If you're pinching your pennies a little tighter this year, you may be tempted to hold back on handing extra dollars to the service providers in your life. But, if you do, remember that skipping a worker's gratuity, in many cases, would be like your boss saying to you, "Hey, guess what? We're going to cut your pay by 20 percent this month."
"For a lot of jobs where workers receive tips, you are their boss, not the employer they work for," says Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at online salary database PayScale.com. Lee directs an annual study of how tips are growing and shrinking for 92 jobs, and what percentage of wages comes from tips in each of those occupations.