Balling On A Budget by Alice Kimber

With spring and summer university ball season just around the corner, a lot of us students will start thinking about getting suited and booted for many an occasion, whether it be Union Ball, Colours Ball, Grad Ball or specific societal events. As with many things at uni, this can also lead to money worries. Dresses and suits aren’t cheap, not forgetting the manicures and the shoes and the bags and the ties… an endless list of potential expenses. However, we’re on hand to help. All students should be able to enjoy these important occasions during their time at Surrey without slipping into their overdraft, so have a little read for some tips and tricks on how to ball on a budget.

It would be all well and good to suggest that the best way to save money on an outfit would be to wear something you’ve worn before, which some sensible people will do, however a lot of us will be thinking ‘I wore this last year, so and so have already seen me in that" or "I’ve only just posted a photo wearing that dress!’. It’s inevitable, but not disastrous.

The first solution to this dilemma is the age old act of borrowing. Take a trip to your best mate’s wardrobe or have a scroll through your sister’s Instagram page to see what takes your fancy. You could even play a game of swapsies with your team or course mates by taking a look at what you all wore last year!

The second solution is of course something that needs no introduction… that handy student discount. There are many means of taking advantage of student discount, such as UniDays, Student Beans and flashing that student ID card if you’re actually venturing into town rather than online shopping between deadlines.


  • It’s not just the outfit that you can save money on by using student discount. JV Nails and Beauty is located in Pheonix Court, just round the corner from GBK and Nando’s, and offers 20% student discount all year round, meaning you can treat yourself to a shiny set for ball season without breaking the bank.
  • Websites such as ASOS, Missguided and Pretty Little Thing often have flash sales only revealed to email subscribers or app users. None of us want our inboxes full of junk, however signing up to these newsletters or downloading the apps just during the lead up to university ball season may be a very useful trick. Getting that ‘30% off shoes until 5pm’ notification could really brighten up your day and your bank account.
  • Similarly, keep an eye on the social channels of these kinds of brands. They will often tweet or post on their Instagram story about these flash sales. In particular, look out for sales on specific edits. For example, you may find a hidden gem on the ‘Wedding outfits’ edit, or Boohoo Men may have 20% off shirts for 3 hours only.
  • The ball season often comes at the same time as deadlines and some exams, so many of us will be panic buying at the last minute. Don’t forget to look out for limited time next day delivery discounts too, which are often promoted in the same way as other offers on social channels and apps.


Created with an image by Amy Kate

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