2011 Holiday Tipping Guide

Photo: Muy Yum

‘Tis the season to tip! It’s a wonderful time of the year and it’s also pretty darn confusing. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out when a tip is even appropriate, let alone how much you should give. That times are tough and you might not be able to be as generous as you would like to be doesn’t help, either.

The good thing about tipping is it’s a personal decision. You get to decide what’s appropriate for you and your budget. To help you navigate through this unfamiliar tipping territory we have collected a variety of best practices and have wrapped them nicely in our 2011 Holiday Tipping Guide.

At Home

Your Babysitter
$$ Amount: One nights pay
You don’t have to tip your babysitter, but if she goes above and beyond for you then a tip would be appropriate. You should tip one nights pay and adding a little note from your child would be a really nice touch.

House Keepers/Maids
$$ Amount: One weeks pay
The average consensus on a house keeper is to give them a nice holiday card with one weeks pay included.

Dog Walker
$$ Amount: One weeks pay
If you have a dog walker be sure not to forget them. After all, they are good to our fury friends and they clean up after them, too. One weeks pay would be the perfect way to say thank you for all their hard work.

Your Doorman
$$ Amount: $50 – $100
Doormen make out during the holidays! The appropriate tip for a doorman is $50 to $100 depending on their level of service.

In The Neighborhood

Postal Carriers
$$ Amount: $20
There are regulations that prevent our USPS mail carriers from accepting cash gifts. They are allowed to accept gift cards – like a $20 gift card to a coffee shop along their route. Don’t forget you can buy gift cards online at a discount!

Newspaper Delivery Person:
$$ Amount: $10 – $30
If you don’t normally tip your newspaper delivery person then you should give a holiday tip. If you are a regular tipper than you could go with a smaller amount.

Garbage Collector
$$ Amount: $10 – $15
I never would think to tip my garbage man, partly because I never see him. But, proper tipping etiquette says we should put these guys on our list. First, be sure to check to see if their are regulations for this in your local area. If your garbage collector goes above and beyond while being friendly then $10.00 to $15.00 per person would be a nice gesture.

At Work

Secretary/ Office Assistant
$$ Amount: $50 or more
Secretaries make the world go around – at least while you’re at work. Be sure to add them to your shopping list and take into account how long they have been with you. A holiday tip in the form of a bonus is one way to show your thanks. Gift cards or an actual gift would also be appropriate in this case as well.

Outside The Home

Hair Stylist
$$ Amount: $20 – $100
If you have a long standing relationship with your hair stylist, then tipping them the amount of one visit would be appropriate.

Personal Trainer or Massage Therapist
$$ Amount: $60 – $100
Generally, the cost of one session is the ideal tipping amount.

Nursing Home Staff
$$ Amount: $50 – $100
Those that take card of our beloved family members certainly should not be forgotten during the holidays. Since this is for a team of people, a generous gift basket full of holiday goodies would be a wonderful idea.

Private Health Care Nurse
$$ Amount: One weeks pay
A gift card to a favorite store or restaurant, or a gift equivalent to one week’s pay.

Your Child’s School

Calling it a tip might not be accurate, but the idea is still the same. Any parent knows just how important teachers and school officials are in the lives of our children so thinking of them during the holidays is a must. The holidays are a perfect time to let them know just how much you value them.

Children’s Teacher and Teacher’s Aid
$$ Amount: $25
A gift card to a local store of coffee shop, along with a note of appreciation is a great idea. Check with the school beforehand because some schools have their own policies on things like this. Also, in the event you need to have it delivered to the school, make sure they accept deliveries.

School Secretary and/or School Nurse:
$$ Amount: $25
If you have some sort of close relationship with these individuals, a gift card and note would be appropriate.

Additional Tipping Resources

Holiday Tipping Guide by Diane
Who Should You Tip for the Holidays?
Holiday Tipping Advice
Holiday Tipping Is Really Holiday Thanking

Topics: Personal Finance

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