Today’s post is by Craig Ford from Money Help For Christians. Craig is a missionary overseas who writes about issues related to faith and finances. If you read his blog you’ll learn about things like how to afford to be a stay at home wife. Since I’ve never had a CLUE how much to pay a babysitter, I am SO excited about his guest post today!!
One of the reasons why some people don’t like to get babysitters is because they are clueless about the going rate. They want to pay the babysitter a decent amount, but they also want to be sure they are are not overpaying the babysitter.
One way around a paid baby sitter is by forming a frugal community. This way you can share babysitting responsibilities, and the best part is that no one pays anything.
However, there will still be occasions where you need a babysitter.
A Guide For Determining How Much To Pay Your Babysitter:
- Ask your babysitter – If you are contacting a new babysitter, don’t be afraid to ask about their usual rate. Some babysitters have an hourly rate set.
- Ask your friends – If you have a new baby, call someone in your church and ask them what they typically pay for a babysitter. If the amount sounds off, make a couple of calls so you have a point of comparison.
- Check online – The babysitter rate calculator allows you to enter your zip code, age of the sitter, and their years of experience, and they will give you a suggested rate. I was shocked to see an 18 year old with a couple of years of experience suggested $13.25. Either I’ve lived overseas too long, or I’m in the wrong business. On the other hand, an About.com article suggests we pay babysitters between $4 – $12 per hour. In general, on Yahoo answers, the consensus was much lower – closer to $5-$6 for a babysitter.
- Compare it to other typical teen jobs. What is McDonald’s paying new workers?
Factors that Influence Babysitter Pay:
- Age of the babysitter – Obviously, your 12 year old neighbor is going to make less than a 19 year old college student.
- Number of kids – Are you a Cheaper By the Dozen family? Well, you’re really going to pay for it.
- Age of the kids – The younger and more dependant they are, the more it is going to cost.
- Is your kid difficult? Some babysitters deserve more money just because your kid is a lot of work.
- Special needs – Do you need a babysitter with any special qualifications? If so, the sitter should be compensated accordingly.
- Time of day – If the kids are going to be sleeping for 1/2 of the night, then the babysitter does not need to be paid as much.
- Weekends vs. Weeknights – Weekends cost more.
- Location – How far do you live from your babysitter? Does he or she need to drive a long distance? Are you providing transportation?
- Are you exchanging anything else? Providing the babysitter a meal or allowing them to do their laundry is a good way to offer a non-financial incentive.
We all know raising kids can be expensive. However by saving money while raising young kids we can always make a dollar go just a little bit further. So here’s ..
5 Ways to Reduce Babysitting Costs:
- Find someone you know. Teenagers at church often already have a relationship with your kids and are happy to do it for a service with less pay. Just don’t take advantage of them.
- Offer non-financial benefits. This could include making the job easier by setting rules for your kids. Rent their favorite movie for after the kids go to bed. Cook their favorite meal. Tutor them.
- Go out on week nights. Babysitters are in less demand during the week.
- Move overseas. I pay my babysitter $1.25 per hour, and that’s double minimum wage! Still, I’m not sure that babysitting rates are a big enough reason for moving overseas. What do you think?
- Plan at home dates. For several months, one night a week my wife and put the kids to bed and then cooked a late dinner together. Creativity can make an at home date a lot of fun. Anytime you avoid the restaurant you save money.
How much do you pay your babysitter? What do you think is a fair rate? How do you determine how much to pay your babysitter? How do you reduce babysitting costs?