save money on childcare
Updated April 19, 2020

How to Save Money on Childcare and Babysitting

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Having a new baby is a milestone, a life-changing rollercoaster of emotions filled with beautiful moments. We put some time into researching and finding out how to save money on childcare and babysitting with these easy 17 tips.

1. Enlist Family or Friends to Help You

Have you ever heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child? There are many benefits associated with this tactic.

  • Free childcare and babysitting
  • Your loved ones are taking care of your baby
  • It is a great opportunity for your family to bond with the new addition
  • You trust them more than anyone else so you will worry less
  • It reinforces family relationships.

Good to Know: Studies have shown grandparents live longer when they are closer to their grandbabies. You can use this as a selling point to get them onboard.

Pro Tip:  Check EverydayFamily and claim free baby stuff while accessing a wonderful community of caring parents, and a wealth of information. This one should be bookmarked.

2. Split the Babysitting Costs with a Friend

When you feel ready to get out there and socialize again, you will likely gravitate to friends who are also parents.

Benefits

  • You are cutting the cost in two which can be serious savings. If it costs $30 per hour to have a babysitter and you are planning to be out for 3 hours, that is a total of $90. Split it with a friend then you are only looking at $45 for 3 hours.
  • Your little one will get to spend time with friends
  • You get to double date with your friends.

Going out with friends who have children can be one of the best ways to relax, as you get to talk about similar experiences, share your potential similar issues, and vent to each other.

Pro Tip: Watch out for that extra drink or bag of chips. New mommies are always talking about the extra pounds! Did you know that we HealthyWage you can actually get paid to lose weight? You can earn up to $10,000 by joining challenges, or even creating your own challenge. See if your friends want to join you on a challenge.

3. Swap Babysitting with a Friend

This one is a freebie it can truly save money on childcare. This is a win-win-win scenario that helps both families to save money on childcare.

Benefits

  • Your children are with a trusted friend or relative
  • Free childcare and babysitting
  • Your friends get an opportunity to interact and bond with your child
  • You tend to worry less because you are leaving the child with a trusted person
  • Your child gets to play and interact with another child.

While we are on the subject of swapping, considering keeping your overall childcare costs down by swapping toys, clothes and other baby items with friends.

Take a look at these 17 places online where you can sell clothes for cash, and even tell your friends about it.

Pro Tip: An app like Decluttr can be super user-friendly to use, and you can sell anything from unwanted clothes, toys, DVDs, and accessories. With close to 1 million visitors a month, you will probably turn your unwanted items into cash quite fast.

4. Hiring a Pre-Teen or Teenage Babysitter

Plenty of pre-teens and teens are looking for ways to make some pocket money.

Benefits

  • Their rates are cheaper
  • They have more energy, so they are also more likely to sit down and play with your kids
  • They are usually available last minute.

Warning: Depending on your state laws there might be some requirement as the age of the pre-teen or teen, so make sure you check. It would also help if you know the parents and have some references when choosing this method to save on childcare costs.

Pro Tip: If you don’t know anyone you can hire from your community, or if everyone is busy we think Babysitters Registry might be a great alternative to locating a qualified babysitter.

5. Find School Daycare Program

Some schools offer several times a month “Parents Night Out” programs, making this an excellent way to save on babysitting.

Benefits

  • Cheaper than hiring a babysitter
  • Your child is in a familiar environment
  • Babysitters are certified and qualified
  • Your child likely knows other kids in the program, so it is more fun for them

Warning: The only drawback is that you need to coordinate with their schedule and not the other way around.

Bonus Perk: You can even drop of your little one and just return home to do some well needed house cleaning, relaxing or even organizing of your finances.

Pro Tips:  Check out this new app. It will help you save money without thinking about it, and you can use that cash to pay for the childcare costs and other expenses. Also, on your downtime, explore Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and find incredible savings using their coupons and discounts. You can get up to 40% cash back at over 2500 stores.

6. Drop-off Child Care Centers

This option is similar to the above, but it is not at the school your child goes too.

Benefits

  • Plenty of options that offer monthly services and hourly services.
  • This can be cheaper than a personal babysitter
  • Their average rates are around $9,50 per hour, and some of them offer late night services as well
  • They are well-equipped with certified staff.
  • They are packed with fun activities and learning opportunities for your child.

