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heartlikealion

Would you expect a sitter discount from a friend?

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Or would you expect to pay full price/going rate? 

I posted on my Facebook that I was seeking a sitter near-ish the library so I could attend the sewing class there. A friend said she was interested but her home would require me to go out of my way (she lives further than the library from my home) and threw out a figure based on google. I told her I’d get back to her and she said she wasn’t set on that figure. The sitter I had the other day charged significantly less but doesn’t work nights. Ds would be there as well but he’s low maintenance. 

Well according to google the average sitter here might make $12-13/hr? I’ve also read posts on sitting in a semi local mommy group. Care dot com has a zip code calculator but I think it’s wrong lol So if this was the going rate what would you ask (as parent or sitter) without it being insulting? I have another possible sitter but I’m waiting on details and she can’t do the first date of the class. The sewing class is 2 hours but with drop off/pick up drive time I’d guess they’d need to be with sitter 2.5 hours. 

Do you pay more for sitter coming to you or you going to sitter? 

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No sitter discounts from friends. I’m fact, I’d pay my friend more than a business contact. Also, I’d expect to pay more of a sitter came to my house. 

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2 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

No sitter discounts from friends. I’m fact, I’d pay my friend more than a business contact. Also, I’d expect to pay more of a sitter came to my house. 

That’s very kind of you but money-wise it seems like it would backfire (for me at least). I could maybe understand this for a one time deal but not so much otherwise. 

Another friend of mine babysat on my birthday for dh and I to go on a date. She gave me a discount. Perhaps partly because of my birthday but initially she also quoted me a bit lower before she knew about my birthday I think. 

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I would give a discount to a friend but wouldn’t expect one from a friend.  But yeah, I can see the potential for backfiring, especially if someone is indiscreet.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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My friends and I did not charge each other to watch the kids. We would trade off. when I paid a babysitter, I always expected to pay full price.

Edited by City Mouse
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I wouldn't feel right paying less than the going rate. If the sitter had to come to my place, I would expect to pay for her travel time.

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My friends and I didn't charge each other, but if a teen was doing the actual sitting, with mom or neighbor on hand for emergencies, the teen was paid market rate.

 

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I’m not really in a position to exchange child care. She has an infant and toddler and we live 45 min or so apart but I’m trying to take the free sewing class in the city. I have a toddler (potty trained) and 10 year old. 

At this point I’m hearing it would be wrong to offer her less so I’d rather get someone else. She’s not on the way to the class so there would be some backtracking/extra gas on my end. 

Hopefully I can figure this out. 

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Does it help your 3 to have your 10 there?  

Can your 10 go with your dh to work? Or stay home alone for an hour or so.

Edited by HeighHo

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I could just bring the 3 yr old to the sitter and bring the 10 yr old to the library with me but the library I think closes before the sewing class (in a meeting room). He’d probably be bored that last hour. And if it’s a stranger I’d want ds to go with dd. 

He can’t go to dh’s work. Dh is out of town two of the sewing class nights and is anticipating having to teach the other nights (not in the library). Dh doesn’t like the kids in his library if he’s not there. Plus the college library isn’t open past 5 on that particular night. 

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Is the rate your friend gave you the same as the rate you googled?  Then I'd go with that.  I guess I wouldn't make a big deal of driving further to make it happen or getting a discount, since in the end, maybe she is doing you a favor even though you're paying her, and you want to make sure she feels she's being treated more than fair.

Otherwise, can you get a responsible teen to come to your home?

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I think I'd ask the teacher if I could bring the kids, emphasizing that they'll have quiet activities.

Edited by HeighHo
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No, I wouldn't expect a sitter discount if we charged each other for babysitting.  But we don't.  We exchange babysitting or just offer it for free for something like you are doing, which is just a 4 week gig.

I do give a friend discount on my pet sitting services, which is about half off, if they only go away once or twice a year.  If it is more often than that then I charge full price but that is because I'm running a business and doing more jobs for them they are taking time away from my other jobs and my family.  But I only offer that discount to my very closest friends.  If you aren't in my inner circle but we are more than acquaintances I might offer a 10% off discount.

