When you’re looking for a way to make money, the best advice I have is to fix a problem for someone. And babysitting is a problem nearly every parent is looking to fill. Whether it’s for help while they work or for the occasional date night, good babysitting is always in demand.
I’m not going to tell you to open up a daycare in your home. (Though many stay at home moms that earn money tend to earn it this way.)
Without committing to a full time job, you can earn some extra cash being a part time or occasional babysitter. So let’s talk about some babysitting ideas you can use to earn a side income and cushion your account.
The Best Babysitting Ideas
Try these tips to maximize the income you can make in an evening.
Make a Plan
First up, let’s make a plan. When do you want to try your hand at babysitting? Choose a few open evenings or a weekend afternoon. You’ll need some flexibility. It wouldn’t do to have a solid plan only to find that no one needs you at that time.
Next, decide how many kids you can handle. If you don’t have much experience with kids, you should start with a small group. Begin by watching 2 or 3 kids, and make sure they aren’t all in diapers. You’ll find yourself quickly overwhelmed.
If you have experience with kids, you might already have babysitting ideas. Keep in mind that having kids closer in age will be simpler. They will have similar needs and tastes in things.
Now you need to decide how long you’ll have these kids. Remember, your goal is to make the parents happy. How long will they need to get a good date night in? Plan for having the kids for several hours.
Kids are always hungry, so you’ll want to have food on hand. Take some advice from my friend, Angie. She’s an expert at babysitting!
When babysitting on a weekend evening, kids will inevitably ask you to order pizza. To make sure you don’t break your budget, have fun snacks and treats on hand. Bagel bites and pizza rolls are always a hit, and nothing beats ice cream! Add a little chocolate syrup and some sprinkles to make it a sundae. Have a variety of movies, games, and activities ready to go, and you’re sure to be known as the “fun” sitter!
Ask about allergies beforehand, but most parents of children with allergies provide them with snacks to be sure they stay safe.
Kids are not complicated. If you keep them busy, you’ll do ok. If you give them too much free time, you’ll have bickering. So plan for more activities and games than you think you’ll need.
Find tons of activities for kids on my Pinterest board:
Choose Your Rates
Next you’ll need to decide what to charge. You need to find a balance between making enough to justify giving up an entire night and offering good value to parents who already have a tight budget.
You can find out what others in your area charge by checking out Care.com. Set up a profile by providing them some basic information. The sign up process is long, but there is a small “skip this step” link at the bottom of several pages to make it go more quickly. Then you can click on “Date Night” to see what other sitters charge.
Now that you have an idea of what others charge, you probably need to charge less. If you can fill the needs of parents who can’t otherwise afford to go out for a date, you’ll have a bigger market of customers to draw from. Besides, this isn’t going to be a full time job.
Balance out what you want to be paid for giving up a weekend night with the idea that you’re putting in a few hours of work to help fill your sinking fund.
Ultimately, the market will set your price. If you price too high, parents won’t be able to swing it, even if they are interested.
Spread the Word
Finally, it’s time to spread the good news. You’re offering a fun filled night for kids while their parents get a break! Tell people what night you are available and how much you’re charging.
Simple ways to get the word out:
- Facebook. It’s a favorite place for parents to connect! Keep your status settings open so others can easily share with their friends. If they can vouch for you as a good sitter, their friends are more likely to be interested.
- Care.com Care is a good choice for getting a wider audience. It’s more complicated to get set up and prove that you are a reliable person (with good reason!). This might be a better option if you try babysitting and decide to make date night sitting a regular part time job.
- Word of Mouth. Ask friends and family to spread the word. You can also put up flyers if you live in a small town.
Take These Steps:
- Decide the details of your babysitting job. Be ready to be flexible so you can serve as many families as possible.
- Make a plan for what you’ll do, how much you’ll charge, and how you’ll get the word out.
- Have a fun evening and bank the money you made!
This was day 16 in the Secure Your Savings and Find Peace in the New Year series. Go to the bottom of this post to find all the money saving and money making posts in this series!
Use these babysitting ideas for a successful evening.
And who knows? The family may be so grateful that they ask you to help out with a regular date night.
Have you done any babysitting?