As a parent of multiples we routinely see that our finances work out a little differently than the parents of singletons. Our children are both going to daycare at the same time, they outgrow clothes at the same time and they’ll likely go to college or university at the same time. Since there is no staggering of the financial milestones the money belt can get squeezed a little tighter than we’d like. This is why we’re always looking for new solutions and ways to stretch our dollars a little bit further, especially when it has to do with babysitting. Here are some great ideas to get you thinking outside the box when it comes to child care and saving some dough.
I have a friend who has an agreement with a neighbour friend that once a month one parent walks down the street and looks after their children (I think one couple gets the second Friday and the other couple gets the fourth Friday) while the other couple goes out on a date. Two weeks later they swap out.
I’ve never tried this, but there are sites designed to help people connect with other parents in order to trade babysitting. Essentially one family takes double duty hosting a play date at their house while adult(s) A goes out for lunch and a matinée (or whatever), when they return adult(s) B take over the play date while adult(s) B go out for dinner, dancing, etc. Families can alternate who hosts, or split the shifts at their own houses and also swap out who goes out when.
I find that my little brother will do just about anything for a Subway Sandwich and access to a “free laundry facility” to do a few loads while the minions sleep. When negotiating with someone who doesn’t have kids you can pay them for their gas, a flat rate or offer a trade of services…You’ll wash their car, dog sit, be their personal shopper, chauffeur their drunk butt home from an upcoming wedding, defrag their computer, organize their records or help them move. Get creative and know your audience.
Go out on a lot of double dates? Why not pay your sitter an extra dollar or two an hour while you and your friends go out to save some cash. You can alternate who’s house it’s at and don’t really need to be going on a double date, just coordinate the timing and enjoy your time at around 60% of the cost.
How do you find ways to save money on sitting?
*This is an excerpt from a post on my blog. Read the entire post here
SaraBeth is a Toronto based writer. Her blog Multiple Momstrosity was named one on Toronto Mom Now’s 2012 Top 30 Mom Blogs. She is a two-time veteran of the Three Day Novel Writing Contest. She lives in The Junction with her husband and fraternal toddler twins (Molly & Jack).