DiscountVouchers.co.uk CEO Robinson warns parents that returning hard up student kids are ready to cash in at home this Christmas
Parents with children at university should look out for cash-strapped students looking to patch up their end of term finances with some sneaky Christmas raids on the Bank of Mum and Dad, warns Gareth Robinson, boss of money saving website DiscountVouchers.co.uk.
In a bid to even up the battle ground Robinson has come up with his top ten list of secret student stealth wealth strategies to be aware of over the festive period. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!
1. Can I just have cash?
Students will ask for money for Christmas, knowing full well that they will get a special present anyway because, otherwise, what would you put under the tree? The key phrase that gives the game away that they are looking to double up is: “I don’t want a present.”
2. Pre-Lash at the ‘rents
Just as you top up your Christmas drinks cabinet with everything from Vodka to vintage Champagne, they will be inviting friends round for the so called ‘pre-lash’, a relatively recent phenomenon which saves them spending money on expensive night-club drinks. Your alcohol of course is effectively free (to them!)
3. Taxi Sting
How nice of the kids to offer to pick you up from that late night dinner party at Ron and Junes (you hate staying over.) But the gesture isn’t entirely altruistic as they point out that a taxi after midnight would have cost over £50. So you’re saving a fortune, right, by passing them a cheeky £20?
4. “Family” skiing
“But it’s the only time we get to go away as a real family!” you hear them say as you book a week in the Alps. With low cost airlines it looks like only a couple of hundred quid on top of what you would have spent anyway but those canny under grads can do the math of adding up: free food and drinks, ski hire and lift passes. Then family time consists of them meeting up with their mates on the black runs that you can’t do and then rushing out to the bars after dinner…they know you’ll want an early night. “Dad, got any spare Euros….?”
5. Final Year Upgrade
Once your kids join the world of work, it’s normal that they should pay for their own mobile but they will get round this by asking you for a smartphone upgrade at Christmas in their third year. That way they are guaranteed free mobile charges for the first 18 months of their career. Smart move!
6. Wash and Go
Do those 20 bags of clothes and two suitcases seem excessive for a four week holiday? Chances are, they are stuffed with dirty washing that you’ll be spending your time (and money) on washing and ironing over the festive period. Such fun!
7. The Student Returns Service
How generous of them offering to take back your unwanted gifts. But are they then exchanging your gift from Aunt Mary for something better for them, or even better, pocketing the credit note and vouchers?
8. Family Fortunes
This money maker involves tapping up other members of the family for cash to help buy you a present – then making a killing on the £50 from grandma by buying you a £10 pair of novelty slippers
9. Vacation Compensation
I can’t go on holiday on that week with you because I’m studying (i.e. my mates are all going to Amsterdam for a long weekend) so, as you don’t have to pay for me, could I have the cash instead?
10. Home Shopping
As it draws closer to term time, have you noticed certain items missing from your cupboards? No, you’re not going crazy. Last minute essentials such as tins of beans, toilet roll and Fairy Liquid could start vanishing as the kids take the phrase ‘home shopping’ to heart and stock up without leaving the house.