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Splitting the Babysitter Tab

Mommy Dearest: Friend Doesn't Pay Babysitter's Fee

Mommy Dearest,

A friend and I occasionally use the same babysitter when we spend an afternoon together. Like many nanny share situations, we split the rate in half making it less expensive for us both. The sitter's rate to watch one child is $15 and $20 to watch two. The days and times are not set in stone, but my friend usually drops her child off at my house one or two afternoons a week so we can lunch or take an afternoon excursion. When she picks up her daughter, she sometimes gives me the money to give to the sitter, but often claims that she will "get me next time."

While I don't want to seem rude or stingy, I've been stuck paying her portion of the bill several times. Not wanting to ruffle any feathers, I haven't asked her to reimburse me. Is there a way I can do this tactfully while making it known that I don't want it to happen again?

— Seeking Fee Equality

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,


Seeking Fee Equality,

It seems your friend has put you in a pickle. What started out as a convenient and fun exercise of frugality has turned into a more expensive and stressful situation for you. Your friend, however, is making out like a bandit! To take the pressure off of you and bring the equality back to the table, try these tips.

Before heading back to the house, ask her if she needs to stop and get money for the sitter. You may also suggest your pal have a conversation with the caretaker about how the nanny prefers payment — daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc. If she continues to falter at payment time, ask her to pick up your lunch tab or pay your portion of the care since she owes you one. She will get the hint that sticking the bill to you is not kosher. If she continues to skip out on the finances, I would propose she hire another nanny altogether.

— Mommy Dearest

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