Monday

Nanny's Gas Dilemma...

Received Monday, March 17, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
I need some advice from other nannies who have been in similar situations, or parents. Ok, so when I started my current nanny job for 2 school aged children a year and a half ago, there was no driving involved. Well, 9 months ago their school location changed and I had to start picking them up in my vehicle from school and drive them home. I also take the kids in my vehicle to do light grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions, take them to birthday parties, play dates, etc. This does not bother me, as when my driving was first needed, we agreed on a weekly amount of money for gas. This was a set amount. Now, 9 months later, not only have gas prices skyrocketed, but I also got a new vehicle (my old one was having major issues) and my new vehicle is a SUV that isn't exactly gas friendly or economical. I realize this was my choice to purchase the vehicle (not entirely, because my husband just purchased it so we could have a larger family vehicle) but anyways I'm just wondering do I have the right to ask the parents for more gas money now? Neither of us want to calculate by the mile I drive or have it be some huge math problem at the end of every week when it's payday. I'd like to still have a set amount for each week. Is it fair to ask for more just because of the gas prices? Is it fair to ask for more because my vehicle requires more money for gas? Please help me! I'm a fair, reasonable, and loving nanny who just doesn't want to be taken advantage of.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I work as a part time after school nanny. I get $10 a day for gas and I currently make $12 an hour. I started at $10 an hour with $10 a day for gas 3 years ago. I haven't asked for a raise despite gas prices. We don't figure it out every week, I figure it all evens out in the end. Sometimes we just drive from school to home, other days they have a couple classes or we need to run to the store or go to the zoo. It is your choice about the type of vehicle you drive. It is not fair to ask for more money because your car isn't great on gas. I know how you feel though! I would say sit down and figure out how many miles it is from school to home, and then anything you do on a weekly basis, like the distance from home, to a class, and back. I think the federal milage rate is 48 cents a mile, but I could be wrong. Anyway, after you figure that out it would be easy to set a daily/weekly rate. I know you don't want to do the math every week. Hope that helps!

Lisa said...

Well in my job (not a nanny) my employer has raised the gas allowance they pay all of us employees, so there's no reason you can't also request more.
You should take a look at what the IRS cites for mileage costs. I think they mention .41 per mile but I may be mistaken.

chick said...

Last time I checked, IRS reimbursement rate was 50.5 cents per mile.

upstate mom said...

The IRS reimbursement rate is for more than just gasoline....it accounts for some wear and tear as well. Regardless, since my water deliverer, my garbage collector and my propane deliverer have all added "fuel surcharges" to their bill (75 cents per delivery), I am sure it would be fair for you to do so as well. I bet they would understand too. If you do 50% more, that would be fair. So, if you get 10 a week, that's 15 a week instead. Doubling seems unreasonable from last year. Good luck.

Rebecca said...

I can understand how at first glance it seems your boss shouldn't have to pay you more just because you got a different kind of car. However, that's just not how it works. It doesn't matter what kind of car you choose to drive - what matters is that if they ask you to use your vehicle - no matter what type it is - for work, they have to pay you for that vehicle. I think it's very unlikely that they said, "Well, we want you to use your car, but we're only going to pay for it as long as you pick one that gets good mileage." Fact is that it's none of their business what car you own - if they don't want to get you one to use on the job then they have to pay what yours costs.

I'm very flexible and laid back about most things, but it's never good to feel like you're paying out-of-pocket to do your job: you start to feel resentful and probably want to do less with the kids out of the house because you know how much it's costing you. The fact is, nannies should simply never be using their own vehicles for work unless a) they have insurance specifically for that purpose (if you're in an accident without work insurance you can get royally screwed), and b) they are reimbursed for the gas and wear-and-tear on the car. I know it sounds like a pain to add up all the miles, but really it's the best way for BOTH parties to know it's all fair. If you don't want to do that, then I guess you should just have a talk with your bosses about what they think is fair. If they're nice people (and it sounds like you like them) and you point out how much gas prices have risen and that your car also uses more, they will likely offer more right away. At least let's hope so. If they drag their feet about it, then the best thing to do would be to just suck it up and keep track of your miles.

