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Holiday Tipping Guidelines

Just as personal connections make person-to-person lending so successful at Lending Club, you probably have many personal relationships with people who provide you with services. Along with all of the other holiday expenses we normally incur, these people may be deserving of a tip or small gift at this time of year.

How much is appropriate to tip? This is sometimes confusing. To help you avoid forgetting someone, over-tipping, or under-tipping them, I compared the recommendations of many websites and compiled a list of average recommendations, rounded to the nearest $5. This list probably has some people that are not applicable to your situation. Note that these amounts are only a guideline. You may want to give more or less based on the level of service you received, depending on where you live and whether or not you have a personal relationship with the service providers in your life.

If you don’t want to tip, or can’t afford to, that’s fine. Some people believe that you shouldn’t tip someone you’re already paying to do their job. I’m simply providing this list so that if you do want to tip anyone, you’ll have a reasonable starting point. Any of the categories with wide ranges should be adjusted based on the quality and quantity of service you receive.

Superintendent $30-$100
Doorman $25-$100
Parking Attendants $10-$25
Hairdresser Cost of 1 Visit
Personal Trainer Cost of 1 Visit
Babysitter Cost of 1-2 Nights
Housecleaner Cost of 1 Week
Daycare Provider Cost of 1 Week
Newspaper Delivery $15-$25
Mail Carrier $20 Value*
Garbage Collector $15-$20
Favorite Blog Contributors Can You Really Put a Price on Good Advice?

* Note that as a civil servant, mail carriers are not supposed to accept cash. They are allowed to accept other gifts, up to a $20 value.

If you are not in a position to provide a cash gift, consider a baked holiday treat, a simple thank you card, or even a letter of praise to the service person’s superior. If nothing else, a heart-felt thank you, a smile, and a pleasant personality will also tell these people that their services are sincerely appreciated.

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