How Much Do You Pay Your Babysitter?

We are trying to do this Date Night thing that is supposed to keep marriages alive and burning. I have to say my husband is more proactive than I am about making sure we continue to have date nights.

We no longer have the struggle of what to do; there are plenty of things to do around here. Now we have the struggle with HOW MUCH TO PAY THE BABYSITTER…

If you’ve been reading for any amount of time you know how cheap frugal I am. My husband is the same way, if not more so when it comes to “tipping” people. So we need some help.

We have a six year old who is a little talkative, but very compliant. A babysitter’s dream. We also have a 19 month old. You know her and her antics. But she goes to bed around 8pm. Actually both of them do. We have a girl here who is 13 and has sat for us maybe twice now. When we were “interviewing” her we asked her how much she charges. She gave the typical babysitter response that they’re taught somewhere to say: “Oh, whatever you feel like paying me.” Uggh.

Before we embitter her against us I want to know if we’re hitting the mark as to what babysitter’s should make. She lives just down the street so she walks to and from the house.

What do you pay babysitters? What is a high end and low end you would pay? I may fess up and tell you what we pay after I get some responses.

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24 thoughts on “How Much Do You Pay Your Babysitter?

  1. STEPH says:

    first of all, I think it depends on the age of the sitter. if it’s a college age sitter (or someone who drives themself to our house), I tend to pay a bit more. I usually do $10 an hour for my three kids (who are 10, 9 and 6). I think you could do $5 an hour if the baby is sleeping most of the time you’re gone.

  2. Eeks. I have to be honest and say that we’ve never had a babysitter other than Granny & Papa. We figure the 3 or 4 times a year we actually get to go out is a good excuse for the grandparents to spend some time with their grandchildren.

    You’re brave for trusting a 13 year old to watch your six and 19 month old – I’m not sure I could do it!! Or maybe it’s just that I don’t think anyone could handle the combined forces of Jacob and Bridget. LOL!

    I think you should pay according to what the babysitter will be expected to do. I say $10 at the very least. And I might be inclined to say $12-$15 for two kids, one of them being so young.

  3. I guess we probably pay the equivalent of $5/hr. We are usually gone for around 4-5 hours and will pay 20-25.00. We left the kids overnight a couple months ago and paid $50 or $60 (I don’t remember) – but they were asleep a lot of the time. Oh we have 3 kids – 1,5,&8.

  4. Well, I’m going to be absolutely no help here…. we don’t really have “date night” but when we do go out just the two of us, a friend of ours watches Alex (although he’s not the baby type so we’ll have to figure something else out soon). We repay him with dinner. Seriously, either we feed him (which usually happens a couple times a month – he’s single), or we take him out to dinner. Other than him, we’ve never actually left Alex with anyone other than the grandparents that I can recall. I would think that for 4-5 hours that somewhere around $25 would be sufficient though… Especially for someone who can walk up to your house.

  5. I remember when I was babysitting like years ago I got paid a whole 2.50!! And I thought I was rich!! Now when I do a little babysitting it’s between 10-15 bucks and hour depending on the age of the kids. The younger they are the more I charge. Be sure that the babysitter has taken their babysitting course and first aid. I haven’t babysat in a while now.

  6. This is a hard situation… We usually pay $5 an hour, but we really dont use one much either. My sitter is 16 and drives herself here. The last time she sat, she called and asked for a raise to 7 or 8 bucks. I was kind of offended, but really we are talking a couple bucks. I figure if you pay under minimum wage they aren’t getting any taxes taken out, and are actually making pretty good money. For a 13 year old, that’s pretty good, considering she probably couldn’t get a job doing anything else. But, to stave off any uncomfortableness, I always have the discussion before I have them sit for the first time, “I pay $5 an hour with a minimum of 4 hours.” (This way it is worth their effort for a 2 hour sit.)

  7. $8 per hour. You can’t pay someone enough to love and care for your kids. I have friends who pay as much as $10-12, or as little as $4. I guess it depends on what you’re comfortable with.

    Having said that, most of the time it’s the grandparents or Bill & Kim keeping the girls…they refuse payment. So we take them out to eat and such as that.

    And y’all are good to keep your date nights. Our marriage requires them. It’s essential to the health and well-being of our holy union.

  8. Wow…I don’t miss payin’ babysitters!! last time we needed one was in Germany, actually it was one of the Robinson girls! I think we paid her $6 an hour then cause that’s what they were making at Taco Bell. Heck minimum wage is now $6.50 – I’d think kids deserve at least as much for watching the kids as they do flippin’ burgers. Last I heard, one of the boys friends babysat for $10 an hour. I always tipped a little too if they did the dishes, cleaned up after the kids, stuff like that. Or, maybe start taking dates on places that offer child care? 🙂

  9. Wow!! $10/hr!!! I must be really out of the loop. When my older daughter babysat the neighborhood kids, she got $2/hr/kid. So, that’s what I was going to pay for my sitter for my younger daughter. I guess I will stick with grandparents or I will go broke:-(

  10. dandelionmom says:

    This is VERY regional! I moved from a 1.50/hour area (no kidding)-into a 10 for the night plus 3 for each hour after 10 area–here they go by number of kids a lot.

