Monday, December 22, 2008

Tips on Holiday Tipping

There are no hard and fast rules on holiday tipping, experts say. How much to tip, or whether to tip at all, depends on several factors, including the quality and frequency of service, the relationship you have with the provider, how long they have worked for you, where you live (since amounts can be higher in large cities), and your budget.

The Emily Post Institute offers the following guidelines for holiday tipping, but also advises consumers to let common sense and the holiday spirit be your guide. If financial circumstances limit what you can give, a handwritten note is always appropriate.
  • Babysitter – One evening’s pay, plus a small gift from your child
  • Barber/Hair stylist – Cost of one haircut or a gift
  • Child’s teacher – Check the school’s policy. If allowed, give a small token gift of appreciation, not cash
  • Day care providers – $25 to $70 each, plus a small gift from your child for providers who give direct care to your child(ren)
  • Dog walker – One week’s pay or a gift
  • Personal fitness trainer – Up to the cost of one session
  • Housekeeper/maid service – Up to one week’s pay or a gift
  • Doorman – $15 to $80
  • Garage attendant – $10 to $30 each
  • Letter carriers – Gift up to $20, no cash per U.S. Post Office regulations
  • Massage therapist – Up to one session’s fee or a gift
  • Handyman service – $15 to $40
  • Real Estate Agent – One or two referrals of people you know who will buy or sell a property in the next 30 days

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