are a lot of great locations that you can view the fireworks from in London – to get a full rundown, read this guide. With the fireworks kicking off dead on midnight, all you’ll have to do is wrap up and get in position!

2) Nottingham Castle Fireworks

The Nottingham Castle makes for a beautiful backdrop to this traditional fireworks display. The event is free, so all you’ll have to do is turn up in good time on the night (entry is first come, first served) and wait for the display to start at 8pm. You can find out more about the event here.

3) Manchester Fireworks

After some doubt over whether the fireworks display would go ahead this year in Manchester, it’s been confirmed that it will, although it won’t be taking place in Piccadilly Gardens. Don’t let this confusion put you off, the display is one of the best across the country and there’s bound to be a buzzing atmosphere about the place. For information about the fireworks, check in with the visitManchester website.

4) St Ives Fireworks, Cornwall

New Year’s Eve celebrations in St Ives are legendary, with thousands of people donning fancy dress and making their way to the pier to watch the fireworks display. There’ll be live music, as well as food stalls and kids will love seeing all of their favourite characters walking the streets – if you live nearby, it would be well worth getting yourself down there on the night.

5) Edinburgh Castle Fireworks

You don’t have to take part in Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to bring the New Year in, in style. The city is putting on hourly firework displays from 9pm which will count down to the moment everyone’s been waiting for – the Midnight Moment. The skies above Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill will be lit up so find yourself a good viewing point and enjoy!

6) Saundersfoot Bay Fireworks, Wales

Take yourself down to Saundersfoot Harbour this New Year’s Eve to watch a spectacular fireworks display – it’s a great way to bring the New Year in and if you’re feeling brave you could even take part in the New Year’s Day swim the following day!

All that’s left to say is Happy New Year from everyone here at thinkmoney!

*Event information correct at time of writing - 22/12/15

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