Why Babysitting is an Awesome Side Hustle

I babysit as a side hustle. I watch two kids that live fairly close to where I work. It works out perfectly, because I get off at 4:00 and I start babysitting at 4:30 a couple of days a week.

There are, of course, downfalls. First of all, babysitting doesn’t pay as much as some other side hustles. I charge $12/hr, but I know I could make more doing something else. Also, it’s unpredictable. Sometimes, I don’t babysit for the full week, sometimes it’s four nights a week. And then, of course, there are the diapers. Yuck. Luckily, I came in when only one was still in diapers, but it’s still an unpleasant task.


But it’s worth it, because it’s a pretty awesome gig. Here’s why:

Free Food

Who doesn’t love free food? The parents usually make something the night before and put it in the fridge for heat up for the kids. I have only had to make them something once, and it was a grilled cheese, so it’s easy.

Plus, that’s an extra night a week that you don’t have to pay for groceries or food.

It's a Spending Deterrent

These kids have a pretty solid and unshakeable routine, which means that I don’t take them out much except for a short jaunt to the park.

Therefore, I don’t spend money while I’m babysitting. At all. I don’t have time to go through even a drive thru between work and babysitting, and while I’m watching the kids, we don’t go anywhere that would dictate that I would spend money.

When I used to work in a mall, I used to go to the food court all the time for Orange Julius, or pop into my favourite store on my break to see what I could buy.

Kids are Fun

Besides the tantrums which happen every once and awhile, kids are hilarious. I have a lot of fun with them. Playing with kids is much  more fun than talking to grumpy customers, so that’s a huge bonus. They’re always making up games or playing tag or dancing, which always makes me smile.

Of course, there are some people out there that don’t like kids, so this gig wouldn't be for you.


Kids are active, and so they should be. Even toddlers need exercise (and quite a lot of it by the governments standards). So chasing after tots, playing tag, giving piggy backs and even just holding a baby is all good for the body

Getting Other Stuff Done

The kids I watch go to bed around 8:30-9:00, which leaves me a couple of hours to blog, go on social media, do homework, answer email, or even just hang out and watch TV.

This is a huge reason why I love babysitting, actually.

Even before the kids go to bed, it’s not hard to get stuff done. When they are watching their nightly half an hour of cartoons, I get myself organized with my laptop; the other day, I updated my resume while they were zoning out on Toopy and Binoo.


Would you ever babysit for extra cash? 



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46 thoughts on “Why Babysitting is an Awesome Side Hustle

  1. A friend of mine does this for a quite well off family he knows.

    He's the manager at the nursery the kids go to, so they know and trust him. He gets paid well from it, enjoys it and it gives him some extra weekend money to spend on his family!

  2. When I read how much babysitters get paid these days I think it turns me into a crotchety old woman even though I haven't yet hit the big three-oh.  "When I was babysitting I got paid $3/hour and was usually watching several kids!"  Makes me sound like I should be shaking a cane as I'm saying it when really it was just a little over a decade ago that I thought going home with $24 in my pocket after running around with three kids at the pool and park and eating Top Ramen with them all day made me rich.  And $12/hour isn't even a lot.  I have friends with little kiddos and they easily spend $20+/hour some nights if they're trying to secure a guaranteed, reliable sitter.  

    Are high school kids not willing to babysit anymore?  Or are parents more paranoid and don't want to trust their kids in the care of a 16-year old?  I feel like there's got to be a reason for the insane inflation in babysitting rates over the last decade.  

    1. Post author

      Most high school kids have other jobs, in my experience. Also, they aren't typically allowed to stay out babysitting until 12:30 AM on a school night.

  3. I babysit as well! The kids make me tired but they also make me happy 🙂 Kids are so happy and they spread that happiness with their smiles 🙂
    I only babysit for one family, and they give $8-$10. But they also pay for my gas and food.
    It's not hard.
    My sister in law, all she does is babysit. She makes $15 an hour. She doesn't even have to pay taxes, social security, or medicaid!

  4. Babysitting can be a great gig for the right person. Saying that, I'm not the right person. 🙂 I've never babysat a kid in my life (well, I did have to watch my sisters for one weekend a few months back) and I really don't plan on it. While I don't mind kids, I'm not sure I really have the patience at this point in my life. lol.

  5. My sister-in-law works at a day care, which doesn't pay well, but as a result, the parents of the kids often ask her to sit for them when they need someone on weekends or evenings. And, she's got a couple that pay really well, like $20/hr and they always give her a big tip.

  6. I used to babysit my step brother when I was in high school. It wasn't that much work and I basically just did what I wanted to do and brought him along. I think I made like $100/week. I don't think I could do this as a side hustle though, especially if it involved diapers. Ick.

  7. We'll be paying $9/hr for a college student during the day starting in the fall (looking after the baby and doing light cleaning while one of us is at home). But we live in a small town (that's $1 over the standard rate).

