When I was a teenager I was the designated babysitter in my neighborhood. It seemed like everyone had little kids, so I made some good money...sometimes. I never liked to set a price because it was awkward. I was a young kid and didn't really feel comfortable talking about money and negotiating a fair wage. So, often times I'd just let the parents pay me what they felt was appropriate. It usually wasn't an issue and parents were pretty generous. But, I got burned pretty bad one time.

I used to babysit for a neighbor lady who needed me to look after her two kids for eight hours a day all week one summer. One of her kids was still in diapers, which wouldn't have been that  big of a deal if she had paid me a fair price.


I changed diapers, took the kids outside to play and made them breakfast and lunch. The first day went pretty well, but she had asked if I could also pick up her house a little bit, too.  It was kind of a strange request but I thought, why not...there'd be a big check waiting for me at the end.

Payday finally arrived and I was so excited! She handed me an envelop which I politely didn't open in front of her. I thanked her and headed home. I no sooner shut my front door before the envelop was ripped open! To my shock, I looked at the check and thought there must have been some kind of mistake. Surely she didn't mean to give me $25 for the whole week. After all, I cooked, cleaned and watched her children for eight hours all five days. I thought my work was worth more than $5 a day for both kids.  Let me say that ONE more time. She paid me five bucks A DAY.

It's safe to say that I declined to babysit her children every time she asked me to moving forward. It was a good lesson that taught me to stand up for myself and know my worth.

According to Urban Sitter, the average babysitter now-a-days gets paid $15 an hour. So, if I had charged that price when I was a babysitter, that $25 would have been turned into $600. I think $15 an hour is a little outrageous, but so is $5 a day...What do you think is a fair wage to pay the babysitter?

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