In any case, I want to reiterate that it doesn't matter what kind of car you have - if they make you use it for work they MUST pay you for the car you are using, and not for the one they WISH you were using. The nanny/boss relationship can get really fuzzy because it all seems so personal. When I'm in doubt of what is the fair and professional thing to do in cases like this, I think about what would be fair and professional in another type of job situation. In another job they wouldn't skimp on your work expenses because you were driving a different car.

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
just anonymous said...

I don't think it would unreasonable to ask for a little more gas money per week to cover the extra miles you are driving and the increase in gas prices.

Anonymous said...

746- I have never heard of a job paying you more based on the type of car you drive. Please remember that the federal rate of 50.5 cents a mile is also wear and tear and more then covers the cost of gas. If you read the article from the IRS website, it states that this price is for vans , pickups or panel trucks.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:• 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;• 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile; the standard rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study

Anonymous said...

746- I have never heard of a job paying you more based on the type of car you drive. Please remember that the federal rate of 50.5 cents a mile is also wear and tear and more then covers the cost of gas. If you read the article from the IRS website, it states that this price is for vans , pickups or panel trucks.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:• 50.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;• 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 48.5 cents per mile for 2007. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 20 cents in 2007. The rate for miles driven in service of charitable organizations has remained the same.The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile; the standard rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs as determined by the same study

Anonymous said...

Each state has an ammount they pay employees for driving their car. This is what my family gives me when I have to use my car. Try talking to them about the situation, I am sure they will be happy to help out if they can.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny I drive my charges around on no set schedule but often enough. I get 80.00 per week as a gas stipend, which is enough for two full tanks. Sometimes I use more, sometimes a bit less but we are all happy with that arrangement.

Rebecca said...

8:14 -- The point is that she's NOT getting the IRS rate (which covers gas AND wear-and-tear, whereas she is, it sounds like, not even getting enough to cover gas). If she and her employers want to go for a set gas rate and not do the IRS rate, then she ought to be getting paid more since she's using more gas. Note that I DID suggest that keeping track of miles driven and using the IRS rate would be the best option.

Rebecca said...

Alright - I just read what I wrote and I actually DIDN'T suggest using the IRS rate. That's my mistake. What I suggested is keeping track of the miles used, and what I MEANT by that is that, by keeping track of the miles driven by the nanny, she could be reimbursed at the IRS rate, which is the best way to make sure everything is fair.

If neither party wants to keep track of mileage, then upping the fee for gas is fair since a) prices keep rising, and b) the car uses more gas. This does NOT include wear-and-tear, which would be a whole different issue.

Anonymous said...

This may be a little off topic, but I don't understand why employers would ask their nanny to use her own car. It's a matter of controlling the safety and environment for your child. I have a car specifically for the nanny's use that I know is well maintained, has emergency road service and OnStar in case of a problem, the car seats were installed and checked at the local police station, and there is nothing in the car other than things my children have left there. It sounds like the OP now has a very nice vehicle, but she indicates the car she originally was transporting the children in has issues. It's unfair to expect your employee to keep and insure her vehicle to cover any issues that might come up when transporting your children. As one of the other posters pointed out, if she has an accident with her employer's children in the car, she could have major insurance issues. Plus, she has to make sure that anyone who uses the car on weekends is not leaving anything that could be hazardous to her employers' children (power tools, scissors, foods they may be allergic to, etc.). Not fair to nanny and not safe for the kids.

fox in socks said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

I am with you 9:24

She shouldn't be using her own car. If she should get into an accident forget it! If you have assets and a house, its not worth losing these things. Because you never know if the parents would sue you.

Anonymous said...

Your a moron for using your own vehicle.

Anonymous said...

Last year at this time I was paying 2.68 a gal for gas. This year I am paying 3.68. It is not unfiar since you are using your own car to transport the kids to ask for a decent raise for gas. 10.00 dollars a day equals 2.3gallons of gas. If you ask for the price of 2 gallons a day they shouldn't get upset.
Most nannies inour area San Francisco get a car to use from the employer.

