If you have any aptitude toward taking care of children (meaning you don’t care if you usually have a cold and sticky everything and can handle constant high-volumes), and you are broke, you should become a nanny. All it takes is a little creativity (most creative types are broke, anyway, right?!), some reliability, many happy hours after work, and lots of patience. Not only is it flexible and fun, but you can save money while doing it. It’s true. A job where you can save money! If you do it right, you can even make extra money. I know I sound like a liar, so let me explain.
- FREE food: People who can afford nannies can afford tons of food. You will also eat better than you are at home because everything is organic and from Whole Foods. The snacks! The snacks are worth it alone. You’ll be devouring your most cherished too-broke-to-purchase-yourself-morsels – everything from Goldfish crackers to Ciao Bella frozen sorbet!
- FREE passes to everything: These people surely have a guest pass to every museum and fun to-do in your hood. Even better, they want you to take their kids there all the time. Get cultured on someone else’s dime! Then brag nonchalantly to all your friends that while they were hard at work inside a stuffy office, you were out and about watching a zookeeper feeding a fuckin’ lion!
- Long naps = second job?: This is where the gettin’ gets good. I once nannied for a kid who slept three hours in the afternoon! Think of all the ways you can make extra money in three hours! Any job you can telecommute can be done during this time. Be a personal assistant! Fold letters! Volunteer as a graphic designer to get your name out there! Offer the people you nanny for to do their housework for a little extra cash during this time. Endless possibilities.
- FREE Cable TV: These families will almost surely have every channel known to man. Save money on your own outrageous cable bills and catch up on your “programs” while you work. (Why are you paying for cable, anyway? This should be the first thing to go! You can’t even afford food!) Don’t be stingy on the snacking during your TV time, either.
- FREE alcohol?: Look, I’m not going to encourage stealing. Or drinking while you’re taking care of kids. However, if you kind of notice that the kid’s Dad is really into old, expensive scotches, then you can pretend you’re into those one time too. Well, maybe he’ll sit you down and say, “You know, you’re like the son I never had (besides little Jeffrey over there) let’s have some fucking scotch.” And you’ll be thinking “I don’t even care that he’s never noticed I’m a woman. FREE SCOTCH.” The chances of this happening are slim. But, much like Steve Jobs or Stephen Glass, I have a big imagination. Since neither of us have tried it yet, we don’t know it won’t happen, do we?
- Ticket out of broke-dom: (SPOILER ALERT: If you didn’t have a TV in the 90s and are still planning to watch the six seasons of “The Nanny,” please read no further.) On the hit TV show, the annoying and coquettish nanny (played by Fran Drescher) ends up marrying her wealthy and prim but very handsome employer (played by some really sexy salt-and-pepper British guy.) It happened on television. They had to get the idea from somewhere. Most likely, reality.
- Vacations: My favorite two words come to mind… FREE TRAVEL. If you get in really good with a family, sometimes they will take you on vacations with them. Sure, you have to watch the kids sometimes. Certainly you can take them out sight-seeing or to the pool, those are things you want to do anyway. Also, parents have to hang out with their own kids sometimes so you’ll get some alone time too! Plus, when they’re asleep – you can get drunk!
This is really a no-brainer for a broke-ass. You’ll be making double minimum wage in most cases and have the availability to do late lunches with all of the friends you convinced to nanny. Or, “manny” if you’re a male. Go for it!