The end of the year is usually when you tip service providers, but if you’re on a reduced budget then you’re probably going to want to scale back this year. Here are some suggestions from etiquette experts contacted by Reuters.
- If you’ve got the money, it’s pretty rotten to scale back your tips simply because times are tough. Etiquette author Mary Mitchell says, “Don’t use it as an excuse to save money then buy some Prada boots.”
- Mitchell also says to focus first on those you don’t regularly tip, like housekeepers, personal trainers, babysitters, tutors, and doormen.
- If you’re not sure, try to find out whether the person can accept cash; some teachers can’t, for example, and postal workers can accept gift cards of $20 or less. In cases where cash is a bad idea, try something hand made or a gift of some sort.
- Don’t go into debt to tip; set aside your total tipping amount before hand, then divide it up as necessary.
- Try tipping earlier in the season, since your recipients may also be worrying about who to tip.
- Try to pool your resources with others. For example, if you and your neighbors pitch in, you can give your doorman or building super a nicer tip.
“Cutting holiday tips seen as chance to really say thank you” [Reuters]