New Year’s Eve can be a really exciting time when you let loose and let go of the things that held you down over the past 12 months. It’s exciting to think of having a fresh start in the coming year, which seems to hold so much promise.

The reality, however, is that many people spend that first day of the new year hungover or having some sort of other regrets due to how they chose to spend the night before. Actress, Jennifer Lawrence, will appear on The Graham Norton Show this New Year’s Eve and, during the pre-taped segment, she said that she really hates the holiday and explained: “Everyone’s chasing a good time and it’s always a disappointment. I plan on doing nothing and then if something lands in my lap … but I always end up drunk and disappointed.”

Don’t let that happen to you! Here are some great ideas for making sure your January 1st is the best it can be!

Save Your Money
Many people splurge on a new outfit for New Year’s Eve which, along with the cost of attending an event and possibly buying drinks, can be a drain on your account – especially right after Christmas shopping! Instead, shop in your friends’ closets for something cool to wear. Not the same size? Check out their jewelry, shoes and other accessories. Pool your resources! Chances are that you won’t wear anything you buy again anyway.

Transportation
Most people will be eating and drinking in excess during the New Year’s Eve celebrations which means that parking your car for the night is probably a good idea. The first, less dangerous reason is that you don’t want to be cleaning vomit out of the crevices of your vehicle on the first day of the year. The second, more serious, reason is that you don’t want anyone to get hurt. Please don’t drink and drive and don’t let anyone else do it either. Plan for how you will get around during the festivities before you even leave home for the night. You could save lives.

Go with Friends
While the idea of venturing out on your own and exploring new things could sound like the makings of an incredible, inspiring movie, it’s probably not the safest idea on a night when the streets will be crowded with people under the influence of one substance or another. Pick a few friends to celebrate with and stick with them all night, even for toilet breaks. No one wants to live in fear, of course, but there are times when it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Throw Your Own Party
Sure, you might regret having to clean up the next morning but so many of the other potential problems will be taken care of if you simply host your own shindig. To minimize cost and mess, choose just a few close friends to invite over and have them spend the night. Everyone stays safe and you have help with putting your house back in order … after breakfast and coffee.

Keep it Low-Key
There’s this idea that, in order to really ring in the New Year, things have to get wild and crazy. While that’s totally fine, it’s equally great to just plan an evening at home doing something you really enjoy. Plan a movie night with your favorite snacks and watch the ball drop in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home.

What are your plans or traditions for New Year’s Eve? Have they changed over the years?