Tuesday, September 30, 2008


**I've added a poll about babysitting wages to the right.**

For those of you with kiddos...how often do you have date nights?

And for any of you...what's your favorite date night destination? I'm looking for some creative (and inexpensive) ideas!

Also for anyone...what is the going rate for babysitters these days (we live in the Midwest)? We rarely hire outside of the family and when we do, I never know how much to pay. When I ask the sitters, I'm usually told that whatever is fine. So I'm curious (if you're willing to share) what hourly rate (or range or you can e-mail me :)) you pay and if there are variables that change that rate. At this point, Titus goes with us wherever we go, so we leave two. I think I just want to not worry about underpaying and to know what a reasonable regular rate is. Thanks, dear readers, for your help!


liz said...

we don't do this as often as i'd like, but the Indianapolis Museum of art is always a fun date night. It's free now, too, which is awesome (except for a few special exhibits).
Also, if the weather is nice, the IMA grounds are amazing for walking around or even taking a picnic.
There's always lots of cool things to see and it's kind of relaxing, but stimulating at the same time.:)

Monica said...

Our latest date was playing Frisbee Golf at Avon Town Hall Park. Sean loves to play, but I haven't in years. It was a great time and beautiful, too. A lot of the the course is in the woods. We went with another couple and enjoyed just being outside and talking. Afterwards we went to Logan's Steak house by Metropolis. On Mon/Tues nights you can get 2 nice meals (steak/fish) for $13.99. Sweet deal.

As far a sitters go I'll come back and read the responses for that one. Hannah is going to a safe sitter class the next few weekends and turning 12. She'd be cheap labor:)

Paula said...

We rarely go out on date nights. We did go out for our anniversary and it kind of wasn't worth it because with the rich food and wine I felt like crap the next day :)
As far as babysitters goes. If I bring Hannah to them, I pay $10 an hour, for two kids $15. Now a friend of mine has a gal that comes to her house and she pays $15per hour for one and $17 for two. Hope that helps. Also, maybe CA is more expensive, it seems like we're most expensive on just about everything else.

Tammy said...

We go out once a month. Our church offers PNO (Parents Night Out) the 3rd Friday of the month during the school year (our Church also has a school as well). The charge there is from 5:45 to 9:00 you pay $5.00 per child and bring their dinner. It is a FABULOUS time for all.

Now for going rates, I have been quoted $7.00 an hour per kid. That is for a high school student that works part time at our son's daycare.

Our favorite place - any place where we can just sit and talk and not feel rushed. We usually go out to dinner someplace and then chit chat. It is nice to just sit and hear the silence of the evening.

Hope that helps.


Alicia said...

A friend of mine pays $9 per hour and they believe that is a slightly higher rate than average. I think $15 and $17 from the other poster must be the area because I would be shocked if babysitters in PA got that much. I think between $7-10 is probably reasonable. But, I don't get babysitters nor do I babysit, so I may be wrong!

Catherine said...

Our last date night was last week, when we went to get the $1 ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery and then went to a political fundraiser (which we didn't have to pay for). :) I like the idea Liz posted about going to the IMA, we'll have to do that!

As for babysitters, we pretty much only go out when we can get my in-laws to babysit, and we've traded sitting with some friends who have kids. We live so far away from anyone we know who is of babysitting age, I feel like I'd have to pay them a ton just to make up for the gas!

Jenna said...

I can't add to the babysitting conversation (I haven't been a babysitter for a long time, think $3-4/hour, nor do I have children).

In terms of dates... Reid and I don't go on dates all that often. But I think of a lot of things we do together as dates. We go to the farmer's market and wander around together. We spent one day a couple of weeks ago just wandering the streets of Denver (the only thing we bought was dinner, but we could have brought one). I like going bowling and putt-putting but Reid doesn't much :) Also, check the local paper for free concerts and art exhibits (as someone suggested).

Thad and Ann said...

We don't get out on a "date" very often. So far we have been blessed to have family care for the boys when we need a sitter...they are free. :) But, I will be back to check out what others say because I'm sure at some point we need to get someone other then family & I would have no idea what to pay.

Muriel and Jerry said...

We pay $10 per hour and will not increase this even with two kids. We had a great date night taking a cooking class together through our park district.

Smith Family Blog said...

We do $5 an hour for one, and then we usually tip at the end of the night-- usually $5. So we pay for an extra hour than what the sitter stayed for. We'll probably increase to $10 an hour with 2. I think that is adequate in the midwest. I can't imagine $15 an hour for 2 kids! No parents around here would ever go out. :)

Jenny said...

Some of your friends pay a LOT for babysitting!!! :) Can I watch their kids for a while?!?!!?
Tee hee!
Seriously, though, we usually pay between $4-5/hour, usually trying to round it to an even $5 (always up, never down), usually working out to about $20 for a dinner out. That's for the 2 kids.
In our neighborhood's newsletter, kids can list their babysitting services, and most charge $3-$4 with an extra buck or two per kid.
Are we cheap? No one has ever complained... And they've come back...
I also don't think you have to "double" it for extra kids as the work load hasn't shifted that much. BUT, feel free to pay your babysitters as much as you want; I babysat for years and loved the cash!!! (And I don't remember who was "cheap" and who was a good payer at all...)

EmilyAnne said...

I pay $5-7/hour for one and $8-10/hour for two, depending on age of sitter, whether or not they drive, day or night time, and whether they are doing any light chores like unloading dishwasher, etc. Nannies around here are $10/12 hour and they usually drive (i.e. pick up your kids from school, run kid related errands like picking out gifts for parties or picking up some milk), prepare easy kid-friendly meals, and do light housekeeping like dishes and maintaining kids areas a little more. These are all for two kids, but my friend has one little boy that she drops off at a sitter's house one day a week for $5/hour. The sitter does basic early development activities with the kids and feeds them. Hope that helps. Keep in mind that minimum wage (at least in AZ) is $6.75/hour or so, and most babysitters are still members of the less-qualified work force, God bless them. Good babysitters are life savers! You and your kids both get a break and it is so fun to share stories when you get back together. Good luck in your search.

Jill said...

Up until Lucy, I was a nanny in a very expensive community...in Ohio mind you, but still.....LOL, anyways, most of them, for a high school aged girl were paying around 10. Younger girls were about 8 an hour. Keep in mind that it depends on how responsible she is, how old she is, and if you want her to babysit again! Good luck and have fun!

Debbie B said...

We've been doing good with once a month. My FIL just gave me an article on cheap dates. It's from Focus on the Family and is geared towards the older generation but it has 3 ideas.
Cup of tea and walk around town.
Breakfast out. Apparently it's the cheapest meal.

You could always do the dollar movies.