Holiday Tipping 2016

Red bow atop a bunch of bills representing an expensive giftLearning to tip is just another one of the lessons in adult life you have to learn when you move into your first apartment. Whom to tip? How much? Here are some basics you can use as you tipping guide:


Tipping your super can bring you goodwill for the next year. $50-$100 is a typical tip range to a working super in a city apartment building.  If you are living with several roommates and the super is in frequently to unclog the plumbing or fix minor problems, go for the high end. You’ll be splitting the tip with your roommates anyway, so it does not hurt so much.


If your building has a handyman (or several) in addition to the super, $20-$30 each would be normal range. Again, depending how much of the handyman services you are using and if you also tip each time they come up.


If you are lucky enough to live in a doorman building, you should budget to tip $25 and up each.  A good doorman who holds your packages, remembers your friends names and greets you with a smile each day, deserves to be recognized generously.

House Cleaner

If you have a steady house cleaner, that person usually get one cleaning’s wages as a holiday tip.

Hair Stylist

If you go to the same stylist every few weeks for your haircuts, it is customary to tip the person an amount equal to the cost of one visit. If you only go for a trim infrequently, but always to same person, then add a little something to the payment when you visit near the holidays or bring a box of chocolates or some cookies.

Nail Salon

If you go for weekly or biweekly manicures/pedicures, tip an amount equal to the cost of your usual visit.

Newspaper Delivery

If you get newspapers delivered daily, $20 is a usual tip to the delivery person.

Letter Carrier

“Letter Carriers are prohibited from accepting cash or a cash equivalent such as a Visa or Master Card gift card from Postal Service customers.” If your mail man or woman is extra nice, or if you receive an unusually high amount of mail, you can give a little gift valued at less than $20 or a gift card, max. $20,  to a specific store, for example Starbucks.

Your Favorite Barista

Throw an extra $5-$10 to the tip jar.

Dog Walker

If you have a daily dog walker for your best friend, it is customary to tip an amount equal to a week of walks.

If you are living alone, tipping can be a burden, but on the other hand, you might have to rely more on your helpers, such as your super, during the year. If you live with several roommate, tip more generously, in order to build a little reserve of goodwill that may smooth things over if troubles arise during the year.

If you have absolutely no spare cash for tips, bake some cookies or brownies, even if you just make them using a mix. It shows your appreciation for the work that people in your circle of helpers do to make your life better all year long.

Let us know in the comments how you handle tipping.








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