Bill Rancic's Tipping Guide
Every year when the holidays approach, there's no avoiding the age-old issue: holiday tipping. Whom are you supposed to tip and whom don't you have to tip? How much is appropriate? Should you give a gift instead of a cash tip? Bill Rancic, former winner of The Apprentice and author of You're Hired and Beyond the Lemonade Stand, offers these tipping guidelines to ensure you're in line with holiday etiquette and taking care of the people you appreciate.
You don't have to tip:
• Most government workers (not all). In fact, they're not allowed to take tips. Your postal carrier can accept a gift up to $20, but not cash.
• Service providers you haven't met. In the old days, when people had a relationship with their paperboy it was customary to tip. Nowadays, a lot of people don't even know who delivers their paper. (Still, Emily Post thinks it's nice to give between $10-$30).
• Professionals who make more money than you like your doctor, lawyer or accountant. A card is a nice gesture, but you don't have to tip.
Tip vs. Gift
• Give gifts when you have an emotional connection with someone like your daycare provider, one of your child's teachers or your hairdresser. Bill explains, "I was getting my hair cut the other day and the woman next to me was unloading on her hairdresser about the breakup with her boyfriend. That's an emotional connection. That's someone you want to give a gift to; you don't want to walk out of the salon with streaks in your hair!"
• Tip when you have a business relationship. For example, your doorman or the valet at your office where you park your car. But you want to stay away from the "$20 handshake" -- there's no effort or thought put into that. Take the time to write a little note, put it an envelope with the money and give it to them. It goes a long way.
How Much to Spend
• Spend more for quality service and if you use the service frequently.
• Know your budget. How much can you afford? You don't want to break the bank at the holidays. A lot of the time people get too emotional and they give too much. Come January, they find themselves in a lot of trouble.
The bottom line -- trust your gut instinct. Take care of those who take care of you and you won't go wrong.
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