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6 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

I think I'd ask the teacher if I could bring the kids, emphasizing that they'll have quiet activities.

 

I wouldn't count on a 3 year old to be quiet for 2 hours.

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With the toddler involved, and it being evening, I wouldn’t want anyone I didn’t know.  So I’d pay her what she asked, assuming that it gave you a bit of a break compared to the ‘full price for each’ amount.  And I’d want the 10 year old there with the toddler.  Think of it as the actual cost of the class.  

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No, unless there was also something I was doing for her to save her work or money.

That said - as an adult I have never charged a friend for babysitting.  It is a favor.  But if I needed the money, it would be different.

Edited by SKL
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If the friend does it for a living, no discount.

If it's a young person, that is my friend's teen, no discount.

If it's just a favor and the person doesn't usually watch children for money, yes. 

Many years ago (when I was still teaching) I tutored a friend's daughter and she insisted on paying me what I'd charge everyone else. It felt a bit weird but I know she was right to want to pay my going rate. 

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1 hour ago, hjffkj said:

 

I wouldn't count on a 3 year old to be quiet for 2 hours.

I wouldn't either, but from preschool experience and PTA/Scout meeting experience, they certainly can play quietly for about 45 minutes at a stretch, depending of course on the particular child and how much outside time there was earlier in the day.  If there is going to be a break in sewing class, or there is practice time, mom can certainly step away for a few minutes when big bro needs her to help with lil sis. A 10 is able to be a mother's helper for 2 hours, given enough tricks in his bag. 

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When I used to do childcare regularly I charged the same whether it was a friend or acquaintance. 

For occasional child care I either pay for a babysitter, usually a college or high school student that I know through church or through a friend. I also have friends (parents of my kids’ friends) who will watch my kids for free from time to time. I either watch their kids in return or do another favor like have the family over for dinner or pet sit. Another time I decorated a cake in exchange. 

If your friend regularly babysits, you need to pay what she typically charges. If she is willing to babysit for a fee agree on the price ahead of time so that neither of you feel taken advantage of. 

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When I had a regular meeting at a school, I hired the daughter of another person in the class to watch my kids on site. It was really more of a mother’s helper type of situation but was cheaper and more convenient than having a sitter at my house.  With drive time I would have needed the sitter for almost triple the amount of time as the actual meeting so it was a lot more affordable. I’m not sure if that is an option, but it’s something to consider.

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If she said $12-13 and said she wasn't set on that number.....for 2.5 hours If your kids are easy, you could maybe ask if she was comfortable with a set $25 or $100 for all four classes.   Make sure to send dinner/snacks etc and have them dressed appropriately for HER families lifestyle.  If she takes the kids outside to walk the dog at 7pm each night, or if her kids go to bed at 7pm.....your kids will want to be dressed accordingly. Otherwise at $12 the rate would be $30 and $120/4 weeks. You also need to determine if you are going to pay her if you have to miss a class for some reason (sick kids)  or if your husband suddenly becomes available.  Unlikely, but best to talk about upfront. 

Do remember that, the better you pay, the less likely the person will flake out on you. LOL 

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For something like not-as-a-profession babysitting (esp. with adults), most customers would be friends, or neighbors, or acquaintances, or friends-of-friends, etc.  That's how you vet another adult to babysit your kids, is you know them already from somewhere and trust them or someone you trust knows them and trusts them.

So while for my business (online retail sewing labels and name tags), I'd do a set of name tags for a friend for free, that's because 99.99% of my business is to people I don't know - I'm not relying on that "know you from somewhere" hook to get business.

I would expect to pay full price for babysitting, and if I had two kids I think $10-$15/hr is a pretty good deal.  The only people I wouldn't expect to pay for babysitting is basically my mom, and that's because she's my mom and actually wants to spend time with the kids.

