In Which, We Are Revealed As Cheapskates

Just to wrap up yesterday’s discussion of babysitter fees, it would seem that those of us who are paying $7 are indeed getting away with the bare minimum. Parents who have found a sitter that they really like and want to keep fork out the (gulp) $10.

I’m resigned to paying the higher rate because we really like our three babysitters, they are all nice, responsible girls who live on our street. I really want to make it worth their while to come over here instead of taking a shift at McDonalds or going out with their friends.

But jeez, that sure does up the cost of date night, doesn’t it? A simple night out at the movies, with coffee and dessert after, is going to cost us over $100, with nearly half of that going to the sitter. At that rate, we’ll order in and get a rental instead!

12 thoughts on “In Which, We Are Revealed As Cheapskates

  1. Oh! We usually pay $7 to our teenage babysitters as well. That’s what they ask for – I always ask. And like you, I round up and sometimes give extra. Most of our sitters are under 16. I would have a hard time paying $10 to the kid down the street to watch TV in the evening, when I know many of my nanny’s friends only get that rate and they are mature, experienced, professional caregivers.

    If our nanny babysits, then she gets her regular hourly rate (which is about double the sitter rate).

    The question is, do you have a hard time keeping the sitters? If not, then they are probably happy to be getting the work right?

    I just don’t want you to have to stay in!!!

  2. CapnPlanet

    So movie tickets plus coffee and dessert totals over $50? Where are you going for dessert?

    We pay our babysitter $9/hour. We can probably do a movie door-to-door in 3-1/2 hours, for which we pay her $32. Movie tickets can be had in bulk for $6.50 each, so $13 for both of us. We skip the dessert. Total cost $45 (and well worth it, as you know!).

    You’re planning to pay your sitter $1/hour more, and the movie tickets might be more expensive where you are, but is it really going to be $100+?

    1. I think it depends on whether or not you’re going to get snacks at the theatre.

      tickets — $10 each (that’s with our AMC discount — usually they are $12 each) — $20

      one large popcorn and one pop to share — $10

      post-movie dessert and coffee at a chic coffee shop — $20, including taxes and tip

      total — $50, and if we are out for 4 hours and paying $10 for the sitter, that’s at least $90. EEP.

  3. betsy mae

    I agree, movie night out is $100!!! I don’t want to go out and not have the entire experience like popcorn or drinks and appies afterward! Forget dinner out.

    Our date nights have been take out after the kids go to bed and a movie or game (if I am gearing it towards hubby!!). Another thing we do is get lobsters or steaks and have a ‘nice’ meal home for a fraction of the price. It’s just not the same as dressing up a bit and going out in public is it?

    Here is an idea that some friends have suggested to me, taking turns babysitting for each other. You could babysit one Sat night a month at a friends and they can babysit for you one Sat night a month in return. It’s free! I have said no to doing this simply because I am not up for doing my turn at babysitting but I think it’s a great idea still.

  4. You don’t have to pay more. Really you don’t. Our newly-minted across-the-street babysitter (who has the babysitting course) charges $5 / hour for kids in bed, $7 / hour for kids awake. What’s more, she and her brother have both told me (a) they will not babysit for certain families – even though they pay $12 / hour – due to the bad behaviour of the children and (b) their mom will not let them babysit for certain families (often the same as in “a”) because the parents say they’ll be out until 10:00 on a school night and instead come home at midnight.

    Their mom has been known to go over to said families’ houses and send her babysitting child home to go to bed, and finish the evening out herself to confront the returning parents with the fact that they should remember the babysitters are children too.

    It’s all about mutual respect. If you treat your babysitters well (and that’s not just $) they will want to babysit for you. Look at it from their point of view – it’s either $40 for four hours of misery or $35 for a pleasant evening. What would you choose?

    1. Thanks Jay – even though my math was a bit off. Maybe more like $30 for four hours. Still, though, I’ll work for a good client for less money and most teenagers feel the same way…

  5. So it’s an extra $12/night.

    Cut the popcorn… you’re going for desert anyway. Or switch to movies on Tuesday nights. Keep an eye out for coupons. Check with your sitter and ask how much she charges.

    I just know that the lawyers who used to pay me $2 or $3 more an hour, used to get many bonuses. (i.e. I’d clean the kitchen, kids would get stories and more interaction.) I want them to be motivated to help if the kids suddenly need tending to… you pay more you get more.

  6. man, i so wish we had family that lived here. it would solve all of the going out woes. it’s hard enough to scrape together $40 to go to the movies. it’ll be down right impossible to justify another $40 for the sitter. ordering out and renting a movie just got that much better. though i do know it’s worth more than money to get to go out with your partner every once in a while. we’ll just have to budget longer for it. *sigh*

  7. oooh, i just got an idea. it’s not a new one. but have a rotating date night with a couple of your other mom friends. you babysit for them once a month, they babysit for you. no extra costs.

    mary lynn over at handbasket just blogged about the local Y that has date night where they have activites and a movie for the kids while the parents get a night out. how awesome is that idea!

  8. We used to pay $6 or $7, but then we haven’t had a sitter if almost 4 years. Since our good one moved away. The last time we went out we did dinner, movie and sitter it was $100 and we also said that it would be a long time before we could afford to do that again. That was around the time my sister and I started trading off once a month for sleepovers. But with the new baby that is on hold for another 2 years 😦

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