    The very best way to find out what an individual girl likes to be paid is ask her MOM! -and then pay a little bit MORE than whatever that is so she puts you at the top of her list of favorites to sit for (you don’t want to be ditched because she got a call from deeper pockets at the last minute)–plus she will treat the kids extra well to keep the job. OH! and junk food in the kitchen-lots of it-in packages already open so she feels like she can have as much as she wants 😀

    I ALWAYS had the hardest time with Mama’s little sweethearts–they are the bossy ones who spend the night telling you “no-mama does it THIS way”–those chatty ones are the ones who spill EVERYTHING about the family as soon as you close the door too! REALLY–I could have raked in a LOT more when babysitting if I had hinted about some little pieces of information I had 😉

    A group of us used to take turns babysitting–all kids from 3 families at your house one month–then 2 months in a row where YOU go out.

    I think a younger girl with a mom to beck her up nearby is a great choice-better than dealing with phone call/boyfriend/bad movies after bedtime issues.

    I of course now just raise my own :D–but we don’t call it babysitting any more than I call raising my kids daycare–they are family and love and care for each other no matter how many adults are in the house. (I always make sure the young ones are “taking care” of the older ones too-makes all the difference)

    ooops-I think you struck potential rant–sorry ’bout filling up your comment space-and yet I keeeep typing!

  11. Luckily I have only paid a sitter once. My parents and MIL live nearby, and my kids are 16, 10 and 5 now so my oldest watches for free☺. I have never paid my kids. But if they ever want anything, I’d say I’ll buy this for you since you did this, type thing.
    I would probably pay at least $8/hour. It’s just over min. wage. I don’t know though, I remember getting $1/hour.

  12. We pay $15/hour, usually adding an additional $5.00 onto the total. We have three kids, ages 8 and 1/2, 4 and 2 and 1/2. They are actually very easy to watch… very well behaved. We prepare their meals before we go, and we let them stay up until we get home, so the babysitter doesn’t have to put them to bed. Out here in L.A., $15/hour is pretty normal for three kids.

  13. Rae says:

    When I was a baby sitter, I charged $1 a kid per hour, min $3 an hour. I started when I was 12 and as I got older, I upped the rate when I started driving and in college. Now that I am usually Mom’s friend when I watch kids, I get $10 an hour and reimbursed for any “and-a’s” I do (ie order pizza, take them to soccer practice, dinner, movies, etc). If I stay over night, min $75. That usually involves three meals, rides to practices/lessons from/to, movies, morning wake ups and get goings, AND a clean house. Good babysitters always leave the house cleaner than when the parents were there…especially for an overnight.

    If I were 13 today, if I had references, $5-7 an hour. By 13, I was an experienced babysitter. I had a gig everynight I was home during the summer and every weekend night my first year of eighth grade.

  14. I babysit for $12/hour. The going rate around here is $10-12. But I’m 25. For a 13yo I would think $5-6 would be good. Oh and as regard to Krissy’s comment, babysitters technically have to pay taxes (self-employment at over 12% plus regular taxes) if they make more than $400 doing it and get a total pay (including “real” jobs) over the standard deduction.

  15. I get paid quite a bit…$20 an hour. For me that’s a lot! But let me explain, there’s 4 kids. 3 who are under 5. And a 10 year old. They’re trying to combine families and that dad is the co-founder of a drop shipping company. So, I get paid more than I know anyone else will. And I like it!! As a college kid though, less than $10 an hour for baby sitting is not nice. You know that we’ll be playing with the kids, taking good care of them, and doing homework if they’re in bed. So getting $2 an hour…you may never hear from the sitter again. Just my opinion, sorry. Heck, if you need a babysitter, I LOVE doing it. My husband and I think it’s great that I do it, I learn a lot and it’s encouraging me to be a SAHM!!! If you need a sitter,e-mail me, please 😀

  16. Du says:

    Yes, I am frugal. But no, I am not cheap! I babysat a lot of kids growing up and waited a lot of tables as well. I tip 15% if they do decently, 18% if they do well, and 20% if they do great.
    Exceptions:
    1.If it’s Waffle House or some place where the bill is llike $10, they get $1 per person.
    2. If the service is bad, let the waiter know what’s bothering you (slow, drinks, etc.). If they fix it, you should still pay 15%.
    3. If the service is still really bad, talk to the manager. That’s the only time that a lesser tip is in order.
    Normally, only tipping 10% tells the waiter that you are cheap, not that the service was bad.

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