Advice: Increase your Au Pair’s gas allowance

by cv harquail on June 12, 2008

The price of gas has gone up by more that $1 in the last year. That price increase hurts everyone, and it especially pains an Au Pair, since it eats up more of her already modest weekly pocket money. It has gotten much more expensive for your Au Pair to use the car for her own fun. And, for our Au Pairs, the ability to drive around town has contributed a lot to their social lives and to their overall happiness.

In our family, our Au Pair has a car for her own personal use, and so she is responsible for paying for all of the gas that she uses. Now that gas is so much more expensive, I’m thinking about:

  • Giving her some extra gas money– maybe by filling the tank as a surprise, or by giving her an extra $10 every now and then
  • Being especially careful about replacing any fuel that I use when I drive her car (like, when it’s the last one in the driveway and I’m late).
  • Keeping the car tuned up, with tires that are appropriately-inflated
  • Looking for a list of ways to save gas by modifying driving habits.
  • Making sure that the bicycle we have for her to use has air in the tires!
  • Other ideas?

While I realize that it’s not necessarily my responsibility to shield my Au Pair from the high cost of gas, it is one of those small ways that I can be generous. And learning to be more generous is one of the ways I get to be a better person by being a thoughtful host mom….

Your thougths? Comment away…..

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{ 1 comment }

Peg July 30, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I have to say – I won’t help our au pair with gas. We are actually trying to figure out how to have her help contribute to gas. While we have 3 cars – we “switch” often. There is a “child car” and then the one I take to and from work – but our au pair uses on the weeknights/weekends. We used to just ask for a few dollars per week but now it’s a big expense. Our au pair usually goes to the gym at night and on weekends – to friends, the train station or shopping. This is easily 100 miles/week and that adds up.

I am trying to put together a MPG and have her track miles or something. We don’t want to be this picky – but we have to — I can’t figure something else out.

We are more than generous with our au pairs but at some points during the year – they come to expect it. You can bend and bend only so much before realizing that you are bending more than they are.

We are strict on where our au pair can drive as we live in an area where you can get to alot in a short time and see alot of other cities by bus or train. We do not allow them to take the car on trips.

I found myself paying for the phone bill, gas bill, special foods, stamps – the little “oh, I”ll just do it” type of things — and it really does add up. This year, our 5th year, we are starting out more strict and will ease up as we see fit.

So I wouldn’t give her more gas $ – I would advise her how to manage it – it’s a real world issue – that she’ll deal with eventually – so why not start now? She can manage her logistics, share driving with friends, etc.

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