My question is about finding a polite way to ask for money owed.
My college student daughter babysat for a family this summer and never really got paid. There were many perks that included afternoons at their swell beach club, meals in expensive restaurants, and there was always adequate money given to her to take the two children shopping for clothing, toys and ice-cream, snacks and meals, as well as for tickets to the movies or amusement parks.
And when she returned the change at the end of her shift, the father said to keep it, but the change never covered the cost per hour nor the use of her car to chauffeur the children around.
The family live in a mansion and servants were in evidence, but they never actually paid her! How should she go about asking them to pay her for her time?
–EL, Bridgehampton, NY
- Then she’ll have to decide what to charge (if that amount had not been agreed upon), which could be anywhere from $12 to $18 an hour. It should list the cost per week: July 3-7, 25 hours, July 10-16, 37 hours.
- Plus tack on the cost of a tank of gas for every four weeks.
Mail the bill to the parents with a sweet note saying something to the effect that she is submitting her hours for taking care of John and Mary from the start date ______ through the last day ______. Make sure she says, Please send me a check for $ ____ made out to ________ and send it to the following address _________________.
It may well be that an accountant pays the bills. Your daughter was probably given spending money out of the household petty cash.
- Have your daughter submit her bill as soon as possible, so that the memory of her helpfulness is fresh. The stingiest people are often the richest.
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