This is the time of year to thank those who make our lives easier every day. Some of us do that through tipping. It can be tricky figuring out who to tip and when, so here are a few tipping tips.
Who should you tip?
People who provide you with a service frequently. People like your hair stylist, manicurist, babysitter -- even the paper boy.
Daily (or biweekly) service/little relationship: $15 - $30
These are the people who provide you a regular (i.e. frequent) service, but with whom you have little if any personal interaction.
- Trash collector
- Parking attendants
- Newspaper carriers
- Postal carriers (by law they cannot accept cash)
Weekly or monthly service/more personal relationship: Cost of 1-2 visits
These are people who know the details of your life, who work hard to give you the type of service and attention that are important to you (rather than generic to everyone they serve).
- Dog walker
- Personal trainer
- Children's service providers (private coaches, tutors, sports teachers, etc.)
Of course, we're used to tipping servers, bartenders and the like, so there's no reason to skimp around the holidays. Some servers may even get less during the holidays because people may feel cash-strapped. Keep in mind, however, that servers in most restaurants earn only $2.13 an hour, so tips are especially important.
So if you're a regular customer in a restaurant and often get the same server, they'll be grateful for a generous holiday tip.
There aren't any hard and fast rules to sharing the wealth during the holidays. But you should know the postal service doesn't allow its carriers to accept cash, checks or gift certificates. You can give a gift, as long as it's under $20.
If you just can't afford to tip with cash, personal gestures like a few baked goods or even a nice note can go a long way toward spreading holiday cheer.