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Do you trust her with your child(ren)?  For me, if there was an activity that I really wanted to participate in my number one consideration would be if I could find reliable child care I trust.  If you don't trust her, it's a non-starter.  Next would be logistics.  If you don't have time to get your kids to and from her house before and after the activity, it's a non-starter.  I think if those two things work (you trust her and you can make the time for driving to / from) then it's a win-win - you will get to participate in an activity you really want to do and your friend will make a little extra $.  I wouldn't feel right not paying a friend what market value was for her time / skill and I would also want her to feel like this is a babysitting job so if anything else came up for one of those nights, she would decline because of her commitment to babysitting.  I don't think $10-13 an hour is an unfair rate at all.  It was a huge sigh of relief once we had a few trusted babysitters who had their own transportation to come to us to babysit, so I understand that hesitation.  But for a pleasurable activity, still worth a little hassle!  

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I would expect to pay full price.

frankly - if a "friend" asked for a discount, I'd be shocked at their chutzpuh.  

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1 hour ago, Tap said:

If she said $12-13 and said she wasn't set on that number.....for 2.5 hours If your kids are easy, you could maybe ask if she was comfortable with a set $25 or $100 for all four classes.   Make sure to send dinner/snacks etc and have them dressed appropriately for HER families lifestyle.  If she takes the kids outside to walk the dog at 7pm each night, or if her kids go to bed at 7pm.....your kids will want to be dressed accordingly. Otherwise at $12 the rate would be $30 and $120/4 weeks. You also need to determine if you are going to pay her if you have to miss a class for some reason (sick kids)  or if your husband suddenly becomes available.  Unlikely, but best to talk about upfront. 

Do remember that, the better you pay, the less likely the person will flake out on you. LOL 

 

2 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

If I'm understanding correctly, you asked what would be charged and she answered.  Why would you haggle over the price? 

Tap's post explains the type of haggling that I could see myself proposing. My friend doesn't normally sit. She flat out said she has no idea what a normal rate is and had to google. Well I did hear back from someone else and they said, "how about $12?" which was basically the same. And after wasting my time (I directly asked if I could drop my kids off with them) they finally admitted they live with extended family and would rather come to my house (but clearly didn't pay attention to the distance). 

Re: sitters at my house. I would have to cover more hours of sitting time if I left them at my house. The sitter would have to be here when I left town to drive to the class. The class is about 45 min. away. Then I'd be paying them like 4 hours a week. 

I'm going to look at the JoAnn classes again since dh got me a sewing machine. Heck, it might be less hassle... 

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

I would expect to pay full price.

frankly - if a "friend" asked for a discount, I'd be shocked at their chutzpuh.  

I didn't ask. I said, "how much would you charge?" and they googled and asked if that sounded good. I then admitted that I'd paid much less the other day for a sitter nearby (I dropped dd off with a woman at her home recently so I could attend a meeting at ds' school). I'd never met her, but knew her through others. 

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The library hours are til 7pm. The sewing class ends at 8pm. I guess they just let people use the meeting room an hour past library closes. So, no, it wouldn't make sense to bring the children when the library isn't technically open the whole time. Plus, I know dd and she won't be well behaved for 2 hours or if she is she'll still want to find me or ask for a snack or something in that time frame. I took her to game day (I hosted for a homeschool group) at Panera Bread yesterday. We were there for 2 hours. I ordered her a meal. She didn't want to finish the mac and cheese so I did. Then a little while later she got very demanding about wanting a second yogurt and I made her wait a few min. and she was very disruptive and rude and at one point when I wasn't looking she removed her shoes. I had to clean up and get her to stop chasing another child in a game of tag or something. I could just see her causing a scene in the library! I could just see her running into the sewing class or asking me to take her home. I was blessed on Sun. night she made a friend in the cry room during church and quietly colored. But after church she was horrible in Walmart. Such a toss up. At times dd can walk all over ds so I can't really rely on him. I literally left them alone in the house about 5-10 min. max the other day so I could walk to dh's library and get the key to look at the other campus house we might move into. I returned and dd had knocked a container of cupcakes from my birthday onto the floor (still in the container, but lid loose). Ds was oblivious and staring at the tv. I had instructed ds to get the cupcakes down and let them each have one before I left the house. In the library I wouldn't know if she'd pull books out of the shelf or if she'd happily play with whatever toys were available. 2 hours is a long time to expect that from her, though. 

