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3 Ways to take payment as a babysitter

card readers cash getting paid invoicing payment options Jul 05, 2022

Your very first babysitting job may be stressful if you don't know what to expect or if you are not well prepared. Dealing with payment is one of the more stressful parts of being a babysitter. We will share with you 3 payment options that you can choose to offer a parent to ensure that the payment part of your booking is one less thing to think about. 

There are 3 payment options you as a babysitter can choose to use:

1. Cash - actual coins and notes in your pocket

2. Card payments - your customer uses their card to pay you at the end of the booking

3. Invoicing - you issue the customer with an invoice that they then pay by a card or bank transfer

You might choose to accept one, two, or even three of these depending on the types of bookings you do - so let me walk you through each of them.


Cash it the traditional way for sitters to get paid.  At the end of the evening, the parents come home, you tell them they owe you £45, and they rummage around in their bag to pull out some notes.  If you are lucky they’ll round that £45 up to £50 or more as a tip.

Real cash can be great as it is immediately in your pocket and it can be easy for a parent to tip you.  However - easy come easy go and you can often find that cash has disappeared as you’ve spent it rather than depositing it in your bank or saving it.

Cash is also much rarer these days - parents are not used to carrying it around and they need to stop off at a cash machine on their way back which isn’t great customer service.

Card Readers

You’ve probably used a card reader at a shop or cafe - the little box you swipe your card against to pay an independent retailer.  But you don’t need to be a shop to use one, you can be a babysitter too - you connect your card reader to an app on your phone and it allows you to take payments for anything you like.

Card readers are inexpensive - around £15-20 for most of them, and the companies make their money by charging a small percentage of the payments you take.

The advantage to you is that this is a great customer experience for the parents.  Imagine them arriving home, you telling them that they owe you £50 and they just need to swipe their Apple Watch, phone or card against your card reader!  Quick, simple, and no cash to handle.

The disadvantages are small - but include the percentage the card reader company charges (around 85p on a £50 booking) and the fact that the money is deposited into your bank account a few days later and not instantly.  

To counter the charges you could include a payment processing fee in your published rates.

There are a number of companies that provide these card readers - but three I would look at are Square, SumUp, and Zettle.  Take a look and see which one you like best!

The setup is simple and you’ll be ready to take professional card payments in no time


Invoicing is when you send the customer an invoice document and they then have a number of days in order to pay it.

You might get an invoice from a garage for some work on your car for example, and in business, it is very common to use invoices rather than charging upfront.

Invoicing can be useful if you do a lot of work for a specific business customer - maybe a hotel where you do lots of wedding sitting perhaps. 

In this example, they may not want to pay you every time you work and ask you to invoice them weekly or even monthly.

The pros of invoicing are that it probably indicates a customer is doing a lot of work with you so that can be a positive.

But the downsides are that you don’t get paid for your work immediately after you complete the booking.  You will need to create an invoice, spend time detailing the work you did, and then send it to the customer.

Depending on how long they take to pay you might be waiting weeks or even months as you chase them to pay.

You will also need some kind of accounting packages like Xero or Quickbooks.

So these are the 3 payment options to explore and depending on which you choose will make it a stress-free or stressful payday!


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