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« Two Ways Women Can Make More Money -- Wear Skirts and Make-up | Main | Anyone Out There Make Extra Money During the Holidays? »

November 10, 2008


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I think that the main problem is not with how much to tip but whom to tip and when.

Growing up, I have always been taught to tip the postman, hairstylist (Beauticians), waiters, and anyone who helps you with large lifting or extra work at either a grocery store or hardware store.

I think that the only time you need to tip professions outside of these is if they are dealing with you enough so that they make 1/5th of thier total income from you. In that case, do not think of it as a 'tip' but rather as a Holiday bonus.


I always make up a bunch of cards that say a gift was given in their name to "The Human Fund" then pass them out. It works pretty well and doesn't cost me anything.

My husband and I would like to provide a small gift (either cash or baked goods) to our mail carrier and garbage men. However, it's rare that we see these people to deliver the gift in person - other than our mail carrier who we occasionally on Saturdays.

For those of you who provide tips, how do you leave them for these two services? We have a mail slot into our house rather than a mailbox, so we can't leave a gift in a mailbox for our mail carrier. As for the garbage men, I'm concerned a card with cash might get overlooked and am not crazy about the idea of leaving baked goods next to our weekly trash. Thanks in advance for suggestions!

Excellent, Costanza! I love it.

I don't have a scope of people to tip during the holiday, but one day that'll change. I served for a while through college, and if you were to give anything over the norm, it is greatly appreciated. I'm sure that most working people are used to getting shorted during the holidays when budgets tighten, so anything would be noticed.


Tips: Budget for it. If you budget $X per year for a personal trainer, budget $X + tip.

Gifts: Unless you know it is what somebody wants and can use, consider consumables....especially hand made (I liked the bread). I used to roast my own coffee and give 1/2 lb decaf and 1/2 regular in a couple inexpensive mugs.

I also agree using caution "donations in the name of..." If this is done, choose something benign like a local food bank.

Jessica: Wrap it well and hang it on the door or trash can (lot of platic bags, maybe a box) with their name on it.

(Yes, we pay them already (either directly or through taxes)

One minor correction is needed here: The Post Office receives NO funding from any taxes the sole funding is from sales of postage, ect. As a matter of fact something most people don't know is that any profit they make is taken and put into the governments general fund which is one reason they never stay in the black. Has something to do with being non-profit. Ahh, good ole sound government thinking.

Wow, your wife sounds seriously awesome - she grinds her own wheat? Can you have her write a post about that? (If you don't think it's appropriate for FMF, I'd be happy to publish it on CFO. It sounds fascinating.)

Cathy --

Yes, I think you two would get along well.

I'll ask her about doing a post. :-)

If you don't want to tip the garbage man, trust me, he has seen it before and won't care. But don't make up a charity or some other smartarse response. That's pretty insulting to a guy just doing his job.

tip only if you feel like you are getting great service.

@John: I feel you may be missing the relationship between a small tip and getting great service. One can lead to the other.

@ guinness416 - the "Costanza" post was a reference to a "Seinfeld" episode. I would be shocked if someone actually did that.

I too have struggled with how to tip the garbage guys, postal carrier, and newspaper delvery person. I never see them and leaving cash or gifts outside in my neighborhood is not a great idea. Odds are the recipients won't get them.

Personally, I would like to say that as a former Pizza delivery driver, that cutting back on tips to even zero is understandable in this economy. The unemployed should be even envious that they are working. As for myself, I am no longer tipping. In fact, I even go to the Sikh Temples and eat free langar daily to cut down my grocery shopping cost by 80%.

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