Tip Your Helpers for the Holiday

The giving season is upon us. For many people that means deciding whom to tip and how much. Plan to include both the service people you tip regularly throughout the year, such as your barber or hairstylist, as well as those you don’t, such as a cleaning person.

How much you tip will depend on how long the person has been doing work for you, how close you are, and the typical amount for someone in that position.

Although we list some suggested amounts, remember that these are just that–suggestions. Give only what you can afford.

During the holidays
* Babysitter: Two to four nights’ pay, more if you use the sitter several times a week
* Barber or hairstylist: Price of one haircut or more if you’re a long-time customer
* Delivery person: $10 to $15 if it’s someone you see repeatedly
* Manicurist: $5 to $15
* U.S. mail carrier: Postal regulations prohibit mail carriers from accepting cash or cash equivalents (gift certificates), although unsolicited gifts of up to $20 in value, such as candy or gloves, are allowed.

Year round
* Babysitter: $3 to $6 for extra service, such as on a night when you return home much later than planned
* Barber or hairstylist: 10-20% of bill
* Pizza delivery person: 10-15% of bill; slightly more in foul weather
* Manicurist: 10-20% of the cost of the service
* Dog groomer: 10-15% of bill
* Hotel bellhop/desk clerk: $5 to $20 for a room upgrade; $1-2 per bag delivered to your hotel room
* Tour guide: 15-20% depending on quality (knowledge, friendliness, etc.)