Who Should I Tip During The Holidays And How Much?

I’ve left strict word upstairs that the cat-sitter must be tipped well. So far, it’s worked. The fancy food comes out, the litter box is kept extra clean, and I even get to sleep in the master bedroom. But not everyone is so generous with their cash.

The results of a survey conducted by our older and wiser siblings at Consumer Reports may not be good for anyone counting on holiday tips to keep them going through the end of the year: the majority of respondents were non-tippers, with mail carriers and garbage collectors at the bottom of the list. The most-tipped? Cleaning people, who got cash, gift cards or gifts from the majority of their clients.

According to the survey, the average tip was $35, in line with the results of recent years. If you’re going to tip, Consumer Reports suggests sticking with cash, instead of gift cards or food, and give self-employed, lower-wage earners the equivalent of what they’d earn in one session, or a week’s wages. Mail carriers can’t take cash, but can take gift cards worth $20 or less.

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Holiday Tipping Survey Results [Consumer Reports]