holiday tipping guide: who to tip and how much

Tis the Season for Tipping! The holidays are around the corner, and this is about the time when everyone starts to wonder, “how much should I tip?” We have compiled some suggestions to help you navigate the process. Tipping is just a way to thank those who have helped you throughout the year, and it should not be a stressful process, nor should it set you back financially. If you cannot afford to tip, consider homemade gifts as they always bring a smile to people’s faces.

  • Babysitter: Equivalent to one night’s pay and a small gift or note from your child.
  • Beauty Salon Staff: (receptionist, etc.): divide the equivalent of one haircut among them, or a small gift.
  • Hair Stylist/Nail Tech: Equivalent to one service. Shampoo attendant: $5 – $10
  • Doorman: $20 – $100
  • Group Class Instructor: $20 – $30
  • Housekeeper: Equivalent to one day’s pay for every day of the week they work for you. Increase for every year of service.
  • Landscape Crew: $20 – $30 per person (for a large crew) for a 1-2 person crew $40 – $50 each.
  • Mail Carrier: $10 – $25
  • Masseuse: $50 – $100 (if it is your usual person then equivalent to one massage, someone you go to once or twice a year $25 +)
  • Nanny: Equivalent to one week’s pay or up to one month’s pay, and don’t forget a card or personal gift from your child.
  • Personal trainer/Coach: Equivalent to one session
  • Pet Groomer: $20 – $50
  • Pool Person: $20 – $30 (if you don’t have a regular person then tipping is not necessary).
  • Trash Collector: $10 – $25 per person
  • UPS/FEDEX: $10 – $20
  • Food delivery drivers: With food delivery services becoming more prevalent, it would be nice to consider giving a few extra dollars over the holidays.
  • Teachers: $10 – $50, depending on how many teachers your child has. If they have one main teacher and an assistant it would be appropriate to give the main teacher say $40, and the assistant $25. If your child has 8 teachers, then a $10 – $15 each is appropriate. If you get gift cards, please get them from easily accessible stores (like Target) and not designer boutiques (see our teacher gift post HERE). Don’t be afraid to buy a $5 gift card, your teacher will still appreciate it, they all add up! Include a note from your child if you can.
  • After-School Helpers: Your child’s coach, music, or after school program teacher: $25 – $50 (depending on frequency).

These are just suggestions, and you should alter them to fit your budget. Also, it depends on how often you see the person or use their services, and how much they help you during the year. A personal trainer or babysitter that you use three times a week should get more than the person you see once every other week. Whatever amount you give, no matter how small, should come from the heart. If you cannot afford gift, a personal note is always appreciated. For that extra touch, tie your card to a sweet treat.

*Tipping customs can vary by region, and it’s a good idea to inquire with friends or neighbors about local norms.