Okay, we all love date night if it is possible to swing it, especially during a recession. There’s nothing better than a fun night out with your hubby and maybe some friends. You have just enjoyed a fabulous dinner and now you are on your way home. This is always the low point of the night. Trying to calculate how much you owe the sitter. Not that it’s not worth every penny… but how nice would it be to skip over this step? It is hard to justify sometimes when you are trying to cut back on expenses. Although, I had a counselor once tell me that it is much less expensive than a divorce :). So don’t skip your date night!
By the time you have dinner and/or a movie, and paid a sitter, you have easily spent over $100. I remember my MIL suggesting a babysitting swap once when I was complaining about the expense. We have no family in town so we always rely on babysitters. She said all the moms in her neighborhood would do this and they had some sort of system involving tokens. The tokens were a way to keep track of how many hours you had swapped and had to use. I guess I blew it off at the time because I wasn’t really digging the idea of watching more kids. But as time progressed and a neighbor brought up the subject, the idea became less daunting. The thought of getting out of the house, without feeling guilty about spending a fortune seemed quite attractive as well.
I have successfully swapped with neighbors and friends. If it is at night, then we just get the kids ready and in bed so all the other person has to do is get to your house, sit and relax. Hey, we pay sitters a decent wage to come and watch TV. I think this is a great way to help each other out, whether it’s date night or to get to the grocery store or doctor’s office.
I know I have been a little off my green topics lately but I think this still fits in as one of the 3 R’s. Reduce, reuse, recycle. You are definitely reducing expenses here, right? So let us know if you have successfully organized a babysitting swap and what has proven to be successful for your group. If you haven’t tried it then give it a shot. Ask a friend or neighbor and I bet you will be surprised at how easy it is.
My mom and her friends did this all the time when raising me and my brothers. I wonder where this type of thing faded away…. Glad to hear it works for you!