Holiday Tipping Guide

December 14, 2016

The holiday season is upon us and it gets expensive.  Between the meals to plan, gifts to buy and parties to attend, many don’t even realize or budget in the cost of holiday tipping.  Tipping can be controversial but is a relatively straightforward process, holiday tipping is something else.  Whom should you tip? How much? What if I tip too little?  Remember that tipping is something to do out of appreciation, not obligation.

Start by making a list
Decide who to include. There are probably people in your life who help you out regularly and who would certainly love to hear that you appreciate all they do.  It is important to decide on a budget for each

Be aware of whom you shouldn’t tip (with cash)
Certain professionals do not need tipping no matter how great of a job they do. For example, your accountant, your doctor, etc. However in these cases if you really want to show them your appreciation, a nice card, bottle of wine, or chocolates is acceptable.

Others who can’t accept cash, either for legal reasons or social custom include:


  • Mail Carrier (but they can accept gifts worth less than $20)

  • Nursing home workers

  • Home Health Aides

  • Teachers


Guide to tipping
Here is a general guide to go off of to help you determine who to tip, how and the amount

  • Assistant – a nice gift – but not too personal – in the $50 range

  • Babysitter – One week’s pay (if they work for you on a regular basis) or the typical cost of a single babysitting session

  • Pet Groomer – The cost of one session

  • Doorman - $20-$100 – split if there is more than one

  • FedEx or UPS Delivery person – FedEx allows gifts (not cash) up to $75; UPS has no official policy. Consider a small gift not in excess of $25

  • Hairdresser – Cost of one haircut or whatever service you regularly receive

  • Home Health Aide – A small gift under $25

  • Housekeeper – One week’s pay

  • Mail Carrier – A small gift under $20

  • Teacher – Small gift under $25


Remember, the holiday season is about giving – but not to the point of breaking the bank. A simple thank you card will be much appreciated if that is all you can afford.  It is a season of being thankful and showing your thanks in whatever ways are possible foryou.

The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Nicole Middendorf and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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