Ask MaryPat – “Will I get reimbursed for miles & supplies?”

Dear MaryPat,

11017023_825486487524167_2076069828042980833_nI absolutely love my new job! I love little Katie and I’m happy with the schedule and the pay. Thanks for helping me find this job! There is one problem though. Mrs. Smith told me that she would pay for the gas in my car and that she would give me a little spending money to buy food and art supplies for projects but she hasn’t offered me anything yet and I’ve been in the job for three weeks now. I am spending my own money and am getting concerned. What should I do?

– Julia

Dear Julia,

I know that it can be hard to talk about money, but since you are new to the job and the relationship, this is the ideal time for you to address your concerns. Mrs Smith told you that she intended to pay for these expenses, which she should, so let’s let her do so.

You can ask her if you can have a brief meeting to check in on a couple of things. Just like you did in your note to me, start with the positives and let her know how happy you are. Then very clearly ask her how she would like to handle gas and spending money. You can suggest that you could keep a mileage log to be reimbursed for the driving. Mrs. Smith should be reimbursing you for your miles driven on the job at the rate of 57.5 cents per mile. This reimbursement would not include the miles you drive to get to your job or to drive home when you’re done, only the miles you drive once you’re on the job – picking the kids up, running errands, etc. Remember also that this mileage reimbursement rate is set by the IRS, and it typically changes every year.

For the art supplies and stuff like that, perhaps you could arrange to have an envelope with petty cash for food and supplies. You can turn in receipts and keep a list of spending.

We recommend that everyone have a written Work Agreement that outlines pay, reimbursement, time off and job responsibilities. If Mrs. Smith has not put one together then please let her know that you would find it helpful to have a written agreement. Town + Country has a template that we can share with all of you.

Once you have this conversation I expect that you will see it is best to be honest, timely and direct with your employer. I am sure you will have good results!

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