Brainy Chick Finance

Nuggets of Advice

Holiday Tipping 101

Holiday Tipping 101
Here’s who you should tip — and how much:

As first posted by Nicole Lapin on

Personal employees: If you have a housekeeper, nanny, personal trainer, dog-walker, or any other person who is regularly working in your home, they come first. The custom is to tip them a day’s wages, but I also like the idea of giving them an extra day off if you can manage (after all, they probably have holiday shopping of their own to tackle!). If you do go the cash route, tuck it inside a festive card with a thoughtful note from the whole family. Gift cards are also a nice gesture, but unless you know their tastes, keep it generic (Visa or Target gift cards are usually a safe bet).

Doorman and superintendent: If you live in an apartment building or condo complex, your doorman and superintendent are the next group of people with whom you probably have the most day-to-day contact. Tipping varies wildly by region, just as rent does, so asking your neighbors (especially those who have lived in the building for a while) is a good way to start. If you’re still not sure, calculate 5% of your monthly rent and offer that as a cash tip. Homemade gifts like cookies and candy are also a nice reminder that you appreciate the work they do for your home.

Mail Carrier: You may not see him or her every day, but your mail carrier is probably the busiest person you know this time of year. Just remember that U.S. Postal Service regulations prohibit them from collecting a tip or gift worth more than $25. A small cash tip left inside a holiday card is fine, and how nice for them to open your mailbox only to find something addressed to them! Otherwise leaving out brownies, candy canes, and other treats is always appreciated.

Teachers: Don’t tip your teacher (or your child’s). Just don’t. It’s inappropriate for someone who is so intimately involved with your or your child’s development and could even be seen as a bribe. Instead, opt for a small, thoughtful gift like a wall calendar or plant for the classroom. And remember to keep it secular, especially if the teacher works at a public school. If you or your child has more than one teacher, it’s completely acceptable to award only those who have had a particular impact or with which you have formed a closer connection.

Beauty Squad: If you’re like many women, you’re probably going to see your hairdresser, nail technician, and other beauty experts during the holidays; after all, a gal’s gotta look good for the annual holiday card photo! So there’s no need to seek them out for a tip; just tack on an extra 5% to what you usually tip at your next appointment. You can adjust this amount based on how often you see them: if you only get your hair cut twice per year, an extra 3% is totally understandable. But if you’re an “every 4 to 6 weeks” kind of gal, you may want to ramp it up to 7% or even 10% for all the time you spend in their chair.

Servers and Bartenders: There’s no need for more substantial tipping at restaurants and bars around the holidays, but of course if you feel compelled go right ahead. Instead, remember that this is a hectic time of year for any waitstaff, and make sure to let them know you appreciate their service (if it’s good, of course). A quick “thank you” or “happy holidays” after your signature will be welcome cheer when they collect your bill at the end of the night.
…and remember, no matter who you’re tipping or how much, it’s the delivery that counts. Always include a personal note, especially in the event that you’re giving less than usual — or can’t afford to give it all. That way your recipient will feel appreciated regardless of the dollar amount inside. And that’s what this season is all about, right??

My Brother’s Delayed Gratification Reflection

Hello and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

The sun is out shining and I hope you get a nice weekend to enjoy J

I am currently camped out inside of library, with a view of a nice lawn and parking lot, wishing I was outside.

Why am I in the library, you ask? Well I am helping my brother work through his homework. AKA babysitting to make sure that he gets it done.

I am not here to share a frustrating moment; I am actually here to touch on delayed gratification.

How are these two things connected? Well… my brother struggles with delayed gratification. We were supposed to go out paddle boarding today but he wanted to work on some of his side projects yesterday and did not complete his homework. He failed to see the bigger picture that if he had gotten his homework done in a timely manner, in turn, he would have been able to do something fun.

So here I am in the library.

How does this relate to money? Well, we think that we won’t see the benefit in the short run, how can we see the benefit in the long run? For example, while $20 a week does not seem like much, you can save up to $1,000 per year. You might want that new top but in a year, you could be going on a nice vacation!

Delayed gratification can be easier for some than others and it can be taught, but it is something to keep at top of mind when thinking about growing wealth.

Do you really need X?

Are you going to have Y for a long time?

Is Z an impulse purchase?

Patience can be trying and be a challenge, but is the reward worth it? Would you rather have a large nest egg in 5 years, or the shiny new object now?

So, here is some food for thought on delayed gratification: do the long term results outweigh the short term satisfaction?

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