Double-Checking the Pay Check

I started working for a family this year, they pay me 2000 a month cash. I work 5 days a week, 10 hours a day. I am not responsible for cleaning besides dishes that I dirty and even then I just put them in the dish washer. I am given 1 paid sick day per month. I watch 2 kids, one is 3 the other is 1. I work in a suburb about an hour from chicago. Is this a fair pay? Should I ask for more benefits? I have a B.S. in early child education, and I worked at a daycare for over 10 years. I also have babysat for over 15 years. - Anonymous


ericsmom said...

What about taxes? Are you guys declaring? That is my question.

Bethany said...

Is the 2000 before or after taxes?

Either way it's low, but it's extremely if it's before taxes.

I don't know Chicago rates, but I would think you could earn at a minimum $15/hr for the first 40 hours just caring for the two kids and $22.50 for the last 50.

Nashville Nanny said...

OP, it isn't pertinent information (nor anyone's business) if you declare your taxes. Your question was about fair pay and benefits. If my math is correct, you are working 50 hours a week.... so you are making $10/hr. No, this is not fair pay for 2 kids, IMO. If you have been with this family a year, your request for more pay and benefits may not be well received. It may be in your best interest to seek out an employer who will pay you a living wage, and negotiate a better contract for yourself. Always, always, always ask for the standard benefits (time off, etc) and an hourly rate that you can live with. It is easier to lock these things in up front then to ask for them later.

Bethany said...

Adding I would ask for

5 personal days and 2 weeks of paid vacation as well.

All that said how long have you been with them? Has it been less than 6 months or closer to a year?

If less than 6 months I would wait to you 6 month anniversary and have a contract review. If it's been over 6 months I would wait till 1 year if you are planning on staying with amd review your contract and benefits.

Amazed said...

It always amazes me that nannies want the law to be folloed and hae their overtime pay and benefits but ignore the law when it comes to paying taxes.

Amazed said...

Nashville paying taxes does make a difference if the $500 a week is her take home her hourly rate is about $13/hr overtime not included.

If they're forcing her to pay taxes on top of that $500 she is being royally screwed.

I think $15- $17/hr is good enough for the OP.

IMO daycare , babysitting experience and a teaching certificate is nice but those things don't total to nanny experience in the trenches so to speak.

Nashville Nanny said...

I am assuming that based on her statement that she is paid $2000/month cash, she works off the books. In my experience, cash paid nannies are not tax paying nannies.

talesfromthe(nanny)hood said...

You're making $462 a week for 50 hours tax free. If you wanted to follow OT laws and minimum pay laws when talking about your wages, you're earning $8.40/hour ($12.60/hour for OT).

Yes, that is a bit low when you look at your childcare experience, but I find that families who pay off the books also tend to offer lower wages. Their interest is in saving money and they do that by not paying legally and by paying the nannies willing to work off the books lower wages.

If you decided to work legally and pay your taxes, you would need to GROSS about 20% more a week to cover those tax payments. That would put you around $550 a week. Still low, IMO, and I think if you were willing to pay taxes and be legal you might be able to find families willing to offer more money than that as your gross salary.

Molly said...

It's low. But when did you start working for them?

But I doubt your family will be willing to pay you more. Especially if you just started with them this year. They just as easily find a nanny more than willing to take that $500 a week.

In my experience families that set a flat cash wage aren't into negotiating higher wages or compensating for overtime.

I can't say what you should be earning based on experience as the details are vague.

If you are 28 and counting 15 years of babysitting since you started at 13. Is not the same as some who worked 15 years as a fulltime sitter when they were 18 or older. Same is true for daycare, running your own daycare or eing a classroom teacher is vastly different than being a floater during college or working as an assistant since you were 18.

The only benefits I ever is PTO.

Always a week of sick days , and two weeks of vacation. I let my employers pick a week and I pick the other.

nycmom said...

Based on my limited experience with Chicago, this is low. I would expect to pay at least $15/hr. I would also expect to provide standard benefits: 6-8 paid federal holidays, 2 weeks paid vacation, 5 sick/personal days, gas/car allowance. However, I would also expect basic light housekeeping -- kids' laundry, kids' rooms, run/empty dishwasher, empty trash as needed, keep place as you found it. But even if I hired a nanny (which I would not, but...) who refused to do those things, I would still expect to pay at least $13/hour. This is all based on the idea that Chicago pays less than the Coasts also.

ericsmom said...

Duhh, how is it not relevant information if the OP is paying taxes or not. So her employer is screwing her over like she is screwing the government by not paying taxes on her income.

katydid. said...

Yes it's low. I would ask for $15 but if they agree to raise they may also want to throw in some kid chores like laundry.

Don't be surprised if they don't want to negotiate.

UmassSlytherin said...

I think it is relevant if oP pays taxes or not. It was the first question that came into my mind.

OP, my advice to you is: in this economy, that's good money. Take the job, and also claim what you make. Don't be a dishonest, unethical person. Do the right thing. Or you'll get audited by the IRS some day and get in big trouble. Just my opinion. the IrS always catches up to you. eventually.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

The OP stated she makes cash so it is to be assumed she is working off the books. Even if she is paid in cash, it is still kinda low to me. I would negotiate for at least $12/hr OP.

Lyn said...

If it's 2 grand and she isn't paying taxes it's not a bad take home pay. IMO.
I worked the first year I nannied without being on the books. I hate that I did it now and would never do it again. But I have those moments where I miss the envelope of cash every week, haha.

katydid said...

It's still low in my opinion, but why rock the boat?

She's been with these folks not even a full year.

Unless they changed wages on her she knew what she was getting into when she signed.

If I were, OP I would try and negotiate a raise around the 1 year mark.

I doubt they will go for $15/hr, they seem cheap, but I would set that as by goal and realize you'll probaly get $12 or something.

If you don't want to stay with them, start looking for a new gig , and negotiate the pay you need from the start. GL!

traveling-gypsy said...

She isn't even making $10 an hour. Because a month is four & a third weeks, not four weeks.

world's best nanny said...

Stop working under the table!! If you do not get social security taken out of your check you are going to screwed to the wall if you need to collect disability in the future!

traveling-gypsy said...

Well actually in order to collect SSI disability, you need to be low income. You don't need to have work history. But that pays much lower than SSDI. And in order to collect SSDI, you have to have worked for the past couple of quarters. But I agree, if she becomes disabled & has been working under the table, she will get a lot less in benefits. For example, under SSDI(work history on file) you may get $1,500/month. $1,000/month for yourself & $500/month for your kids on your behalf. Under SSI(no work history on file & low income) you may get only $900/month. That's a huge difference.

Why not pay taxes on what you earn as a nanny? Its not likely you're going to be in a high tax bracket. And if you are, you can get 100% of the money you pay in taxes back if u have a small side business like selling candles, book keeping, etc.