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Helper allowance --- pls advise

  1. #1
    piper is offline Registered User
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    Helper allowance --- pls advise

    I will be hiring a helper soon (my first time) and wanted to know how you mange the food allowance (how much is it), and/or do you have the helper eat the food you're eating? If so, does that include breakfast, lunch and dinner?

    Also what about toiletries? Do you have to buy her soap etc?

    I bought her a bed, sheets and towels. What else should I get.

    Please, please advise.

    Thanks alot.

  2. #2
    Sambuster is offline Registered User
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    Hi, we were in the same situation about 6mths ago. We were new to HK & first timers getting live-in help. We went thru an agency so it was pretty much laid out for us salary was set, then option to either give food allowance (set by agency, PM me is you want $ specifics) or have her eat our food (all meals). We decided to give her food allowance, as they normally like to eat different things than us. She is free to use general food items we have, such as salt/pepper, spices, olive oil etc. We also have a water cooler than she is welcome too as well. Like you we provided her w/bed, sheets & towels (I would provide toliet paper), but we don't provide her w/soap. However, for a welcoming we did give her hotel size tolietries as a "starter kit". Let me know if you have more questions, as we were in the same situation as you. Good Luck!

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    we've only had one helper and she has just signed her 3rd contract with us.

    we provide sheets, she provides her own towel. we've offered ours, she prefers her own.

    we do not provide toiletries. we do provide hand soap in the bathroom for anyone to use, but she supplies her own toothpaste, deoderant, shampoo etc. it has become a joke in our house that for xmas every year, i buy her "luxury" toiletries, that usually include a mask, exfoliator, bubble bath, shower gel etc. we do stock the bathroom with toilet paper, as it is a room that we all use.

    we never provided a food allowance. i thought it would be a terrible waste of time for her to have to cook 2-3 separate meals every mealtime. she eats whatever we eat and she's very happy with it. she gets better quality food because of it. on new year's eve, we have a huge seafood dinner and she always joins in. on occasion, we've gone to the filipino shops and bought her some of her "own" snacks. snacks is one thing we don't generally share. we keep them up in our room (on the 2nd floor) instead of in the kitchen. mostly, it's because we can't be bothered to run up and down so often. she usually buys her own snacks.

    i know that if we gave a food allowance, she would try to eat as frugally as possible to make the money last. i would feel terrible if she had just rice & old veg with a bite or two of meat, while we ate bbq steaks, salad etc.

    like i said, it works for us. she's very happy with the situation, and so are we.

  4. #4
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Our helper just eats whatever we eat for lunch and dinner. We stock our kitchen with sausages, instant noodles, pasta, pasta sauce etc. so that if we eat out, and don't have any leftovers from the day before, our helper can cook for herself. Occasionally, if we are eating out and during the day if I pass a KFC, I will get her KFC and she likes that. When she does supermarket runs for us, I also let her buy bread/cereal/coffee, which I pay for, for herself for her breakfast meal as we don't always eat breakfast at home. On occasion if I buy cake or egg tarts or cupcakes home for my family, I also buy one for her.

    As for toiletries - when she does supermarket runs, I let her use the money we give her for our groceries to by toiletries for herself - but that's just soap, shampoo and toothpaste, I don't think I've ever seen her buy anything else with our money. I think the rest of the toiletries, she buys herself on her day off. She also buys snacks for herself on her day off. Though I do offer to her that she can eat our snacks - it's just that we are not a snacking household so don't have many snacks at home.

    Like Carang said I would also feel terrible if we ate big meals everday and our helper had to eat rice and vegetables only.

  5. #5
    piper is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all the responses. This is very helpful.

    Sambuster, Ive sent you a PM.

    Cheers,
    Piper

  6. #6
    sorchului is offline Registered User
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    When my helper first came, she said she would eat whatever I ate, so I stocked up the fridge and cupboards with rice, bread, pasta, eggs, meat, veg, snacks, fruits etc. However I noticed that she was not eating what I provided so I ended up wasting a lot of food. Also one time she ate 4 out of 5 slices of milk bread from the 'Little Mermaid' bakery at City'Super. (I bought the bread for my husband and one packet is $18.)

    In addition, my husband and I have irregular eating times, so I started to give her a food allowance of HK$500 per month to get whatever she wanted. I still provide her with all the basic food such as rice, oil, cofee, milk, pasta, seasoning and condiments. Occasionally I go out for dinner with her and we all get to eat some better food.

    This is working well for us as I don't have to worry about what she eats. By giving her the allowance in the beginning of the month, I think it's also a good training for her on how to manage the budget. I keep reviewing the prices of the food in the market and I increase the allowance from time to time.

    I don't provide her toiletries apart from hand soap, toilet rolls, towels and bed linens. I think it's not necessary.

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