You can use drop-off services to get some time to yourself, to clean the house, meet with friends or to get some shopping done. If you are on maternity leave, and you have some extra time on your hands, you can even explore new ways to bring in cash while working from home.

Good to Know: Check out these 71 side business ideas that will help you earn a significant amount, and start building multiple streams of revenue.

Pro Tips: We recently discovered Cushion, a great app that will get your credit card fees and bank fees refunded. Give it a try, it is your money, why not get it back? You can also use this well-known app and rack up points that turn into gift cards! We heard a lot of good things about these guys, and their app is super user-friendly.

7. Date Nights In

This is another great option to save money on childcare. Instead of going out, drop your child off to a family member, friend or drop-off service, and return home to spend some quality time with your spouse.

Benefits

  • You save money on dinner in town
  • You can use that time to rewind, catch a good movie or cooking for just the two of you. You can even invite friends over.

Bonus Tip: If you get lucky and a friend or a family member can watch your child for free, then this is the ultimate savings situation!

Now let’s look at some ways to save or make money to help with your childcare costs.

8. Flexible Spending Account

Many employers offer the option of a flexible spending account. If you are a lucky one to have such an employer then you can take advantage of the full amount of $3000 per child with a maximum cap of $6000 per family, becoming a great method to save money on childcare.

You can take any money from your tax return due to the new family addition and save it for their college fund or their yearly child care need.

Pro Tip: If you need help with filing taxes, we recommend using H&R Block. They are experts at helping you file your taxes and claim any possible refunds. Highly recommended by millions of Americans.

9. Change Your Job

If you are looking for a new job, especially one that will allow you to stay home with kids so you do not have to worry about their child care cost there are plenty of options. Many parents are joining the new trend to work from home.

Benefits

  • You make your own schedule
  • You get to be around your kids more
  • You can create multiple streams of income
  • You don’t need to pay for a lot of babysitting

This is made possible because companies are looking into hiring remote employees to save money on their overhead expenses.

Extra Perk: Studies also have shown that people are more productive when they are placed on a task-oriented schedule compared to normal office hours.

Pro Tip: We strongly recommend you research this option further. Maybe even the company you work for will allow you to work remotely. To get yourself started read the complete guide to starting a money making business. You can also check out other possibilities. Follow this link to learn about 15 companies you can sell beauty products for and earn  a full-time living.

Good to Know: When you are home you also get an opportunity to explore some new hobbies. For stay at home moms make sure you read how you can find real online stay at home mom jobs to help you get acquainted with the “at home” industry.

10. Plan Your Family Growth

When starting a new family sometimes we are lucky enough and we can plan when the little ones will come along. Other times, they come un-announced. If you can help it, then plan accordingly.

Benefits of Having Babies Close Together:

  • Saves you money
  • Save on toys and clothes
  • Save on babysitting, tutoring and other activities

Benefits of Having Babies Far Apart:

  • The oldest can be our babysitter
  • Less fights in the house
  • The oldest can help the youngest with homework

11. Find a Part-Time Job

If the expenses are piling up, sometimes even with all the savings we end up needing extra cash coming in. Many parents take this opportunity to find a part-time job that can be done on your their own terms and hours.

Benefits

  • Additional revenue to ease some of that financial stress
  • A chance to try your hands at something new
  • New opportunities and people
  • An opportunity to learn something new.

This option can allow you to finally explore one of your hobbies and take it to the next level by doing it as a part-time job. For example, if you like photography, coaching, art or blogging, this is an amazing opportunity to capitalize on your interests.

Pro Tip: Check out this article with incredible ideas on 109 ways to make extra money.  If you are interested in getting your own blog going, you must explore Blogging Done Right for some great articles on how to get started, and how to optimize your blog.

12. Stay Home for a Year or Two

You will need to do some calculations and see if it is worth it for you to be away from home 8+ hours daily to make money so you can pay it all to daycare. Now if you have a high paying job, this might not be a good idea. Or if you are a career oriented individual, this option might take you a step back.

Benefits

  • It will give you a chance to re-evaluate your career options
  • You will save on childcare costs and babysitting cost
  • It will give you an opportunity to look into other ways to create money
  • You will have time to bond with your child more
  • You will get to witness a lot more milestones from your growing baby.

