Baby Sitting Swap: Keeping your Date Cheap

Last week we talked about getting out with the one you fell in love with. If you missed it you can see the article here. I find that babysitting instantly puts me over my budget before I leave the house. I think we can only be gone for three hours so where can we go? It takes 30 minutes to get to “town” so we are geographically limited if we stick to our budget. I was elated when one of my readers brought to my attention a baby sitting swap. I asked he,r” How does this concept work?” She agreed to share with you the idea that a group of people put together.

Thank you, Sarah Norris & Heather Chandler we appreciate your help in stretching our budget and the time I can spend we can spend with our  spouses.

Times are a changing. Turns out the going rate for a babysitter in our area these days is $10 per hour Certainly much more than I made as a babysitter many years ago.  This realization, on top of the astronomical expenses related to raising children along with the desperate need to spend time with the person that helped get me into this joyous parenthood situation, was the inspiration for the answer to it all…BABY BUCKS.

Baby Bucks is like a co-op, a club designed to provide parents with free time without the expense of child care. Our club was founded in December 2010 and remains in operation with a core group of four families.  These families were handpicked by my neighbor (and fellow Baby Bucks founder) and I based on similar parenting styles, location, and availability. We highly recommend the group start out small so kinks can be worked out during the beginning stages. After a three month trial period, our members will evaluate the program and determine if any new members should be invited. Potential members must be approved by all current members before being asked to join (a benefit to being a founding group member, we get to make the rules).  Speaking of rules, here is a list of our rules, which are given in writing to each member family.

  • Each baby buck is worth 1 hour, per child
  • Baby buck payment is due upon pick up
  • Try to limit baby buck use to three hours or less per time
  • Please do not be late.  15 minute grace period.  After that $5 late fee per every 15 minutes.
  • When care is needed simply ask a member of the group.  Continue asking until an available member is secured.
  • Parent responsible to provide diaper bag and sippy cup or bottle.  Meals and snacks provided by provider.
  • Parents responsible to share allergy information, etc. with provider.

Of course, rules should be modified to best fit the needs of the group. Each family started with ten baby bucks each. To earn more bucks, you have to babysit for others. This keeps it fair and assured that one person isn’t taken advantage of.  So far our Baby Bucks program has provided for many date nights out while avoiding pocket book strain.  The only thing better than going out and not paying for a baby sitter is going out and knowing your children are having a blast at their friend’s house.

There are a lot of great local deal sites where you can find something new and exciting to do without breaking the bank.

  • Buy With Me
  • EverSave
  • Groupon
  • LivingSocial
  • MamaPedia
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