How to trick people into thinking you come from money

It’s the quickest way to make loads of friends

You’ve been accepted to university, but the hard work has only just begun. One thing you’ll definitely need to help you cope with the trials of uni life is a strong posse of pals, but how do you make sure there’s always a queue of fellow freshers keen to be your new friend? Easy, make everyone think you come from money. After all, if there’s one thing everyone wants, it’s an all-expenses-paid sailing trip to Croatia with Tarquin and Rosamund.

It's easy enough to pretend you've got dough.

It’s easy enough to pretend you’ve got dough

First impressions

We all know how important these are, and the first indicator of wealth is always in the name. If you want a coveted spot among the Poppys and Percys of the world, going by “Ashley” really isn’t going to cut it. One way round this is to shorten your name to something inconspicuous: Natasha becomes Tash, Joanne becomes Jo, and lame little Lewis can easily transform himself by becoming the much more worldly Luis.

If your poor heritage really does leave you nothing to work with then the best option is to go for the nickname approach. Let’s be honest, “Call me Grom” sits a lot better than Paul.

"My friends call me LT"

‘My friends call me LT’

Dress to impress

For the upper class, there’s no such thing as shabby-chic. Nothing screams “I have money and you don’t” quite like a good turtleneck or some chinos, but if you value your rep don’t think you can scam your way into the elite team by passing your Primark jumper off as genuine Moreno Wool. Toffs can smell bad tailoring from miles away.

For those of you who can’t afford fortnightly trips to House of Fraser to update the wardrobe, your best bet is to hit up Ebay – the povo mecca – or even your local charity shops in search of a discounted Jack Wills gilet or two.

Basic white t-shirts can be made to look expensive by teaming them with your grandpa’s old tweed jacket and flat cap combo and a decent pair of well-fitting jeans. If all else fails there’s always sports gear, leggings and a sweatshirt which are perfectly acceptable for day to day wear, as long as it has the words HOCKEY CLUB or ROWING TEAM plastered on the back.

When in doubt, boat club kit out.

When in doubt, boat club kit out


Obviously we can’t all afford back-to-back gap years in Thailand and Morzine, but appearing well-travelled and worldly is extremely important if you want to seem wealthy. Luckily for all you plebs out there, travel experience is relatively easy to cheat.

The obvious staple of any nomad is a decent tan, so start on that early. If you’re lucky enough to hail from Bristol or Cornwall, you can reach the bronze tones of affluence by simply lying out in your garden for several hours a day. Elsewhere, we aren’t so lucky and will probably need to head for the sunbeds to attain the perfect glow.

Another necessity are hair braids: sort those out yourself with the help of your fellow lowly mates from home, and if you’re brave enough to nick some iodine from the local school’s chem lab, you can even give yourself some henna. Your aim should be to look suitably worldly.

Tr0pical m8

Tr0pical m8

Food and drink

Remember, it’s vital people think your family are loaded, so make sure you look suitably horrified when you see your new halls has a basic fan oven instead of an AGA. If you want to make it even more convincing, horribly under-cook everything for the first three months and put your lack of culinary panache down to the fact “Mrs Brannan handles the cooking back home”.

It’s also a good idea to splash out on 70cl of Smirnoff on the first night of freshers week, this way you can use it to store your Tesco Value vodka for the rest of the year and everyone at pres will know you only drink the premium shit. This also works just as well with food shops: transfer your Sainsbury’s Basics bread and milk into a Waitrose bag and voila, instant notoriety as one of your uni’s elite.

Sorry, the aga usually takes a while to cook french fries.

Sorry, the AGA usually takes a while to cook french fries

"I only drink liquid cash".

‘I only drink liquid cash’

Hobbies and interests

When trying to appear loaded, you really ought to talk about fox hunting. A lot. On top of this, you should make sure to regularly voice sexist/elitist opinions. To really give the impression that you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you’ll need to do some research into the three most important life skills: skiing, sailing and riding. If you can manage a six minute conversation with Ismay about the treatment of Argentinian polo ponies you’ll be fine.

Break out the books, watch a few videos on Youtube and you’ll be spouting sailing jargon before you know it. Just don’t actually try out for the ski team without any experience, as you’ll probably seriously injure yourself and then everyone will know you’re a big fat liar.

Chalet trip to Toff's in Verbier 2k14.

Chalet trip to Toff’s in Verbier 2k14