Thrifty Tip # 25: Join or Start a Babysitting Club

One of the best things we ever did when our kids were small was join a babysitting club.  Without the club, my husband and I would almost never have gone out. 

Here's how it worked:
  • There were about 25 local families in the club but we usually babysat for, or used as baby sitters, families that we knew well.
  • The geographical boundaries of the club were clearly defined, so no one had to travel too far
  • Those who babysat  received points for each hour that they worked.  The same number of points was subtracted from the points tally of the babysittees. Bonus points were given for sits in December and for sits that ended after 12.30 am.
  • Anyone who had a high point score was encouraged to use up some points by going out.  Likewise, anyone with a negative balance was encouraged to do some babysitting.
  • The member families took it in turns to look after the club books, which involved finding sitters for anybody who rang needing one.  We looked after the club books for one month every two years or so.
  • The children being babysat had to be bathed and ready for bed when the sitter arrived, the dishes had to be washed, and supper was left for the sitter - it was heaven!
Now that my eldest three kids are teenagers, I have home-grown babsitters for my youngest son, so I don't need a club anymore.

However, I would thoroughly recommend either joining or starting a club for anyone who has little kids and no family nearby to help out.

Have you ever been involved in a babysitting club?

This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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