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Money Saving Monday: Holiday Tipping Guide

by WILLY J
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BERND SETTNIK/AFP/Getty Images

BERND SETTNIK/AFP/Getty Images

Around this time of year, its customary to give some form of tip or other contribution to people in your lives that help you out. Whether it be your hair stylist, babysitter, or door man, its proper etiquette to give at least something to them, but you don’t have to empty out your wallets or pocketbooks to pay them. Along with gifts.com, I’ll tell you how much you should be spending on tips around the holiday season on Money Saving Monday!

Full Time Nanny

They’ve taken care of your kids for the entire year, and you should have a budget for cash or a gift of around a week to a month salary depending on how much you want to spend. Gifts.com suggests something nice like a designer pocketbook or luxury item that a nanny wouldn’t necessarily buy for him or herself. Remember to not get a gift that is baby/kid oriented like a diaper bag or kid supplies because that’s the last thing someone wants to be reminded of…work.

Babysitter

Teen babysitters love extra pay this time of year, and they should be budgeted around 1-2 nights of pay for their tip. No teen babysitter would ever turn down cash by itself, but you can personalize it with gift certificates to the movies, iTunes gift cards, or an electronic store like Best Buy. But if it is a gift certificate that is target specific, then make sure the babysitter likes going to the store or will use it.

Teacher

These men and women probably see more of your children during the day than you do the entire week! I would budget anywhere between $25 – $100 for a gift, but something personal from your child such as a hand-drawn picture or craft can also be included in the gift to make it even more special. Teachers might even be happier with a class gift, such as a donated old computer/laptop or a service you can provide during the Holiday season such as baking cookies or teaching sign language.

Assistant

A holiday budget for an assistant should be $50 or more depending on how long he or she has worked with you and his or her position in the company. I would think a big gift certificate to the fanciest restaurant in the city, or a weekend spa getaway. Try avoid being to personal with gifts such as clothes or perfume.

Hair Stylist

A hair stylist should be given the price of one haircut as an extra tip during the holiday season, especially if he or she has worked on you this entire year. A monetary tip is fine, but if you want to give them a gift, then make sure he or she will enjoy it or has talked about getting it.

You can always make Christmas treats or food items for these people who help you throughout the year. My mom always makes Christmas candy and gives them out along with these similar tips just as another way to say thank you. Greeting cards can also share your appreciation with service industry people without breaking the bank.

Remember that these are just tips and not the golden rule for tipping this holiday season. Everyone knows, especially in 2010, how much smaller our budgets are, so any form of tip is appreciated this time of year.

CLICK HERE to see a full list of other people in your life that you might need to tip. Any ideas that you have? Leave them in the comment section below.

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