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As the countdown to the New Year begins, Mumbaikars find themselves facing the dual challenges of price rise and inflation. The economic landscape has prompted individuals and communities to rethink their celebratory plans, seeking innovative and budget-friendly ways to welcome the upcoming year. In this Maximum City, where festivities are ingrained in the spirit of its people, Mumbaikars are finding creative ways to celebrate without breaking the bank.
Many Mumbaikars are opting for intimate celebrations within the comfort of their homes. House parties have gained popularity as people choose to create warm, welcoming environments for close friends and family. By doing so, they not only save on exorbitant restaurant prices but also enjoy a more personalised and relaxed atmosphere.
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Neha Singh, a Mumbai resident, said that she prefers to celebrate with her friends at her place. "As of now, I do not have any plans for the New Year's Eve celebration. I mostly prefer house parties with my friends," the 22-year-old shared. "Due to this price rise and inflation, I would prefer watching web series and chill over clubbing or fancy parties."
When asked how New Year's Eve celebrations have changed over time, Singh added, "For me, it has changed a lot over time. Earlier, I used to celebrate with my family members and go to nice restaurants to dine out and enjoy. Now, I prefer staying indoors with my close friends. Price rise and inflation is definitely affecting people. It mostly affects the middle-class. Everything is rising except our income!"
Echoing similar sentiments, 22-year-old Chandni Shah said, "I don't have any New Year's Eve plan specifically, but all I want is to start the New Year with inner peace and positivity so that 2024 arrives with prosperity and happiness. One of the reasons I'm not celebrating the New Year in a grand way is inflationâ¦ It definitely affects our monthly budget. Thus, it's better to be in your personal space with your limited budget source."
For Shah, celebrating New Year's Eve with near and dear ones is better than a grand party with unknown people. "I always wanted a huge celebration due to the influence of the outside world, but over time I realised that celebrating New Year with your close ones is much better than having a grand huge party with unknown people," Shah said.
Girgaon-based event manager says conscious outing is the flavour of the season. "Many are exploring local parks, beaches, and public spaces to welcome the New Year. This not only reduces expenses but also highlights the city's vibrant public spaces as ideal venues for celebration," the Girgaon resident said.
Mumbaikars are approaching the New Year with a heightened awareness of their spending habits. "Prioritising essential purchases and cutting back on non-essential items, people are adopting a more frugal mindset. Financial planning discussions have become commonplace, emphasising the importance of fiscal responsibility during these challenging economic times," the resident added.
DIY decorations and gifts
Creativity is taking centre stage as individuals embrace do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations and gifts. "Homemade crafts not only add a personal touch to the celebrations but also offer a cost-effective alternative to store-bought decorations. This shift towards handmade elements embodies the spirit of resourcefulness and individual expression," the event manager added.
Online Shopping Strategies
With the rise of e-commerce, Mumbaikars are capitalising on online shopping deals and discounts. "From party supplies to festive attire, online platforms are offering a plethora of options at competitive prices. This enables residents to make cost-effective choices without compromising on the celebratory spirit," the event manager said.
In the face of price rise and inflation, Mumbaikars are demonstrating resilience and adaptability as they gear up for New Year's Eve. Through innovative celebrations, community engagement, and a conscious approach to spending, residents are proving that the spirit of festivity can thrive even in challenging economic times. As Mumbai prepares to bid farewell to the old and welcome the new, the city's residents exemplify the strength of community, creativity, and the enduring joy that comes from shared celebrations.