Just a little over 9 months ago, I accepted a job in Hawaii as a live-in nanny. I’m from South Carolina. I lived with my sister and my parents lived pretty close by as well. My life wasn’t perfect. I struggled a lot, but I always had them there for support. But I gave everything up and I moved away for this job.
I took a huge risk accepting a job not only so far away from home, but off the mainland all together. It has always been my dream to live in Hawaii ever since I visited the big Island of Hawaii when I was 7 years old. I was excited more than anything and because I was so excited there were a few things I forgot to do when I accepted this job.
I wouldn’t say I messed up, but I wasn’t careful and well, I lost my job and I’m having to start all over. It hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been stressful because I basically have nothing and the only help I have here on the island is from my best friend that lives here. My parents are trying to help out the best the can, but it’s hard because they’re not even here.
This has all been a learning experience. Being a live-in nanny has had it’s ups and downs. I’ve had a place to stay, a car to drive and food to eat. All I had to do is wake up and I’m already at work. I could stay in my pajamas all day and not even have to put on a bra. But at the end of the day, I’m already home. I miss that feeling after a long day of wanting to go home and get away from work. I couldn’t do that. I just went to my room. The kids were always around. I missed having friends over and movie nights at the comfort of my own home. And no privacy. Ever. Would I be a live-in nanny again in the future? Maybe. If I was planning on moving somewhere completely different than Hawaii, yes. This job got me here and I don’t regret taking the job at all. But next time, I will be more careful.
If you ever plan on being a nanny, especially a live-in nanny far away from home, then please, please pleaseeee don’t make the same mistakes that I did. These are three things I wish I knew or had done before becoming a live-in nanny.
1. Have a good contract!
Seriously you guys! Have a contract and a good one! Don’t leave anything out! I did and that’s how I pretty much got blindsided. I did not put anything about taxes or what happens if my contract was to end sooner. Most jobs you get at least a two week notice…not me. I got a week notice. After that week was up, I had no job and no car. Luckily, my friend and I had already planned to move in together, I just ended up moving in sooner than planned.
I was supposed to work for this family for a year. I ended up working for them until the end of march because they wanted to put their children in daycare. Although, I understand why they made the decision, I wish I had a heads up that they were even considering that option and didn’t plan on spots opening up for the kids so soon and not wanting to lose those spots, I wish I had a heads up.
So, next time I plan on putting in the contract that if the parents are putting the children in daycare or if they plan on being a stay at home mom, that it needs to be brought up and discussed ahead of time. If they plan on ending the contract early, then I need a few weeks-month notice. Not only that, but also agree on some type of payment to buy me out of my contract so I’m left with nothing.
Also, have a tax plan with the family and put it in the contract! We discussed taxes and they were supposed to claim me and take taxes out of each payment. Then after a few months, they stopped and in the end I’m left having to claim my taxes, not even knowing how to do it. I could have ended up in a lot of trouble or just stuck because it would appear that I went then last 9 months without a job.
Like I shared above, have a tax plan! Call the state and federal tax companies and ask what you’re supposed to do to be claim your taxes as a nanny. Do it before you take the job…don’t wait! It becomes stressful to figure these things out at the last minute. So prepare yourself.
Care.com provides a safe and legal way for you to get paid and your taxes are included.
3. Be financially prepared!
I’m not going to lie, I wish I had saved more money than I had. I have bad spending habits. I should have and could have done a better job putting money in my savings for emergencies. I’d probably be less stressed out right now and wouldn’t be struggling as much. I’m thankful I found a new job as quick as I did, because I’m not as worried, but still. I wouldn’t be stressed or worried if I was more careful. You never know what could happen, so be prepared, especially financially in case you have to start all over like I did.