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Aupair costs - how much for extra food and utilities?(13 Posts)
I'm considering getting an aupair but was wondering how much to allow for feeding them and additional household costs
A live out mothers help might be an alternative for us but the cash outlay is higher
It does depend on the au pair.
Our costs have never gone up massively - in fact, I haven't even noticed a material change to our food or electricity bill. But we have had very considerate au pairs who use skype for their phone calls and don't do things like eat through the fridge on a weekly basis. You hear stories like this from time to time but I think it's the exception rather than the rule.
In contrast - when i was on maternity leave our heating etc went up astronomically!!!! Silly yank, liked it v warm, now I am totally a svetr girl.
The thing I actually noticed was the amount of washing powder they used (all 3 APs). I always thought hey they are young and will put the machine on for a single item that they wore for 5 minutes.
I would allow an extra £100 - £150 per month. I was quite considerate with the au pair we had and used to ask her what she would prefer to eat, so I bought extra breakfast cereals, lunchy bits and even meals to help her feel more at home. Some of them as mentioned will have no consideration that they are not the only ones in the house and can go through (say 1 weeks of fruit in 2/3 days).
Just pick a thin au pair. They won't eat much.
On a more serious note, we bought a few extra things at the supermarket for our au pairs but not that much that we really noticed the extra money. And I don't think there were any additional household costs.
I disagree that you will not notice the additional cost.
It is an extra adult in your home and you are feeding them 3 meals a day plus silly extras like additional toilet roll and soap etc. We budgeted an extra £50 a week and it has worked out that way. We once had a Czech girl who literally ate me out of house and home and that was very stressful but most are normal. They eat the same as us but because they are young and energetic even thin ones have bigger portions but that is only natural I think with the amount of running around and sport they do with my DC.
Jules I remember your Czech ap stories.
i just haven't noticed it. but then our shopping bills have probably been more than they need to be for some time now.
the main thing I would watch out for is someone who leaves the heat on all day whether they're home or not.
I'd be inclined to say if you're that worried about the extra costs, an aupair possibly isn't for you. Mine have always cost me loads more, and that's because they are (or should be) part of the family, and absolutely not just a paid babysitter and so I buy train tickets, museum tickets, meals out for all day trips. When we go away for a few days, I pay for two hotel rooms rather than one so she can come too. When we get another aupair, we'll run a second car for her to use with the children and that's more expense! When a previous aupair wanted to do a particular course, I paid for it. I also bought cheap gym membership so she'd have somewhere to swim when the kids were at school/nursery.
How miserable if they are expected to live on nothing and not even have the heat on for them in the daytime
You may not be paying them much but that's just supposed to be pocket money for them. You should treat them like a big sister to your own children and never leave them behind on a family day out (if they want to join in that is!!).
My eldest girl is very close to her aupairs and we have been to stay with them since they left us, and were similarly welcomed into their extended family (in fact, I think the parents on one of them would adopt my DC in a heartbeat - they fell over themselves to spoil her!) That's the best thing about aupairs really, they do just become a part of the family on both sides.
OP - Everyone's lifestyle and standard of living is different.
Many people could not afford all of the things that cordy mentions in particular the car (when it's not a job requirement) or the courses, although they do sound delightful!
If you can't, don't worry about it. Just make sure they realise what they've signed up to in terms of where you are located, what the position entails, and what your lifestyle is like (esp if it's not an endless stream of museum visits and holidays at the weekends). Then they can decide for themselves if it suits. I have a feeling one girl we looked at this year preferred NOtting Hill to where we are in East London and that's just the way it goes.
What you also haven't aske but is worth noting is that APs are not just considered 'big sisters' anymore they have employment rights the same as any other worker in terms of things like paid holiday, and tax and NI over certain pay threasholds etc. Many AP agenices are badly informed on this frotn. This might have some bearing on whether you'd prefer just to get a mother's help already based in the UK.
We found that it depended on the au pair - the average was about £35 a month increase in electricity, more in heating oil, around £50 a week on the food bill but we also paid for gym membership, their petrol use, car insurance (that can be a big cost) and entrance fees/meals out when we went out as a family.
The most expensive au pair we had (also the thinnest ) doubled our monthly food bill, at one point cost us £135 a week in heating oil (and still sat on top of the Aga complaining of the cold), and in the short time she was with us, had several visitors stay here (mum, sisters, boyfriend) and we ended up feeding all of them. I could probably have hired a live-out nanny for the same cost!
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