Anonymous said...

By the way, you are not a "moron for using your own car" If you have an agreement and get reimbursed for it. You sound like anice person to me.

just anonymous said...

Make sure you are keeping track of your mileage b/c it's a tax write off if they are not paying you the proper mileage reimbursement.

Anonymous said...

In some cases, it's safer for the nanny to drive her own car than drive the parent's car. She's more familiar with how her car handles and so she would be more comfortable driving in her own car, which could translate to better safety. This all depends on how reliable the nanny car is. In our case, she has a very reliable and new car, which she uses for work and is reimbursed for gas. We also have a spare car (a big mercedes) which is not easy to drive if you're not used to it. We discussed both options and decided that the nanny would be better off driving her own car. We also don't keep track of miles each week and just give her a fixed amount.

Anonymous said...

my two cents...

More gas money because of the price hike, yes.

More because of the SUV, no.

I would find out the average of miles you run for them a week (just count one week) and then base your numbers off of that.

Just tell the parents that an increase would be appriciated because of the rise in gas prices, but they can choose a fair amount based on a car.

Anonymous said...

11:12-speaking of morons, it's Your're, which is a contraction for YOU a moron.

Anonymous said...

Opps, left out the are. my mistake!

Metro Nanny said...

My employer has a very nice Honda Odessy that I can use if I want. The problem is, I am absolutely uncomfortable driving it. Therefore, I use my vehicle, which I know well.

Anonymous said...

no offense but if your employer has a honda oddysey and driving that makes you uncomfortable, what do you drive?

I drive a Honda Element and when I get to work, I park it and drive my charges in the "nanny car" which is a Lexus SUV.

Metro Nanny said...

No offense, but I don't care for the oddysey . I don't like the driving posiiton, which is slightly different than most conventional mini-vans, which was Honda's intention. When My husband was a sales manager for Honda, we could have bought one and we didn't because I simply did not like the feel of it. Also, where I live, congestion is bad and just parking a vehicle in a lot or driving in your own lane at the speed limit can find you bumper-tagged. I would feel simply awful if I parked their vehicle in a lot and came out to find a dent in it. Or if some Well-heeled, trophy wife, pulling out onto route 17 in her H3 while chatting on her cell phone, didn't see us and hit us. Even though it wouldn't be my fault, I prefer it be my vehicle than theirs.

HappyDrivingNanny said...

I find mini-vans some of the easiest vehicles to drive, that's just me. I work in a area with millions of people, find it very easy to park.

Another thing to be aware of is insurance. I would make sure that your current insurance covers you having their children in your car, OP. I think it worked out to be about $70 extra a year for myself to have that extra coverage.

Anonymous said...

12:46

What the hell are you talking about?! Look what you just wrote. Now you look like the Moron.

Anonymous said...

Ignore 3:36, it's just a troll looking to start crap again.

Anonymous said...

Route 17 by the malls is a freaking death race! I wouldn't want to drive another person's vehicle anywhere near there either!

Anonymous said...

My employers and I came up with a solution to figure out the average gas usage without having to calculate every week. I kept track of my mileage for three weeks and then we averaged that and I was paid the going IRS rate. Anytime I felt my usage had increased or every 6 months, whichever was sooner, I would follow through with the process again. Worked like a charm.

Anonymous said...

50.5c for gas. last time i checked.

Anonymous said...

The advice is wonderful. One last piece -- you might want to reread the subject line before posting - I honestly thought it was about a nanny that had flatulence issues....

which, quite frankly, would have been more fun to read

Anonymous said...

Yes, I hate Route 17. I usually just go on Route 4. Or take Route 4 or 80 to go to Ikea

§mpp§ said...

11:45

It's fun to see the world through other people's eyes, because sometimes mine are closed.

I hadn't noticed ... but I got a kick out of it after I read your post and looked back.
Very funny. ☺

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OP here - I've just now gotten the chance to come back to this site and read all of this great advice! I will have a talk with my employer immediately, requesting just more money for the rise in gas prices, and see what happens. I'll let you all know what happens. Thanks so much for all the friendly advice!