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Generous Tipping: When to Tip Like a Rock Star

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Have you ever found yourself sitting in a restaurant or at the hairdresser, frantically trying to figure an appropriate amount to tip? Should you play it safe and overtip? Should you factor in the quality of the service? You fear coming off as cheap, but you don’t want to give out free money, either.

Everyone struggles at one time or another with tipping, and these are only some of the issues that can affect one’s tipping decision. Gratuities have risen in the past decade, and remembering what amount is appropriate can be a tough task.

Fortunately, Lending Club sets a prime example for tipping etiquette. Lending Club helps connect people who need a personal loan with those who are seeking a rewarding investment path. The site’s annual average performance for a personal loan portfolio is over 12 percent, and the top performing portfolios earn lenders on Lending Club over 18.5 percent on their investments.

That latter number seems to be a perfect antidote for the oft-puzzling problem of proper tipping. For those who struggle with just how much to give in gratuity, the Lending Club return of 18.5 percent is a happy medium.

CNN Money
reported on the appropriate amount to tip in certain situations. For the most part, the average tip was 15 percent, which remains a pretty standard rate in today’s service economy. Some businesses demand higher rates, and the type of service received can also fluctuate the percentage, according to the article.

Paying 15 percent might be normal, but doing things the Lending Club way is commendable. No one likes a thrifty tipper, so keeping to the 18.5 percent gratuity can make a big difference. Here are five situations where the Lending Club tip rule can safely be applied.

Tipping 18.5 percent at restaurants

Years ago, the standard tip at a restaurant was 10 percent. Today, if someone were to attempt such a paltry gratuity, he would be seen as cheap or rude, or both. Fifteen percent seems to be the acceptable norm, and anything less would speak to poor service by the wait staff or poor math skills by the customer.

Tipping 18.5 percent, then, would appear generous, benevolent, and downright charitable. Dinner guests would find you charming, fellow diners would find you wealthy, and the waitress might find you a free dessert next time you visit.

Figuring the tip is relatively easy, too. Let’s assume the bill comes to $23.50 (you took your date to a pretty cheap restaurant). To calculate a 10 percent tip, take the total and simply move the decimal point one space to the left. A 10 percent gratuity on a bill of $23.50 would be $2.35. Doubling the 10 percent tip would give you the amount for a 20 percent gratuity ($4.70). A few cents less than that would be the 18.5 percent Lending Club tip ($4.35 to be exact).

Tipping 18.5 percent at the hairdresser

Barbers and hair stylists have a largely thankless job. They are only really recognized when they do something wrong, like shave a cartoon into the back of your head or cut your ear. A good haircut is supposed to say, “Don’t bother looking at my hair because it is normal, socially acceptable, and not nearly as visually appealing as the fact that I work out.”

Yet the importance of this service is immeasurable. With the options of never cutting your hair or doing the deed yourself, a salon provides a pretty necessary function. And shouldn’t its employees be rewarded for it?

An 18.5 percent tip would be an appropriate compensation for making sure you don’t look like a Neanderthal, 80’s train wreck, which is exactly what would happen if you took scissors into your own hands. Plus, the barber might even let you double-dip in the lollipop jar.

Assuming the haircut is a 50-dollar visit, an 18.5 percent tip would result in $9.25 extra for your hairdresser. Figuring other tip amounts is simple. For every 10 dollars, just add or subtract two dollars from your tip total. A 40-dollar haircut would yield a 7-dollar tip, a 60-dollar trim would call for an 11-dollar thank you, and so on.

Tipping 18.5 percent at the spa

For many, the spa is a great way to relieve stress and treat oneself, so those doing the work for you should be justly rewarded.

Whether the spa day includes just a massage and soak or if the visit turns into a day-trip with mud packs, manicures, and the works, an 18.5 percent tip would be an appreciated gratuity for the people who work so hard to make you feel so special.

A big spa day could cost $150, so a Lending Club tip will be a fine tip for the spa staff. At 18.5 percent, you would be giving out 28 dollars—a price tag that feels a lot better after that nap in the sauna.

Tipping 18.5 percent to the pizza delivery guy

One of the most widely debated tips is the one given to the pizza delivery guy. Some people throw a few bucks his way, and others treat the service like a standard restaurant tab. Still others choose not to give the poor guy anything.

Customers choose their different gratuities for a wide variety of reasons. Some believe that the delivery charge is included in the price. Others don’t really see the value in the service. A few find it easier on the conscience to stiff someone at home rather than in their place of business. But regardless of the justification, pizza delivery is a valuable service that should be rightly compensated. These people bring food to your homes; how great is that? The delivery man saves you the hassle of driving out to get dinner, waiting in line, fighting traffic, and wasting valuable free time. That is worth an 18.5 percent Lending Club tip right there.

A 12-dollar pizza is an easy two-dollar tip, and no one should be cheap enough to deny the deliveryman that.

Tipping 18.5 percent to the taxi driver

Getting around a big city can be hectic, stressful, and time-consuming, which is exactly why taxi drivers deserve Lending Club’s 18.5 percent tip.

For many urban dwellers, taxis are their only means of transportation. City buses only go through certain routes, and riding a bike doesn’t always fit in with a schedule or dress code. Taxis also provide a great service for out-of-towners, businesspeople and tourists.

As such, tipping 18.5 percent seems more than reasonable. Though some might feel that the fare is enough price to pay for a ride through traffic, taxi drivers offer a service that is quite important, if not appreciated.

Tipping 18.5 percent on a 20-dollar fare is $3.70 out of your pocket, which is a fine price to pay to avoid morning road rage.

Be sure to check out the article for more tips on tipping!

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