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I would give a discount (actually I would work free) for a one-time deal.  For a regular babysitting job, I would want to be paid the going rate, even for a friend.  

 

It may be worth seeing if you can barter in kind- maybe keep her kids if she wants to start doing date night or something.  

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You're going to haggle over minimum wage for a friend you trust to come to your home and ensure your children, house, etc. are all safe? You get what you pay for. If you're too cheap to be fair to a friend, then you'd not be my friend for long.

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

You're going to haggle over minimum wage for a friend you trust to come to your home and ensure your children, house, etc. are all safe? You get what you pay for. If you're too cheap to be fair to a friend, then you'd not be my friend for long.

First of all, what do you think min wage is? You think it's $12 in Mississippi? HAHAHAHAHA

Edit: Or did you mean to get her to lower it to min wage?? I didn't ask for that, either.
And for the record, I dropped off an exersaucer once and a gift when she was feeling down another time just because. Yeah, I'm a horrible friend. 

Edited by heartlikealion

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Just now, heartlikealion said:

First of all, what do you think min wage is? You think it's $12 in Mississippi? HAHAHAHAHA

Minimum wage here is $14/hr.  Why don't you want to pay your friend a decent amount? If you can't afford it, then wait and take the sewing course another time.

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I do not understand why you think a friend needs to disrupt her life so you can do something fun for yourself. Why not invite her to the sewing class and you guys can split the cost of childcare.

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

Minimum wage here is $14/hr.  Why don't you want to pay your friend a decent amount? If you can't afford it, then wait and take the sewing course another time.

It's $7.25 here!! 

Yeah, if I can't afford it I will figure out something else. The woman that teaches it has a grant to do so. I might just try to get her to teach a class at a closer library... maybe dh's library. 

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

I do not understand why you think a friend needs to disrupt her life so you can do something fun for yourself. Why not invite her to the sewing class and you guys can split the cost of childcare.

I didn't expect anything really. I just threw out my dilemma on facebook and she responded. I am not going to volunteer to babysit an infant and I don't live close enough to make that work. I don't know if she's even interested in the class. 

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Just now, wintermom said:

Minimum wage here is $14/hr.  Why don't you want to pay your friend a decent amount? If you can't afford it, then wait and take the sewing course another time.

 

Holy cow. In my state, minimum wage is $7.25.

That aside, OP, you and your friend do not have a good vibe over this possibility. You are both *admitting* to each other (you keep using that word) that you don't like the potential setup.

She has admitted she doesn't know what to charge and had to google.

You have admitted that you paid somebody else a lot less than that.

She has admitted that she doesn't want to keep your kids at your house.

Etc.

Move on. Hire a qualified non-friend at the going rate.

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1 hour ago, Tibbie Dunbar said:

 

Holy cow. In my state, minimum wage is $7.25.

That aside, OP, you and your friend do not have a good vibe over this possibility. You are both *admitting* to each other (you keep using that word) that you don't like the potential setup.

She has admitted she doesn't know what to charge and had to google.

You have admitted that you paid somebody else a lot less than that.

She has admitted that she doesn't want to keep your kids at your house.

Etc.

Move on. Hire a qualified non-friend at the going rate.

There were 2 sitters I talked about in this thread. One was a friend and she'd watch the kids in her home but I'd have to go out of my way to get them there. The other got back to me and said she doesn't have a place for me to bring them so yes, I think both are dead ends for me. The class is getting too expensive at this rate. I will just let the library know I can't make this class and get the contact info for the teacher. Perhaps she can do a class at dh's library. He thinks faculty would sign up. 

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36 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Re: sitters at my house. I would have to cover more hours of sitting time if I left them at my house. The sitter would have to be here when I left town to drive to the class. The class is about 45 min. away. Then I'd be paying them like 4 hours a week. 

But it would be a lot more convenient, and the children would have their regular evening routine and be in their own beds when you get home.

