Sitting on Money

7 Easy Steps to Getting More Cash for Babysitting


Creative Commons

Complete with tax-free paychecks, an excuse to watch animated movies, and affection from adorable children, babysitting is probably one of the best jobs a teenage girl could have. But like most jobs, there comes a time when you feel like your services are worth more than what you are being paid.

Asking for a raise from the people you babysit for can be awkward, especially when you know them well (as is the case with many babysitting gigs). Luckily, The Voice has some easy steps for you to follow so that your babysitting services bring in bigger bucks.

  • Establish a rate you are comfortable with before accepting the job: Taking this precaution will make it make it less likely that you will have to ask for one in the future. Don’t let the people you babysit for pressure you into working for a lower rate if you are not comfortable working for that pay.
  • Have a mature conversation with your employer(s) about a raise: Sure, it’s awkward, but it’s also straightforward and effective. This is great practice for the future! Take a deep breath and ask if they would be willing to pay more for your hourly rate. Maybe even tell them that you are raising your rates for all of your clients, so the matter does not seem personal. They’ll probably be too uncomfortable to say no, anyway. But if they do, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Stop working for people that underpay you: Nobody is forcing you to babysit their children. If there is a family that does not pay you well enough, stop working for them. There are plenty of children out there just waiting to be babysat with parents that pay more money
  • Employ guilt/pity tactics: This will probably work better if you know the families really well. Perhaps when you are around the family you babysit for, you casually mention how empty your wallet looks these days. Obviously, don’t make it a jab at them. But if it comes up in conversation organically, mention your lack of money. Then, they might feel guilt or pity for you and give you more money. Ex: Person you babysit for: “So what are you doing this weekend? Anything fun with friends?” You: “Well I would, go bowling with my friends, but I’m saving every dollar for college, so I’m just planning on staying home.”
  • Make yourself conveniently unavailable: “Oh, you really need a sitter for tonight? Gosh, well this is just so last minute and I have a lot of homework to catch up on… I’ll see if I can maybe squeeze it in, but not likely.” First lesson in Economics? Supply and demand. If your services are harder to come by, maybe the people you sit for will be willing to pay a little bit more in desperate situations.
  • Establish an overtime rate: Let the people you work for know that you have a tight schedule, so if you end up working more hours than originally planned, your hourly rate goes up. We have all had experiences when “We’ll be home by 10!” turns into a text asking if we could stay for three more hours. Establishing an overtime rate beforehand will reward those frequent and unplanned extra hours.
  • Make sure the kids like you: Parents like to make their children happy, so if the kids like you, so will their parents. Hopefully, they will relay this information to their parents. I’m not saying you should bribe the kids with sweets to blab about how great you are to their parents, but I’m also not saying you shouldn’t. (Warning: directly bribing very young children may backfire; they tend to have big mouths).

Hopefully, this advice will ensure that your babysitting skills are adequately recognized when it comes to getting paid. After all, if parenting is the hardest job in the world, babysitting must be up there, too.