Frugal Babysitting? Save Money on Your Next Sitter
While there is a lot of glamor and security that comes with hiring a nanny directly, sometimes you simply don’t have the money to put into the hourly wage that accompanies. For those who need a babysitter on a shoe-string budget, this can become problematic. However, there are ways you can secure an individual to care for your children without the extravagant bill at the end of the night.
1. Teens – High school kids can make great sitters if you need someone available to watch the children. Usually, teenagers are quite inexpensive and are always looking for a way to make a few extra dollars. A screening for a teenager could merely require a phone call to his or her parents to ensure that the teen is up to the challenge of being a caregiver for your children. Some local programs may even help you find high school students who are eager to work and show interest in babysitting.
2. Family – Family members are usually ideal if you need a sitter for an afternoon or so. Some families don’t charge for watching a member’s children and could save you a great deal of money. However, you should never assume that your sister or mother is willing to become a permanent solution for your babysitting needs. While they may do it gladly, you don’t want them to feel like you’re taking advantage of them.
3. Advertise – Putting an ad in the paper may be a method that could land you a cheap babysitter. In order to spark interest, don’t list how much you are willing to pay. Allow these individuals to call you directly. As you may be more flexible for adjusting what a babysitter’s time is worth to you, some may be willing to accept your initial bid for the job. There could be a qualified individual out there who just needs a few extra dollars for his or her own projects. You can also look at sites online, like Babysitting.net, to find a babysitter in your price range.
4. Friends – Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or colleagues for help finding a babysitter. A friend may do it gladly or the colleague may know of a teen or someone else that needs the money and is qualified to babysit for you. A friend may be more inclined to accept a lower amount giving the situation more of a “favor” feel. A colleague at work could have his or her own teen that needs to pay for the insurance on their own automobile and could be looking for work.
5. Haggling – Don’t be afraid to haggle over prices. Negotiation of wages is all part of any business opportunity. Some may be more willing to adjust their own budgets if they need the money bad enough. Of course, you don’t want to hire someone that seems too eager for such a low pay. It could make you feel uneasy, especially if you don’t know the individual.
The most ideal way to find a good babysitter is to check a person’s background. While this may be expensive to some, it could provide a great deal of information that the individual may not be willing to share. Using a basic application can provide you with some information about an individual, and you should include a place for references so you can place a few phone calls. While you need a cheap babysitter, you should never assume that anyone applying for the job will have your best interests in mind.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.