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Babysitter Costing You Too Much?

There’s no way to sugar coat it, raising a kid is going to cost you. According to a recent article on cnbc.com, “The cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 has surged 25 percent over the last 10 years, due largely to the rising cost of groceries and medical care” understandably the cost of hiring a babysitter has also soared. Online-nanny.com states that the average salary of a babysitter should be from $6-$18 per hour. That’s a big range. So how much should you really be paying the babysitter? How can you keep your credit card debt under control and manage these costs?

American Consumer Credit Counseling shares babysitting costs.

American Consumer Credit Counseling shares babysitting costs.

Factors Affecting the Cost of  a Babysitter

Where You Live

Fox Business states the closer you live to a major city, the more you are going to have to pay your sitter. Take into consideration the “going rate” in your neighborhood and ask around; see what other parents in the area pay. According to Sittercity.com’s babysitter rate calculator (seen below), a babysitter in Biloxi Mississippi with 1-year experience that is watching 2 kids should make $8.75/hour. That same person with the same qualifications, watching the same amount of children in Newton, MA should make $13.75/hour. (I think I’ll move to Mississippi once I have kids).

Number of Kids

Most likely the more kids you have the more work your sitter will have to do. This should be accounted for in your budget. Using the rate calculator again, I added 2 more children to the babysitter in Newton, MA, and the rate went up from $13.75 to $14.50. That’s about .38 more per kid. I also asked my sister (she’s known around town as a great babysitter) what her going rate is. She starts at $11.00/hour and adds $1 per hour per additional child. If you hired her to babysit the 4 kids in Newton, MA you’d be paying $14.00 per hour. No matter how you break it down, you should consider the amount of kids you have when determining how much to pay.

Age of the Babysitter

A high school girl in the neighborhood will most likely cost less than someone in their mid-20’s. Back to the calculator, an 18-year-old, with 1-year experience, watching 2 children in Buffalo, NY should make $10.50/hour. If she’s 25 with 5+ years of experience the rate goes up to $10.75/hour. I’m not so sure if I agree with this. I would pay much more for the 25-year-old with more experience that is arguably more mature.

Expectations From Your Sitter

Will the babysitter need to cart the children to all their activities, or pick them up from school? Do you need him/her to prepare simple meals and do light housecleaning, or are they just there to play with the kids for a few hours while you are gone? Will the kids be sleeping or will they be awake? All are considerations you need to make. What you pay should increase the amount of work expected.

After all the factors have been taken into consideration, decide how much you can afford to pay and negotiate the final rate. Make sure it’s something that both you and the babysitter agree on.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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