How Much Should You Be Tipping This Holiday Season?

2009 was a toughie, no?

Even though I’m thankful that I now have gainful employment, I’d be dreaming to say that my bank account has fully recovered from the mess that was being laid-off. But, while I’m still trying to get my savings back up to less-anxiety filled levels of green, I definitely understand that a lot of folks have had it worse than me this year. A lot of folks have more responsibility than themselves and a rented apartment.

So, in a way, I want to make sure that I tip well in 2009. I once read a statistic that the working-class tip better than the upper-class. It is probably because they know better than anyone how hard it can be to earn a buck.

The tip numbers below are from 2008 — but levels should be the same this year as we’re still recession-erific.

Cleaning person – $50
Hairdresser – $20
Manicurist – $20
Newspaper carrier – $20
Barber – $15
Building superintendent – $25
Doorman – $10-80
Pet-care provider – $25
Mail carrier – $20
Fitness instructor – $25

If you’re interested, The New York Times’ City Blog did a pretty comprehensive guide in 2007 which discusses both the history and merits of tipping. It’s kinda nerdy interesting, actually. Basically, it says that while tipping is a means to express appreciation, it also is a down payment towards good service in the year to come both for service providers and for professional employees.

I guess, it comes down to this – is there someone that provides a consistent service for you? If so, why not take thank them if you financially can. If you can’t do it financially, bake them some cookie or write them a nice note. A bit of appreciation can go a long way.

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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