I don’t know about you but I stress this time of year about who to give tips to and what to give. Should you tip those people that you normally tip during the year like your hairdresser? It’s the time of the year to show those special people in your life some thanks for all they have done for you this year. But the question is who and what? Giving to all could break the bank.
So we went to the experts (Emily Post, Huffington post and Real Simple) to see what they say.
The Emily Post Institute suggests that if your budget does not allow for tips, consider homemade gifts; and if you’re not good with crafts or in the kitchen, remember that words are always a great way to express your thanks for a year of good service. Do you already tip regularly? If you tip at the time of service, you may forego an end of the year tip, or give a more modest holiday thank you. You may also choose to give a small gift instead.
The Huffington Post adds that you should put your thoughts down in writing. One person may use a hairstylist once a week while another person may visit the salon every three months. Adjust the tip accordingly. If you don’t see them regularly and they can’t remember your name, you may opt to skip the tip. If you enjoy a close relationship regardless of frequency, drop a tip by the salon or put it in the mail, generally the cost of one service.
Also, don’t feel obligated to give cash. If money is tight this year but you want to do something to show your appreciation, give a gift that you know will be meaningful like a sweet treat. No apology needed for not giving money.
Lastly, if you want to give cash, check out Real Simple for some actual cash tips suggestions.
So, taking the experts into consideration, we have accumulated some tips for you:
Hint #1 – Cash is best and if possible, should be handed over in person. Put a heartfelt note in a card or put it in a nicely wrapped box and make it festive. Also, don’t wait until the final weeks of December — the recipients may be depending on the money to buy holiday gifts, especially if you gave last year.
Hint # 2 – Make a list and include all the people who made your life easier. They may include your nanny or caregiver, hairstylist, personal fitness instructor, housekeeper, dog walker, garbage collector and, if you live in a condominium or apartment, handyman or concierge. For a nanny, a week’s pay is appropriate. The cost of one session is a good benchmark for many others on your list, such as a pet groomer, hair cutter, babysitter or weekly cleaning person.
Hint #3 – Check on a company’s policy before you tip one of its employees. For instance, mail carriers are not allowed to take cash but you can give them something small like baked goods to show appreciation. You also should not give cash to a professional, such as your doctor, lawyer or accountant but some home-baked goods, a bottle of wine or chocolates are acceptable. When it comes to teachers, consider pooling your resources with other parents to give a gift card, rather than cash. A restaurant card or a treatment at a spa would be appreciated.
Hint #4 – You don’t have to blow your budget. If money is tight, you can still show your gratitude to anyone you don’t tip with a card and a note — and maybe a small gift. No one will turn away freshly baked chocolate chip cookies or a cheesecake.
Remember tipping is expected but don’t bust your budget, but if you can consider giving a little extra this year, do so. Not only is it the season to do so, but you also may find a little bonus in it for you: A provider you tip generously will be more likely to treat you better in the coming year by, say, slipping you in for an appointment at the last minute or giving you extra services free. A little note; a show of how much you care goes a long way.