Instead of worring how to make New years eve special, and then the next day being dissappointed that you spend all that money on one night try something else (and as Barry Manilow says "its just another new years eve, another night like all the rest)
stay home, maybe fix dinner together with kids and family,play a game, talk about the best things of the year, recap happy memories, and sad. watch a favorite movie.
make a toast at midnight to each other and a promise to be there for each other through out the year. maybe light some sparklers. (if you are allowed). everyone likes sparklers no matter what age
If you are single, invite some close friends over to do the same. or make calls to those you havent spoken to for a while. write letters for snail mail. you dont have to be with someone to make it a wonderful or memoriable night.
I cant think of a better way to spend new years eve.