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Holiday Tipping: Showing Appreciation vs. Breaking the Bank

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By Guest Blogger: Financial & Affordable Lifestyle Expert, Jennifer Streaks

It’s the season for giving and tipping those that do so much for us.

For most of us, it does take a village, from the hairstylist or barber, to the nail tech, the daycare worker and mechanic. But it can also be a season that brings about worry when it comes to tipping those much needed service workers.

The seasonal question about holiday tipping for those who help you all year, centers on two major questions: How much to tip and to whom? The rules of holiday tipping, and tipping in general, which are complicated enough the rest of the year, can be particularly hard to navigate during the holiday season.

Many people might consider a holiday extra for their stylist or postman a no-brainer. Others might not feel the same.

How much do you tip your hair stylist? What kind of tip should your barber get?

Then there are the multitudes of people who help with your kids: baby sitters, coaches, teachers, bus drivers, tutors.

Set A Limit.

Relax. There’s no need to go into debt to fund holiday gift-giving. You can give wonderful — and totally affordable — gifts that the receiver and your budget will love.

The main goal here is to show appreciation for all that the receiver has helped you with over the past year.

You want to show that you don’t take them for granted.

So of course, the first step is to make a list of recipients. Then really think about your gifts and the amounts.

Is there a stylist that always stays late when you are running late for your appointment? The butcher that saves that special cut of meat just for you? Or a nail tech that always works you in? This is the time to show them appreciation for their efforts.

Sometimes Homemade Gifts are the Best Gifts.

This is a great way to involve your kids in the gift giving and to save money. I know teachers and coaches that have saved the homemade gifts that they received from their students for years! It is the effort that counts.

Use the Cost of One Visit as Your Guide.

What about those who help you run your life or your household? For most of them – nail techs, hairstylists, personal trainers or pool cleaners — you should first calculate the cost of one visit. Then, give cash or a gift equal to that amount.

The Reason for the Season.

Understand that this should not be something that causes stress or worry because it really is about showing appreciation and gratitude for a person’s efforts and if you let that guide you, then it becomes a simple act of spreading the holiday spirit.

And, if you really can’t afford anything, then send a card. Remember, it is the thought and effort that counts here.

To learn more about Jennifer Streaks visit

Happy Holidays!

As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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