This is the first post in an ongoing series about how to save $10,000 this year. You can read the intro behind this idea & all the posts here.
We recently made a goal to, as much as possible, not pay for babysitting the rest of the time we’re getting out of debt. We’ve been able to mostly do this (with a few exceptions here and there) for two reasons:
- generous family helping us
- trading with other friends with kids
We are so fortunate to have 2 sets of grandparents who generously and willingly watch our kids a lot. When grandparents are in from out of town, we usually get to squeeze in a date, and we make that our one “bigger” date for the month. (Meaning we might budget for dinner or a movie out, or use a gift card for one of those.) Also, grandparents watch our kids when we do a weekend away a couple times a year. (Although this offer might be expiring at the rate we’re having babies…) Ben’s teenage brothers have been gifting us free babysitting coupons for Christmas and Birthdays – the best gift ever!
TRADING WITH FRIENDS
I know it’s not always possible to have family help out with babysitting, so trading with friends the “real” money saving tip here.
We love going on dates and we love watching other people’s kids while they go on dates. It’s relatively easy. I mean once you already have a couple kids running around, what’s a couple more? It’s loud and wild but oh well! My advice to every family with littles would be – find a family you feel comfortable doing this with and swap every other month. If you get a 3 hour date out of it 6 times per year, that’s a savings of about $240/ year depending on how much you pay your babysitter 🙂 If you both have the capacity to swap every month, even better!! A date night every month without paying a babysitter is a $480 savings annually, AND good for your marriage. Win win.
Do you trade with friends for babysitting or childcare? Any other tips for saving money on babysitters?