Pro Tip: While you are at home you can make a lot of cash by doing remote jobs and other freelancing projects. Anything from taking surveys, check out SurveyJunkie, to learning how to invest with investment apps. Also, we highly recommend you use Cushion, a bill negotiator app that helps you save money.

Good to Know: If you do decide to stay home for a while, it certainly does not mean that you will stop generating income. Check out these 31 best passive income ideas for 2019 and continue to bring in cash!

13. Familiarize Yourself with Money Saving Apps

We try to do our best to find ways for our readers to save money in every situation.

A Few Apps You Can Use: For new parents, saving is essential because it will allow you to have more money to spend on daycare and childcare overall. Sometimes finding cheap solutions for daycare is not an option so why not save money from other activities.

  • Shopkick: It pays you to simply walk into stores.
  • Dosh: An abundance of coupons, discounts, rebates and cash back programs. Definitely add this one on your list of favorite apps and watch your savings grow.
  • Decluttr: When times comes for you to get rid of all the unwanted toys, outgrown baby clothes and other unwanted items, this is a top- rated option! Millions of visitors monthly get to sell and buy used items.
  • Pocketsmith: This is a must! Your own virtual personal assistant to help you with budgeting, saving and planning your expenses.

14. Barter Services

Everyone is great at something. Many people swap services with others, instead of paying cash.

Benefits

  • There is no money involved in the transaction
  • You get an opportunity to share something you are good at
  • You become part of a bigger community which is beneficial to the kid and yourself
  • It reinforces good relationships
  • It sets a great example for your kids to see their parents cooperating with others.

Once they make the decision to try a new system, many parents like to build a blog around it. It helps share with an audience, it keeps you accountable, it allows you to connect with other who might be exploring similar concepts, and if done right, you can generate a lot of money from your blog.

Pro Tip: You will always have the option to monetize your blog, and this can bring you extra cash on an ongoing basis. Here is a way you can learn how to monetize your blog with over 100 money making methods.

Good to Know: Here are a couple of useful tools you can use, if you are thinking of building a blog.

  • Bluehost: Is one of the largest website hosting providers and powers millions of websites. Learn more about our secure and reliable hosting services today and get your blog started. There are so many ways to monetize your blog once you start going.
  • Fiverr: Is huge marketplace for freelancers where you can buy any design or other services you need from professionals around the world! Millions use Fiverr daily to build businesses or buy services.

15. Plan Ahead for Summer Care

Planning ahead is crucial, especially for new parents. Let’s assume that you have figured out the daily grind routine and you managed to get yourself at a place where you are now saving on childcare and everyone is happy.

Warning: Summer is an entirely different situation. Many babysitters are off vacationing, and many drop-off centers are now closed for the school year.

Suggestions on Summer Care:

Depending on your local options, make sure you search well ahead of time because the cheaper, quality option do fill up first.

Pro Tip: We recommend beginning looking no later than March, for June / July enrollment.

16. Get Paid While You Lose That Baby Weight

Most new mommies are looking for ways to get back in shape. Even if we are in good shape, maintaining our figure with all those new extra yummy children snacks around becomes hard.

We spoke to a few moms who said that even though they lost all the pregnancy way, they ended up putting back on just by finishing their kids food after every meal.

Good to Know: We searched for a good solution that can help you lose those extra pounds and bring in some extra money to cover the childcare and babysitting costs. Make money while losing weight by creating your own challenge or joining existing weight-loss challenges. Let your friends know about this and create your own challenge.

17. Combination Method

While we just listed a lot good options to either save money on childcare, we also listed some great ways to bring in extra money. We also believe that saving money is extremely helpful.

If you have the ability to combine a majority of the above tips, you will get the best results in saving money on babysitting, generating extra income, and even losing weight while making money.

Pro Tip: Something we didn’t have an opportunity to expand on is the investing option. If you do find yourself home, looking for ways to make more money we strongly suggest that you begin exploring various investing options. The sooner you start the sooner you can retire.

  • Wealthsimple : Is a great place to start.. It is investing on an autopilot, which is great for beginners or busy parents who have no time to do their due diligence. Especially with a new addition to the family, getting a head start on saving for their future needs and education can be a huge relief.
  • Ally Invest: For more savvy investors we recommend you give Ally Invest a try.

Before we close the article we also want to mention Betterment, which is another gem when it comes to investing.

Comment below and share with us clever hacks you do to save money on childcare, babysitting, make extra money or even invest!

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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