  8. I tried it but it's not for me. I like to do things on my own and have a set schedule all the time. Plus I couldn't babysit for more than 2 hours...I'd go crazy. It's probably cuz I've babysat my little bro and sis since they were kids (we have a huge 9 year and 13 year age gap).

  9. My girlfriend babysits from time to time but she definitely doesn't get 12 an HR. It is still nice to make the extra money and isn't hard it just takes some time out of your dayif you had other tasks to so.

  10. I babysat throughout my childhood, starting at age 11. I have to ask -- is it still awesome to snoop through the kitchen after the kids have gone to bed? Because that was my favorite part, hands down.

  11. Debt Free Teen

    Nope,,,don't think I'll ever babysit for extra cash. I don't have any experience with little kids and diapers...yuck! I find writing jobs on Elance for extra cash.

  12. I babysat all through college at $10-12 an hour and I sacrificed many a Saturday to babysit. Made a bunch of money, and was able to pay for a trip to Australia all by myself : )
    I babysat after college too to supplement my income. I think I'm done though : )

  13. Babysitting and pet sitting are two side gigs I'm currently advertising on Kijiji. We got our first pet sitting gig this weekend, and as soon as our last weekend trip is over in August, we're putting up tons of posters in the neighbourhood.

    I have three kids of my own, and I actually adore the infant stage - please let me look after your baby! (No, I don't want more, I just loved that phase).

    But $12/hour? Wow, I'm undercharging!

    Good for you for setting up a great side hustle you really enjoy. 🙂

  14. Ew never. Kids are gross. 😉

    I've babysat my friends' kids for $20 for the whole day! I know that everything in Canada costs more, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but 12/hr is pretty good money for babysitting, Daisy!

  15. My sisters used to tear up babysitting! It's a great side gig! $12/hr? You must be really awesome! 🙂 I think the last time we had a sitter she only charged us like $6 per hour.

  16. Well the last time I babysat I was just a teenager. But I'm not a big fan of children...so that's kind of a problem. But hey if you like them, I think it's a great side gig!

  17. ahh Toopy and Binoo, my nieces and nephews go crazy for that show. I wish I could turn babysitting into a side gig, I've got 13 nieces and nephews so I'd have a steady stream of income. But unfortunately it seems like money isn't in the equation when it comes to family members so I usually end up giving away my babysitting services for free or in exchange for a dinner out that never happens.

  18. Hey I think that sounds like you got a good deal with that hustle! I am sure the kids are a great way to loosen up and have some fun - the free food is awesome and also the fact you get paid to blog later on when they go to bed! The actual value to you is much higher that the $12 per hour that you get in cash. 🙂

  19. I never thought about the exercise aspect. Tempting, but too much. Not a huge fan of toddlers. Babies that I don't have to change, yes. Kids that are fund to play with, yes. Everything else, ehh.

  20. Awesome gig, dude. I would hate to babysit right now becuase my own 2 girls exhaust me! But before I had kids? It would've been pretty awesome. They'll keep you young, that's for sure. And since you don't have to pay for dinner those nights, you really are making more than $12/hour!

  21. I do agree with you however I had some really bad babysitting experiences that have kind of made me never want to do it again. Babysitting four kids under the age of 5 is no worth $5 an hour. I'm sure rates have gone up since I was 16 but still, I don't know if I could go back to babysitting.

  22. No. I'd never baby-sit.

    Not because I think it's a bad gig... Au contraire, I think anyone who can do it is awesome. In fact, depending on the kid, some should be getting +100/hr!

    I'd be a horrible baby-sitter! Kids drive me insane!! 😯

  23. My wife did this through college. It was a great income our first year of marriage, espeically sinece I was the only one working and made only $14 an hour! I helped out as well once we got married, and really enjoyed the kids we babysat. Now that I have a 6-month-old in cloth diapers (and just started on solids), you can't phase me 🙂 And good call on the exercise. You can't sit down if you're working with 2-3 year old. NOPE!

  24. It sounds like a great way to make some extra cash, but I don't think I could do it. I'm not much of kid person (even though I have one) so I don't think I would be much fun for the kids.

    Nice side hustle though. 🙂

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  27. It's my first time to your blog (found you through twitter!) and this is a great post. I babysit one really sweet 6 year old and it's perfect because he is really well behaved, goes to bed early, and the money usually helps me with groceries or buys me a meal out once a week as a treat! I also teach one dance class and blog and write and fun stuff like that. I can't seem to keep still, lol.

    Looking forward to reading more of your site!
    Budget Blonde

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  32. Renee S

    I just started reading your blog today and I am upset I didn't find you sooner! I have a babysitting side hustle, too. I found some clients on care.com. I babysit one family (2 kids) 2-3 times a week for $12 an hour and another family on occasional weekends (1 child) for $10 bucks/hr. I love it!

    1. Post author

      I've never heard of care.com! I haven't been babysitting for some time now but it's a lot of fun and if you are just breaking out into the side hustle world, it's a great way to make extra money.

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