It's the holiday season, and many Americans want to show their appreciation to those who make their lives more comfortable during the year. From nannies to housekeepers to your favorite delivery person, countless people in your life simplify your daily activities.
To show gratitude for some of the professionals in your life, you may want to give them a holiday tip. However, it can be challenging to decide who to tip and what the appropriate amount is. To help you avoid holiday mishaps, here's a guide to holiday tipping.
HOLIDAY TIPPING GUIDELINES
First, it's important to remember that holiday tipping isn't an obligation. It's simply showing gratitude to those who provide loyal services throughout the year. It's also a way to pay it forward to professionals in the service industry that may have suffered from the recent economic downturn.
Whether you participate in the gesture of holiday tipping or not, you must decide what you're most comfortable with. Here are a few questions to ask when deciding who and how much to tip.
HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO THE RECIPIENT?
The relationship you have with the professionals in your life may determine who you decide to tip. For example, if you have a nanny or babysitter who has cared for your children for years, they may feel like part of the family. For these unique relationships, you may want to demonstrate more gratitude with a more substantial gift. Likewise, if you just started seeing a new hairdresser, you may not feel as inclined to give them an additional holiday tip.
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
Due to the global pandemic's economic impact, you may not have as much cash on hand as you did years before. Therefore, it's more crucial than before to assess your holiday budget. When you know how much you can spend, you can ensure that you're not going into debt to show appreciation. If cash is limited this season, prioritize tipping those you feel the closest with or those who provide the most value to your family.
Keep in mind that if money is tight, you can also give handmade gifts or baked goods to show gratitude instead of shelling out cash.
DO YOU FEEL AS THOUGH HOLIDAY TIPPING IS NECESSARY?
Overall, it comes down to what you would prefer to do. You shouldn't feel pressured to give if you don't feel inclined to do so or don't think you can afford it. Do what feels right to you.
Now that you have some guidelines for who and how to tip, here are a few general suggestions for tipping the different people in your network:
- Au pair: A small gift from your children and one to two weeks’ pay
- Animal trainer: The cost of one session
- Barber or hairstylist: The cost of one hair cut
- Babysitter: Average evening or day payment and one small gift from your children
- Housekeeper: Cost of one visit and a small gift
- Coffee shop barista: $10 to $20 if you see someone regularly
- Country club staff: $50 to staff you interact with regularly
- Doorman: $25 to $50 depending on your relationship
- Groomer: The cost of one visit
- Handyman: $15-$50
- Food delivery person: $10-$30 for a regular delivery person
- Kids’ coach or teachers: Small gift from children
- Nail technician: The cost of one session
- Personal assistant: One small gift and bonus based on performance
- Pet sitter: The cost of one visit
- Senior care aid: $25-$100 depending on the level of care and frequency of care
- Wait staff: $20-$40 if you see them regularly
THE BOTTOM LINE
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and there's no time like the holidays to ensure that everyone in your life feels well taken care of. While monetary gifts are not obligatory, especially if you have been hard hit by the economic crisis, be sure to at least thank people for their hard work. Remember, a nice gesture can go a long way in improving the lives of others. Do what you can to help everyone around you have a happy, healthy holiday season.