5 obstacles I face getting paid as a Nanny
I’ve been a Nanny for over 3 years now often working for 4–5 families at a time. Needless to say weekly invoicing is a chore.
Juggling my ever-changing roster meant I had to be extremely organised and efficient in keeping records because disorganisation meant I didn’t get paid. I take the blame there but I was surprised, as time went on, at how many other barriers there are for a Nanny just to get paid.
Unsurprisingly these problems I encountered were all too common in the industry. One need only look on the many online Nanny forums to see the same issues around payments discussed again and again.
Work that involves caring for children doesn’t typically attract the hard nosed business types
The main issue is that Nannies typically work for themselves which means they must represent themselves in negotiating rates of pay and when and how’ll they’ll be paid. No small task. And with work that involves caring for children not typically the domain of the hard nosed business types it’s no surprise negotiating standards of pay is not a skill typically found on a Nanny’s resume.
Too often I see Nannies who lack the confidence to talk about money and who are simply unable to manage their invoicing, period.
And unfortunately in some cases, nannies are taken advantage of and go without pay completely.
Here are the five main reasons why I think it’s hard to get paid as a nanny or babysitter.
1. Parents Lead Busy Lives
I am constantly in awe of my parents and how they lead such busy lives juggling a career alongside a family. It’s not a question of if they can afford to pay me, it’s a question of them finding the time to process the payment. It’s awkward having to follow up on payment, especially when it reaches the point of “I’m really sorry but my rent is due…” desperation. The funny thing is when it becomes urgent, the money is transferred immediately, until then it’s just not a priority for these highly professional people.
2. I Hate Talking About Money
Seriously, I hate it. I can’t count the number of times I’m left staring at a Mum and Dad who are looking at me with their wallet’s open asking “How much again?”. I then scramble calculations in my head and often, I pull out the calculator to figure out the right amount. It’s not just the on the spot conversations but also the conversations of “Why was it that much?”. It’s hard remembering times and dates and the longer parents leave the payment the foggier that information becomes. Whatever the situation, I don’t enjoy having this conversation!
3. My Current Invoicing System Is Time Consuming
Sitting down each week with my scribbled roster, I attempt to map out my weekly pay across 5 families. Most of my work changes on a week to week basis but some is regular ongoing work and I am unable to set up recurring payments. This means that I’m left re-entering the same information again and again. Remembering a full week is almost impossible without calendar organisation and weekly invoicing means that some invoices land into inboxes days after the service is rendered resulting in further obstacles (See point 1 and 2).
4. Those One Off Random Babysitting Gigs
We’ve all been there as nannies. We get a lead on a job for a family we haven’t met before. After a short introduction, Mum and Dad are off to date night and I get to work with the kids and home. Hours later the parents are home and having had such a great time, they’ve forgotten to get cash. This means that the payment moves to bank transfer. You can send invoices, you can remind with texts but the bottom line is payment for this job just got a whole lot tricker. Even if they did have the cash, I’m left following up with invoicing and depositing the money into my account.
5. Parents Who Do The RUNNER!
No matter how great of a nanny you are, post pay jobs always present the risk that a family will just decide not to pay you. I am grateful that it’s never happened to me but I know nannies who have lost large sums of money for this reason. One Nanny I know did a live-in role for 7 days, racking up a huge $2k + invoice for the family and found herself in the horrible position of chasing the money. After dedicating literally, a whole week of her life to this job, the family decided not to pay. Taking the family to court would of cost too much and if you continually hassle a family for payment you can be up for harassment charges. I remember talking her through a truly heartbreaking realisation that she would never see that money. Once again, very rare but such a harsh reality.
This is why I’m so incredibly excited about Hapu!
The Nanny industry isn’t really like any other when it comes to managing your service and collecting payment. And I know as my career grows, these problems are going to grow with them.
Yes, I may get better at the conversations and organisation of my payments but it’s not ideal.
That’s why I am so incredibly excited about Hapu.
With Hapu I can create an invoice in minutes and send it to email, text or even WhatsApp, where my families can pay by credit card from their phone, laptop or tablet. It just cuts down on the reasons to not get paid whether from my end or theirs.
And I’m organised. All of my invoices sit in my dashboard clear as day and I can even charge late fees! Hapu will even notify my families when their credit cards are expiring and have them update their cards before a charge fails — is there anything Hapu doesn’t do?