The dark art of scrounging off your parents at uni

Don’t hate me

It wasn’t until arriving at university that I realised how much I’d taken my parents for granted over the last 18 years. Who knew they’d been paying £3.50 for Cathedral City mature? On top of that, I’d been forcing them to pay for shit like my fourth £10 Paperchase pencil case under the pretence of it being an ‘essential school supply’.

Wow, for a moment there I thought that being at university I’d stop scrounging and let them spend their hard earned cash on themselves.

It was a very brief moment.

One month down the line, I had freshers flu and couldn’t even afford the £5 entry to the SU, let alone the amount of alcohol needed to get me through the sweat pit that is Y Plas. I considered getting a job or learning to budget but that seemed like a lot of effort when the bank of Mum and Dad was so easily accessible through a cheeky bit of scrounging.

Scrounging loyalty points

Could even afford to get a drink.

A wonderful thing about family is that weekly food shops are expensive things. As a result of this Tesco Clubcard points come in at a rate faster than milk is ‘borrowed’ from the fridge. The use of Clubcard Boost is online so if, like me, you are blessed with technophobic parents they won’t be bothered to check how many they have or when they expire.

So, all it takes is a simple text reminding them that with just £2.50 worth of Clubcard points you get £10 worth of food at Zizzis. At an 100 per cent success rate so far, I don’t even bother waiting for a response before ordering the vouchers and venturing to town to eat some food that didn’t come from a tin, and I didn’t even have to pay for.

Reality check

It is important to get your parent to witness the reality you are living. Yeah, you told them you were surviving on a diet purely of bourbons and Lidl vodka but they thought it was a joke – times couldn’t possibly be that tough. So, in order to make them aware, take a tactical shopping trip.

Prior to this shopping trip, identify your account with the least sufficient funds and attempt to pay with that card. When it naturally gets rejected act completely flustered, “I thought you had enough for these 99p face wipes…I’ll have to try a different card”, and finally, any parent’s kryptonite, “it’s fine I can just enter my overdraft”.

Then just sit back and wait for the pity to roll in as they proceed to pay for not only the face wipes but also the ball ticket you explain you probably can’t afford anymore.

Making the most of going home

The key thing to remember about being home is not to get too excited at the luxury you’re living and focus on the future – at some point you’re returning back to uni and half a pack of pasta as sustenance for an entire month.

When you’ve just arrived home your parents are at their weakest. They’ve missed you and will do anything to make you feel coming home is a luxury and not a bore, making it the perfect time to take a trip to the supermarket.

Target high priced, smaller items – large staple items like pasta and cereal are pointless because you’ll have to transport them back to uni. Instead, we want high priced goods – balsamic glaze, Nutella and branded biscuits (Maryland where u at).

Work at speed and place items in the trolley when your parent’s back is turned and then ensure you are the one to unload at check out. Once it’s been scanned it’s in the bag.

Potentially fraud

Choosing between money and morals will never be easy.

As students, we are blessed with a six month free trial of Amazon Prime and this is a period you need to utilise to your advantage. As your parents gain access to next day delivery by using your account, you gain access to their credit card details. It would, of course, be wrong to freely use your parent’s credit card without their permission but sometimes accidents happen and sometimes ‘one click purchase’ is set up on your parent’s card and sometimes that means you have not funded 100 per cent of your orders over the last six months. Oops.

There is a very fine line between parents giving a financial helping hand to get you through university and straight up theft. But, what you’ve got to remember is that our university scrounging doesn’t even make a cut in the price of the home we’ll have to pay to put them in. Soz Mum and Dad, promise I’ll come visit.