Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tipping Tips

Unless you're Cornelius Vanderbilt IX, right about this time of year, what with all the parties, gifts and travel, you probably feel a distinct lightening in your wallet, and meanwhile, your credit card bill is likely arriving with an extra stamp to accommodate its new-found heft. But before you cross the last name off your gift list, you also need to remember the people who have provided services for you this year, and, ideally, give them a little cash tip to thank them. This process -- who to tip and how much -- has proven to be one of the most opaque things about adulthood, for me, anyway, and I am still not sure I've got it right. Here's a little list of people you may have forgotten about this holiday season, who deserve a little extra something. If you truly can't afford to spend one more penny this year, you can always write a sincere card thanking them, or give them something else, like a box of homemade cookies (or check in tomorrow for a recipe for easy, festive fudge). Though, if you have a personal trainer and a cleaning lady and can't afford to give a tip, you need to work on your budgeting skills. May I suggest you buy a Roomba and a Jane Fonda workout video, instead? Just don't turn off the lights and pretend you've gone out of town early to avoid the whole problem.

Babysitter: Tip a regular babysitter one- to two-nights' pay. Tip a daily babysitter or au pair one week's pay. In addition, give them a small gift from the child- they deserve it for looking after your progeny all year.
Doorman/ Superintendant: $10-80 for each doorman (depending on how much you have used their help), $50-100 for the Super.
Mailperson/ Newspaper Deliverer: $10-20 is appropriate for each, but if giving cash makes you uncomfortable, you could always give a gift card to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts of equal value.
Cleaning Person: If you have someone clean your house twice a week or less, a tip equivalent to one visit's fee is appropriate. Adjust the amount if they come more or less often. They'll be less likely to throw a red sock in with your whites.
Personal Trainer: $40-60, if you feel you have a good relationship and they have worked hard with you.
Hairstylist/ Manicurist: Depending on your relationship, you may want to double your usual tip during your December visit. This is unnecessary if you have no personal relationship with them.
Dog Walker/Groomer: Give the walker the equivalent of 1 week's pay, and the groomer $20-50, but only if you use the same one frequently.

Just when you thought you were finished with your shopping. On the bright side, at least you can shop for all these folks at the same place- the ATM.

1 comment:

Talia said...

Great post! I am new to your blog and really enjoy it. I check daily and you are a breathe of fresh air!

Have a great weekend!