‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and attending them sans the kiddies generally doesn’t come cheap.
In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit that my husband and I recently paid about $120 for a sitter to watch our daughter while we attended a holiday party one recent evening. Add in the price of cabs, and rsvping “yes” was an expensive proposition.
Though the holiday party was well worth the expense, I couldn’t help wondering how we could have cut the childcare costs without skipping the party or sacrificing quality.
I came up with the three creative options that make up today’s hint:
1.) Hire a free (and friendly) babysitter. In other words, trade babysitting with a friend, a money-saving strategy I wrote about in an earlier Hint Mama post.
2.) Ask for it as a gift. When relatives and friends ask you what you want for the holidays, mention that you’d love their babysitting services so you can enjoy a night out. In order to help the idea catch on, you might want to give this budget-friendly gift (and great gift for those who have everything) to others as well. If your relatives live far away, and your friends aren’t available to babysit, you could ask for a gift certificate to a site like UrbanSitter or for money that you could apply to paying a babysitter.
3.) Share a babysitter. Nanny shares, where two or more families share the cost of having a nanny care for their kids at one family’s home, are becoming increasingly popular. This idea is a very short-term variation of the same concept. Basically, you and another family (or two) would hire a babysitter to watch all of your kids while you all go out, and you’d split the cost of the sitter. And if you’re not hosting the share at your place, you can make leaving your little one elsewhere a little easier by introducing what Whitney Moss over at the site Rookie Moms calls a “half-sleepover.”
What are your strategies for cutting holiday childcare costs beyond just simply staying home?