The ultimate holiday tipping guide

The holidays are the time of the year when you want to give to everyone you care about. Beyond your family and friends, it may also mean remembering (and thanking) those who provide various services for you all year long.

This includes postal works, trash collectors, hair dressers ... the list goes on and on. To be honest, it can be overwhelming to know not only everyone you should tip, but also how much to tip. Tipping can also quickly take a toll on your holiday budget — if you go overboard.

This holiday tipping guide can help you figure out who to tip and how much.

When Do You Tip?

Try to do it early in the holiday season, if possible. If that does not work, try to do it before Christmas. Otherwise, it may not seem genuine and like you forgot and were trying to make it up to them. (If you do forget, you may opt to not do anything at all and that's OK.)

Who Do You Include?

Start with the people who do the most or mean the most to you. That may mean the daycare provider or even the dog walker. Make a list of everyone whom you'd love to give a tip to, with the priorities at the top.

Then, go through your holiday budget. There should be an item on there for your tips and outside gifts. Figure out how much you can afford to give out as tips. That will help you pare down your list to those you will give something to and those you will not.

Before you make your list, consider the following:

  • Do you tip regularly? If so, you may pass on giving a holiday tip.

  • The quality and frequency of the service they provide.

  • How long have you worked with them?

  • Your relationship with them.

  • Common sense.

How Much Should You Tip?

The amount varies greatly, but in no instance should it be extravagant or expensive. In most cases, cash is acceptable. However, there are instances where you may want to provide a small gift instead of money.

These are some of the people you may want to include, as well as an idea of how much to give each.

It is not a requirement to tip, of course. However, it is a great time of the year to thank these people for everything they do for you and your family. Just make sure these tips and/or gifts fit into your budget. After all, you don't want to wrap up the holidays just to realize you landed yourself in debt because of your generosity, ultimately harming your credit in the process. (You can see how your spending habits are affecting your credit by viewing two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on

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