The holidays mean it’s time to tip as a way to stay thank you. Who to tip and how much can add extra stress to the season.
SAN ANTONIO – Tipping is all about spreading wealth without going over budget or maybe thinking of something else when it comes to giving a vacation bonus.
First, decide who to tip. Many of us have a long list but are short on money. Be like Santa and double check your list to see who really deserves by prioritizing your top service providers.
“Tip the people who matter to you, who make your life easier,” says smart savings expert Andrea Woroch.
“If you can’t tip everyone, consider the people who really went above and beyond,” said Ted Rossman of Bankrate.com. “If you have a really great babysitter or hairdresser who really helps beyond her normal duties, you might want to give her a little extra.”
Next, decide how much to tip. The general rule is to give the cost of a service or give what you can.
“The reality is, you should never go broke or feel stressed about tipping,” Woroch said.
“Something is probably better than nothing,” Rossman said. “I don’t think you need to give an explanation. You know, it might be a little awkward like, oh, it’s not as much as last year or, oh, I wish I could give more. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s nice to show appreciation.
Rossman points to a Bankrate holiday tipping study that found people still plan to tip this year, but some will tip less than last year.
“Last year, the median tip for a childcare provider was $50,” Rossman said. “This year it’s only $25. I have to think that not only does inflation weigh on people, but maybe during the pandemic some people tipped very well because they realized it was a weird time and they were just grateful that the place is open.
Consider giving something other than cash.
“Maybe there are other creative ways as well,” Rossman said. “I know money talks, I mean people would prefer cash, but in some cases maybe a handwritten note or some baked goods.”
Also, make sure your service provider can accept a tip or gift before giving it. Some companies have free policies. For example, postal workers are federal employees who are federally regulated and are not allowed to accept cash or gift cards, but may accept a gift up to $20.
If you already tip someone regularly throughout the year, you might just want to add a little more to what you normally tip on your last service of the year.