Level-up your financial literacy by taking advantage of our free blog! Enjoy topics ranging from money lifestyle tips to fun local activities for the whole family. 

Select a category below:

Your Holiday Tipping and Gifting Guide

By: Holly Benedetto12.09.21
Blog Your Holiday Tipping and Gifting

Holiday spirit can encourage increased tipping and additional cash gifts for workers in the service industry and other customer-facing roles. It’s a thoughtful gesture and is a great way to pay a special thanks to our everyday heroes.

Keeping your budget in mind, if you can afford to tip extra this holiday season, you should! Gift-giving around the holidays is not just for family or friends, but for anyone we would like to show appreciation.

If you’d like to spread cheer this year, but don’t know tipping etiquette or expectations, keep reading.


Who to Tip

When it comes to tipping, there are several professions that spring to mind: barbers, hair stylists, restaurant waitstaff, bartenders, food delivery personnel, baristas, and other similar roles. These are the people we think of when considering those whose income was directly affected by the pandemic. A recent poll stated that 45% of responders plan to tip these service providers more than usual this year.

According to the survey, responders plan to tip other service providers at least $20 and up to $50 on average. Some responses included:

  • Mail carriers: $20
  • Trash collectors: $20
  • Teachers: $25
  • Landscapers: $30
  • Childcare providers: $50
  • Housekeepers: $50

Who you tip also depends on your tipping habits throughout the year. If you routinely tip after each service, an additional holiday tip may not be necessary.

Furthermore, the length of time you have been using the service or the type of service (such as a deluxe service) may influence your decision to give extra during the holidays. Some industries, such as healthcare, may also have policies that restrict the receipt of individual gifts.


How Much to Tip

Giving an appropriate tip is important, as a tip that is too large can make the recipient feel uncomfortable or indebted. Standard tipping expectations for most industries fall between 10 and 20%.

Beyond a tip, if you would like to provide a cash gift, a fair calculation is the cost of standard service received plus twenty percent extra. For example, if your haircut regularly costs $35, you could provide your hair stylist a gift of $42 or round up to $50.

Remember, there is no pressure to break the bank to provide a generous tip. A $5 gift card to a nearby coffee shop, gas station, or other convenience can be saved and used outside of the holiday season, and it will remind the recipient of you!

Including a hand-written note with well-wishes can make a modest tip go a long way. Even just providing a note and a photo, such as a holiday card of your pet to a veterinarian’s office, can spread your gratitude.


Is Tipping and Gift-Giving Required?

There is no expectation or requirement to give anyone extra tips around the holidays. As the year’s largest spending season, many are focused on providing for their families first and may not account for more gifts in the budget.

Other ideas for non-monetary gifts include baked goods, homemade crafts like scarves or ornaments, or providing a skill as service such as photography. Your relationship with the person you are tipping will determine which of these gifts is the right fit.

Offering a local small business you frequent free, high-quality photos of their property or products can build your relationship with them. This service can build rapport with the owner, help support local businesses, and is a unique and memorable gift.

If these ideas are still beyond your capabilities this season, a sincere thank you and best holiday wishes can bring smiles into the new year.


Stay on Track with Your Budget This Season

Want to work gift-giving into your budget? Log in to Online Teller to access My Money Manager, a free financial management tool included within your online American Heritage account. See where your money goes, set goals, categorize expenses, and more. Check out My Money Manager today and get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions!



Want to stay up-to-date with more financial articles like this one? Join our email list and receive the latest blog articles in your inbox.