One big hurdle keeping many of us parents from going out on more frequent date nights: The cost of a babysitter.
Today’s hint is three such money-saving strategies for paying the babysitter.
1. Skip paying for the sitter’s ride home. When a babysitter I’ve hired doesn’t have a car, I’ve generally sent her home in an Uber on me. Turns out I’m in the minority. According to UrbanSitter’s 2015 National Childcare Rate Survey, a survey of 10,000 families from across the country, very few parents say they pay for a sitter’s ride home. Instead, most just generally rely on a sitter finding his or her own way home. UrbanSitter, a site that matches parents with sitters, is giving away a year membership (a $100 value) to one lucky Hint Mama reader – details below. You can see the full survey results in the infographic to the right – double click on it to zoom in.
2. Just round up when tipping, or don’t tip at all. Instead of giving the babysitter a 10% or higher tip, say for a standard babysitting night and or for going above and beyond, consider just rounding up what you pay to the nearest multiple of five or ten. Indeed, according to UrbanSitter’s survey, “most parents just round up when tipping a babysitter,” and at least a third of parents don’t tip at all.
3. Know when you have rate bargaining power. According to UrbanSitter Chief Executive Officer Lynn Perkins, you can save money by booking babysitters for evenings when there’s not much demand from other parents. “Demand is much lower on a Monday or Tuesday evening, so you may be able to find a babysitter at a great rate if your plans are flexible,” she says. Or, you also may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you book a sitter for a date afternoon rather than a date night.
You can read more findings from UrbanSitter’s survey in the infographic to the right, and be sure to enter the giveaway below. Also, check out my earlier hints for cutting the cost of date night, including skipping dinner and trading babysitting with friends.
Do you agree with the tips above? Why or why not? What are your strategies for cutting the cost of date night?