The list of people you’re supposed to tip is long, So if budget’s the issue, according to Emily Post, deciding who gets what should be based on the frequency of service and your relationship.
Example? If you don’t know your trash collector’s name, well, a tip is not in order. Same goes for your letter carrier, who by the way, isn’t supposed to receive cash anyway.
For cleaning people, gardeners, trainers or babysitters, the suggested amount is equal to a session of their normal pay. And for a school teacher? A group gift from students and parents is considered correct. Cash is not.
And speaking of cash, manners mavens will tell you it’s crass to just hand somebody cash. What you want to do is put it in a nice card, with a nice hand-written note. And if you’re light on cash, it’s ok to just give somebody a card. Most important thing, though? Don’t ever feel obligated to give a tip. A tip is for exceptional service.