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Does having an Au Pair makes financial sence???(11 Posts)
I decided to go back to work after my children startded school and found that childcare after work and in holiday time was well out of my price range. We made some calculations and decided to go for an au pair as have a spare room. What a bliss. I know that kids are looked after well and the money out is actually less than money I earn(unlike before when we exceeded my salary by about £150 p/m).
You seem to have answered your own question Mila. Given that you had a post deleted a few days ago for advertising, I'd be careful where you're going with this thread!
I was not going anywhere just wanted to help them as I went through few agencies and they were the business for me. Times are hard and every little helps. Oh well it was worth a try.
Don't under estimate the hidden costs. You may need to up your broadband if they are skyping a lot, cost of food extra electric for their room and washing extra water etc. I paid my au pairs £75 per week, but reckon in truth they cost in total about £700 per month.
It is early days for us so will see what the TRUE cost is. Will keep an eye on the level of washing powder. Thanks for the tip
It made huge financial sense for me. I paid mine £80 per week and fed them. If you are somewhere that you don't need a car driver, then you are on to a real winner. If you need them to drive a car, it is worth factoring in the additional insurance. I drive knackered old bangers, but it really pushed up my car insurance costs.
I didn't find my heating or hot water were much more, I guess the washing machine probably did a few more loads each month - but I don't think that was too significant.
So food went up a little, probably £40 per month, car insurance went up an additional £30 per month, maybe gas & electric were a tiny bit more per year, lets say £10 per month to be generous. Petrol was more, about £80 per month. So if you add the aupair costs, plus the extra costs, for me it was a monthly cost of: £500. I couldn't source another form of childcare (which included 2 nights of babysitting per week) any cheaper than that.
That was what we thought. After getting stressed if we will be on time to pick the kids up from childminders an jumping to their every whim and I am not mentioning the cost we didn't even got a night out. So with the au pair we are laughing. Alhtough will keep an eye on cost but doubt wt will be more than childminders put together.
I agree about the hidden costs.. i would consider the following when choosing and au pair and how you progress when you have one..
meals.. special dietary needs or needs different to your own. current ap is on a low carb diet, so eats allot o meat (expensive) wont eat the cheap meals I make like pasta and sauce or j. potatoes. previous ap only ate chicken, another drank gallons of coke. Ap doesn't tell me if she is in or out fro dinner, so food often wasted or not enough = grumpy husband.
electric and internet, ap's love the net.. we have had to up ours alot. we ahve solar panels and (in aus) yield power during the day that we earn more for then it costs us to use at night.. so washing machine etc should go on at night.. ap will not do this!
car insurance and accidents, be wary! it costs allot of money if you have to pay excess for a young driver.
water for us, we have tank water and ap uses huge amount in long showers.. expensive.
mobile phone provision. in addition to wages, presents at xmas, birthdays etc.
fuel in the car (we are soft and provide this)
Definitely cheaper financially than a live in nanny whatever way you cut it.
However (and this ranty) if you are providing the cultural component too the cost in terms of privacy, personal time with your spouse and family etc can be high (esp initially when they are settling in.) So, this is what is important to weigh up. You can't expect these girls to come over, get paid what they do, and totally be out of your hair for the whole year. It sometimes works out that way that you get a really independent one but frequently they need more from you.
health warning: we always struggle this time of year during the settling in period before the APs get a bit more independence.
Ever year at this time we ask ourselves if we need to try harder to find a live out after school only nanny who can do all the afternoons for us.
So it's important to think about what you can offer them emotionally/in terms of time before you embark on this sort of thing.
For our au pairs we are conscious this is their 'big year' abroad that I feel guilty every night when I just want to read my kindle and veg out.
LadyHarriet, that is why I finally stopped. Had aupairs for 7 years & as the DCs got older, the help from the aupair started to be outweighed by the huge early input required to get them settled. I've moved on to a childminder for after school pick ups and I'm paying about the same (after all the additional costs have been factored in) each month, without any babysitting or help with the housework. All swings & roundabouts really.
Other additional costs are family trips, eg going out for dinner, cinema, theatre, day out to a museum etc. Au pair usually has to pay full price for tickets, so it is only fair that the family pays that for her (as she is part of the family).
I also find that extra heating could be quite significant in the winter (somebody being all the time at home, hence heating on 24 hrs). Food is also quite a bit higher, but that is in part because we always get some treats for her for during the weekend when she has friends to stay plus have to feed the friends of course.
Still well worth it though.
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