You need to get out of the house. Maybe it’s date night, or your anniversary. Maybe you’ve just wiped up the last bit of excrement you’re prepared to encounter tonight. You need a babysitter.
But how much that babysitter costs you per hour has a lot to do with where you live. In Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, and Wyoming, you could be paying as much as $16 per hour for an evening to yourself, according to average salary data collected by Indeed.com. If you live in Texas, Georgia, or Ohio, however, you could be saving cash to spend on the town.
Sometimes it’s worth shelling out a few extra dollars for a babysitter. SitterCity recommends paying your babysitter an extra dollar or two on top of the base rate for each additional child (we all know that more children means more work). It also makes sense to pay more for an experienced nanny who is certified in CPR and First Aid, than your buddy’s 16-year-old. But you should be able to get out of the house without spending more than $20 per hour, unless you have many, rambunctious children. Even in the most pricey states, average babysitter salaries seldom surpass $16/hour
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One odd quirk of the Indeed.com data is that the most expensive babysitters don’t seem to live in states known for particularly high costs of living or particularly generous minimum wages. That’s atypical. Generally, you can expect the costs of childcare to increase in areas that have more working parents, higher minimum wages, higher transportation costs, and higher costs of living.