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I think you could safely ask her if she'd accept $10/hr, and go from there. If that's still too much, or she says no, then move on to plan b or c or whatever. 

Alternately, what would the nearby person, who charged less, total up to when factoring in the extra hours due to drive time? Can you let your friend know "I have an available, not out of the way sitter, for X which is a little steep; is there any way you would accept (some amount smaller than that but not by a ton), especially since I'm also having to spend more on gas to get to your place?"

*(well, depending how far apart the two numbers end up....ex, if Close Person is charging $5/hr, but would need 4 hrs = $20/night =$80....and your friend offered $12 @ 2.5 hrs = $30/night = $120....asking your friend to come down to $70 to be under the $80 is asking too much and I'd say just go with the close person). 

Depending on the friend, she may have thrown out a "high" number expecting to negotiate, especially since she mentioned she's not fixed on that number. 

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Perhaps the lady who just babysat for you could recommend a high school or college student who could sit at your home. Your house doesn't have to be perfect.

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1 minute ago, HeighHo said:

Perhaps the lady who just babysat for you could recommend a high school or college student who could sit at your home. Your house doesn't have to be perfect.

I was thinking along similar lines. Your DH works on a college campus - surely there must be students he knows and finds trustworthy who babysit?

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

But it would be a lot more convenient, and the children would have their regular evening routine and be in their own beds when you get home.

My tutoring check was $120 and it would all go toward the sitter fees and probably not even cover it all depending on the deal we worked out. I just called the library and had them remove me from the Oct/Nov. class list and asked if they could possibly do a class in our area at my husband's library. She is passing his info onto the person that organizes the events. The person in charge finds an instructor so we don't know if it would necessarily be the same woman. They'd have to find someone more local to our area probably. But she does have 10 machines that are part of the deal so I think they would come with her. I have my own machine now, but it might help get a class going if the students had access to a machine via the class. 

I'm still paying off medical bills. The dates of service were prior to this flex spending plan kicking in so I have to pay out of pocket. So while to some I may seem cheap, I am trying to be pragmatic about it. 

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1 hour ago, TheReader said:

I think you could safely ask her if she'd accept $10/hr, and go from there. If that's still too much, or she says no, then move on to plan b or c or whatever. 

Alternately, what would the nearby person, who charged less, total up to when factoring in the extra hours due to drive time? Can you let your friend know "I have an available, not out of the way sitter, for X which is a little steep; is there any way you would accept (some amount smaller than that but not by a ton), especially since I'm also having to spend more on gas to get to your place?"

*(well, depending how far apart the two numbers end up....ex, if Close Person is charging $5/hr, but would need 4 hrs = $20/night =$80....and your friend offered $12 @ 2.5 hrs = $30/night = $120....asking your friend to come down to $70 to be under the $80 is asking too much and I'd say just go with the close person). 

Depending on the friend, she may have thrown out a "high" number expecting to negotiate, especially since she mentioned she's not fixed on that number. 

The person that charged a small fee/hour is a woman that only watches children in the daytime. That is why I cannot have her sit for the evening class. 

I just called the library and removed my name from the class. 

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1 hour ago, regentrude said:

I was thinking along similar lines. Your DH works on a college campus - surely there must be students he knows and finds trustworthy who babysit?

I do have someone in mind, but I'm not willing to pay for 16 hours of sitting so I can attend a free class 45 min. away. It's just not financially responsible right now. 

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5 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

The person that charged a small fee/hour is a woman that only watches children in the daytime. That is why I cannot have her sit for the evening class. 

I just called the library and removed my name from the class. 

Aww, I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you find a way to learn to sew that is feasible for you. 

I second the suggestion for youtube videos if nothing else; I've learned a ton from those. 

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That would be too steep for me to pay for recurring childcare too.  That’s more than the cost of center based daycare around here!  I’m sorry things didn’t work out with the class ?

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2 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

There are a ton of beginning sewing videos on youtube.  Pillowcases would be a great beginner project.  You could work your way up from there.

 

This was my first thought when you started this.  

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