A guide to tipping this holiday season

A tip is an easy way to say thank you | Photo via Pexels

The holiday season is in full swing, and spreading holiday cheer doesn’t have to stop at friends and family — you can also spread thanks throughout the community. Most of us only think of tipping when we’re sitting in a restaurant looking at the bill. However, during the holidays, tipping is a great way to thank the people who’ve provided you services and made your life a little easier throughout the year. 

Here’s our guide to holiday tipping etiquette:

Determine the tip amount 

Consider the frequency + quality of each service, the Emily Post Institute Inc. advises. Not all tips will be equal. If you’ve been a loyal customer for years, you might feel more inclined to spend more on that person rather than someone who you only began working with a month ago — and that’s okay. Here’s a breakdown of the golden rules for tipping per industry + a guide to specific amounts for holiday tips to help you determine a budget. 

Budget around your tips 

If you plan ahead for holiday spending, also include tips in this part of your budget so you don’t overextend yourself during an already high-spending season.

Need help building a budget that actually works for you? United Community Bank can help. As experts in budgeting + managing money, they can help you develop a budget that’s easy to stick to and ways to save for holiday expenses throughout the year. Pro tip: Use United Community Bank’s budget calculator to calculate your monthly expenses. 

Consider alternatives to monetary tips

Including a hand-written note with a tip or small gift can help build a connection with the person beyond just the service they provide | Photo via Unsplash

If you consistently tip a person throughout the year, think about gifting them something small and meaningful rather than an end-of-year envelope of cash. (Think: A local candle, a bottle of wine, or a homemade batch of cookies.) This gift should still be accounted for in your “tipping” budget, but will serve as a more specific, personal touch.  

Check your (tip) list twice 

First, ask who has made your life a little easier throughout the year (or even as recently as this holiday season). Was it the dog walker or your hairstylist? Was it your financial advisor? Build out a tipping list along with your holiday shopping list, so you don’t forget anyone important. 

Here are key folks to consider tipping:

  • House cleaners  
  • Caterers (who save you all that time in the kitchen for the big holiday party)
  • Christmas tree farm workers
  • Daycare providers
  • Babysitters
  • Nannies
  • Pet groomers
  • Dry cleaners
  • Landscapers 
  • Pool cleaners
  • Gift wrappers (while some businesses include this service for free, it’s nice to show appreciation for those who check off another task on your holiday to-do list)*