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Helper 101

  1. #1
    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    Helper 101

    Lots of questions after deciding to bite the bullet and get a helper...

    Food Budget:

    I know that most helpers prefer a food budget for themselves, how much does do you give your helper for food?

    Contracts:

    I know that money being borrowed and cosigned for is an issue i see on here often, can you put something about this in the contract, and if so, how do you word it?

    Agency/Helper recommendations:

    Does anyone know of any good helpers (good with infants) or a good agency to use? Please PM me any personal recommendations.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Ours didn't want food allowance, she's eating the same that we have. She does buy a few things that we don't eat, but all very cheap. She doesn't eat much of our stuff, she usually prepares dinner for 3 instead of 2 and eats the same. It makes sense. Besides that she hardly ever takes something from our fridge.

    Nothing in our contract, but I simply would never lend her money. I guess it's not an issue until you start it.

    No recommendations, mouth to mouth seems to work best. Once they know you're looking, they'll start calling you, that was at least our experience.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    kmalia's Avatar
    kmalia is offline Registered User
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    I give HK$300/month on top of her salary for food - we rarely cook at home, but when we do cook or order something she is always free to have some. If you cook and eat regularly at home you may not have to supplement with a food budget, it is up to you.

    I don't know if it is legal to put any sort of addendum in the contract regarding 3rd party debt or co-signing, but it is certainly an issue you should talk to her about to make sure she understands how bad of a situation it can be to borrow from a loan shark and/or co-sign on a loan. I personally told my helper to ask me anytime she may need money for emergencies or otherwise, because I would rather her borrow it from me and arrange a reasonable payment scheme or salary deduction, rather than have creditors calling my house. By the way, in a year-and-a-half, she has never borrowed from me - even when her mother passed away and she had to suddenly fly home.

    My helper was a niece of a friend's helper. She had no prior experience, so we took a small risk. But to me, it was not the experience, but her positive attitude and how well she fit into our family that was important.

    hope that helps!

  4. #4
    rebekah is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for your replies, we are beginning our search. ugh. Not looking forward to the process, but definitely looking forward to the end result.

  5. #5
    persephone984 is offline Registered User
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    i have a friend who is looking.
    ================================================

    melinda f. ocampo, 34yrs old, married, with 4 kids of my own.

    been in hong kong for a month, got released due to my employers will rehire their ex-helper who became available.


    visa will expire on october 6 2008.

    experience:

    new born babies (own kids)
    house keeping
    car washing
    child care (4yrs and 2yrs, previous boss)
    shopping
    tutorials for the kids

    cooking basic (western and filipino dishes)
    can follow basic recipies and willing to learn more recipies

    have care giver certificate.

    can take care of elderly

    have reference letter from old employer

    available for interview anytime, please call or text 67186086.

  6. #6
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    ours doesn't have a food budget either. she eats what we eat.

    personally, i think that $300 wouldn't be enough for food for a month. i know, i couldn't live on it.

    at the time we signed the contract we were thinking that it would save us money to not pay the $300, but now, we see that we spend way more than that on her food for the month.

    if we eat bbq steak, so does she (although, i often ask her if there is something else she'd like to bbq instead). we also take her with us when we go for dinner, usually. she enjoys going out for dinner as much as we do. we treat ours the way we would want to be treated ourselves and have never had a problem with her.

    for the second time in almost 4 years, our helper has asked to borrow some money. not much, only $2500. her son is at university and she has a payment for exams coming up. normally, her husband (who works in saudi arabia) would pay for it, but he is coming to visit and stay for 4-6 weeks with us, so all of his money has gone to his ticket.

    we don't have a problem at all. we will deduct from her salary over the next little while until it is paid for.

    good luck!

  7. #7
    kmalia's Avatar
    kmalia is offline Registered User
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    Agreed that $300 is not enough for food for a month - which is why we also offer her anything in the house - rice, fruits, veggies. I eat very healthy, tofu, brown rice, so sometimes she will buy and cook her own chicken/fish, but eat the rice and salad she has prepared for my meal.
    Maybe give her a choice and then ask her after a few months if it is working for her...

  8. #8
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    sorry, kmalia... i wasn't implying that you were being stingy...hope i didn't cause offence, none was meant.

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