Tips for Holiday Tipping

Photo (cc) by olishaw

The holidays are a festive time, and we all want to spread good cheer. But cash tips can be costly, and in some cases, inappropriate. Thankfully, there are plenty of guidelines for tipping and some great alternatives to cash gifts.

In the video below, Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson offers some advice on holiday tipping and some affordable alternatives to cash. Check it out, and then read on for more…

Deciding how much to tip during the holidays can be a daunting task. In the video above, Stacy had some great ideas on how to divvy up your tipping budget, including what to do when you just can’t afford to offer cash. Let’s take a closer look at his ideas, and then we’ll look at a few standard tipping guidelines that you should keep in mind.

  1. Create a tipping budget. As Stacy said, holiday tipping is about offering what you can afford, not what you can’t. Once you and your family have decided how much cash you can spare for tipping, the next task is…
  2. Divide your cash tips appropriately. When distributing your cash tips, keep the following in mind: How much do you normally pay each service provider? How long have you known this person? Finally, how strong is your relationship? For example, a trusted housekeeper or babysitter who has visited your home for years should certainly be offered more than the anonymous person who empties your garbage. Once you run out of cash…
  3. Offer creative non-cash tips. Stacy’s suggestion of a sincere, well-written note of appreciation is one of my favorites, as I have cherished the handwritten letters that I’ve received over the years. Offering a regular service provider some paid time off is also an indisputable winner when it comes to non-cash gifts. Finally, homemade baked goods can go over great, as long as you are sure the recipient does not have any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Some standard tips on tipping

  1. Tipping service providers that you pay. While the Web is filled with guides to tipping, such as Emily Post’s that Stacy mentioned, these lengthy guides can often be boiled down to a few simple rules. In most cases, the recommended tip for regularly paid service providers is between one week and one month of service, depending on the length and depth of your relationship.
  2. Guidelines for tipping public employees. The only thing worse than giving someone no tip is offering one that can get the recipient into trouble. For example, mail carriers are only allowed to accept small snacks and beverages, or items that have less than $20 in value. They are forbidden to accept cash, checks, or even gift cards. If you choose to tip teachers or other public school employees, check with the administration first.
  3. Holiday travel tipping. It’s always a good idea to recognize the people in the travel industry who have to work on the holidays. For example, last year I had the occasion to travel on Christmas Day. Knowing that the employees I would meet would be the unlucky ones who had to work that day, I handed out small bags of Godiva chocolates with the following note: “Thank you for taking time away from your family so that I could see mine.” These gifts were inexpensive, but their appreciation was priceless.

Don’t stress about holiday tipping, and above all, don’t go into debt to do it. By following some basic guidelines and being creative, you can show your appreciation to those in your life who you rely on every day.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors
10 Common Expenses That Have Skyrocketed for Seniors

Retirees must stretch their dollars further and further these days — no thanks to these costs.

It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things
It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things

Sometimes, the difference in quality makes it worthwhile to open your wallet a little wider.

14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use
14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use

Save your money. These items seem alluring but they often end up as coat racks and dust magnets.

14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches
14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches

WD-40 is handy in a lot more situations than you likely realize.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers
This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The Worst Day of the Year to Buy a Used Car
The Worst Day of the Year to Buy a Used Car

If you need a new set of wheels, avoid shopping on this day.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

7 Stores That Match — or Beat — Amazon Prices
7 Stores That Match — or Beat — Amazon Prices

These retailers offer some of the most consumer-friendly price-match policies anywhere.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.