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Side Hustle Series: I’m a Babysitter

by J. Money on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

funny baby ipod headphones
(Guest Post)

I’m Me from Me in Millions, and I’m hustling as a babysitter on the side.

I love to side hustle. Even though I’m not paying off debt, I love the extra wiggle room that a few extra bucks gives me. Also, I love purses.

At the beginning of the school year, I started babysitting for Munchkin, a 7-year old girl. It’s been a fun way to add an extra $120+ a month to my income. I pick her up from school a few days a week and then we go back to her house, have a snack and play. Her family is great and allow me to be very flexible with my hours, provided that I give them enough notice.  As a twenty-something with limited access to small children (none of my own yet!), I’ve learned a lot of life lessons from Munchkin which I periodically share on my blog. I’ve also learned a bit about how to have a babysitting side hustle which I’ll share with you now.

How do you find babysitting jobs?

I was already friends with Munchkin’s family and had a great relationship with Munchkin before her family asked me to babysit, so that was a huge help. However, my sister regularly babysits a few families who she met from Craigslist or Sittercity. Other places to get the word out are your local church or synagogue and just general word of mouth. Once you start babysitting for one family and they’re happy with you, you can ask them to help spread the word. Also, babysitting during playdates is another great way to get to know other families and kids.

How do I make myself more marketable?

If you are planning to sit for families that you don’t already have a personal relationship with, you should definitely look into getting a background check. It will make them feel more secure that you aren’t a child molester and will probably help you be a more desirable candidate. Also, if you are a child molester, this probably isn’t a good side hustle for you. Just sayin.

What kind of person should do this side hustle?

Someone who loves (or at least tolerates) kids. It’s not all games and snacks, sometimes there are temper tantrums and tears, but overall it is more fun than work.

What should I charge?

Ask around in your area because it varies a lot. Some sitters charge different amounts for weekend nights versus school afternoons. Munchkin’s family generally pays me $30-$45 for an afternoon of sitting which ranges 2.5-4 hours.

Just a warning, there are horror stories about bad situations from meeting dishonest people from the internet who aren’t really looking for sitters. Use good sense when meeting a family for the first time. Set up an interview in a public place, if possible and ALWAYS tell someone else where you’ll be. These situations are few and far between, but you should trust your judgment when it comes to a family. If they seem shady, they probably are. There are so many families out there who need babysitters, don’t waste your time with a family with children who are always disobedient, who don’t pay you what (or when) they say they will or who you just get a bad feeling about.

Good luck with your side hustle!

Have any other questions? Ask them in the comments and I’ll try to respond!

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This is part of our Side Hustle Series.  If you’d like to share your own story with us – let me know! Always looking for more ways to bring in that extra cash ;)

(Baby pic by TedsBlog)


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 me in millions December 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

Thanks for featuring my story :)

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2 Clare December 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

I love the Side Hustle Series. :)

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3 J. Money December 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Thanks for giving us the inside scoop ME! Totally had flashbacks being a babysitter myself… back when I lived in Korea. and I had to take cabs everywhere not understanding the language! (and for some reason my cabbies ALWAYS fell asleep at the stop lights… so freaky).

@Clare – glad you enjoy them :) More to come!

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4 Donna Freedman December 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I still babysit now and then. A few years ago I did it more often because it was like getting paid to study: I’d put the kids to bed at 7:30 or 8 p.m. and then do course reading or my Spanish homework. Here in Seattle I’ve been paid $10 to $12 an hour.
I used to tell parents I was the best babysitter EVER because I drove myself there and back, I didn’t turn on the television, I read stories and played games, I straightened up the living room and kitchen after they were in bed, and I never called boys (not even once).

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5 J. Money December 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

hahaha… what are you, an angel??? :)

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6 Donna Freedman December 10, 2010 at 12:36 am

Only when I’m babysitting. The rest of my time is my own — and occasionally the devil’s.

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7 J. Money December 11, 2010 at 4:36 pm

haha, nice.

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8 Lindsay January 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I put myself through University working as a nanny. Best job ever! I got to love 4 children and watch them grow and I made $20/hour. Good money back then! :)

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9 J. Money January 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

hehe, good money now too! children are awesome. although your own are usually awesome’er ;)

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