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How to Tip in All Situations

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Tipping has been known to divide families, ruin relationships, and even start wars. Not really. But tipping is an issue that brings out all sorts of passionate opinions.

Who should you tip? How much should you tip? When is it appropriate to leave a bad tip? And is the whole idea of tipping flawed in the first place?

If you’ve ever asked those questions, then we’re here to provide a little clarity on the all-important subject of tipping etiquette.

When in doubt about whether or not to leave a tip, always err on the side of generosity. Remember, your tip says more about you than the person you’re leaving a tip for.

So let’s take a look at some of the people you should tip. Then we’ll give you a general idea of how much to tip them.

Restaurant Servers

Absolutely leave a minimum of 15%, preferably 20%. The general rule here is that if you can’t afford to leave a good tip, then you shouldn’t be eating out at a restaurant. Most servers make in the neighborhood of $2 per hour, so they live off tips. Be generous.

Related: Mind Your Manners: 7 Money Mistakes to Avoid at Restaurants

Fast Casual Restaurants

These are the restaurants where your food is prepared and, instead of being brought out to you, you grab it while you’re still at the counter. There’s no hard rule on tipping at fast casual joints, but leaving a dollar or two in the tip jar would never hurt.

Carry Out at Restaurants

Whether someone brings the food out to you or you go in to get it, you should still tip around 10% when carrying out at a restaurant.

Related: Should You Tip Your Carhop?

Delivery People

Someone had to bring your pizza or deliver your new furniture. Without them, you’d be hungry with no place to sit. Be generous and give them a few dollars.

Valets

If you choose to valet instead of parking your own car, you should absolutely tip a few dollars when you pick the car back up. Have you seen how fast those guys run?

Beauty Care

Massage therapists. Hair stylists. Barbers. Should you tip them? Yes, you should—anywhere from 10% to 20% depending on their profession. What about tattoo artists? Well, that may or may not fall under “beauty care,” but, yes, a good tattoo artist absolutely deserves a similar tip.

Related: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Beauty on a Budget

Uber/Cab Drivers

We all know to tip the cab driver, especially if he got us safely to our destination. But what about Uber drivers? Automated tips aren’t built into the Uber app. But if you want to tip your driver a few bucks, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

Hotel Maids

This is a service in which a lot of people don’t even realize they need to tip. But a few bucks on the bedside table will go a long way toward making sure your room gets extra special treatment.

Movers

No doubt about it, your movers deserve a tip. Your furniture isn’t light, you know. The more you have and the farther you move, the more you should tip. According to moving.com, the industry standard is 5%—so if your total moving bill was $500, you might tip $25 to each crew member.

Wedding Officiant

Your priest. Your pastor. The guy at the courthouse. Elvis. Regardless of who officiates your wedding, you still need to tip them. If it’s not required as part of the wedding fees, consider slipping the officiant $50 to $100 at the rehearsal.

Related: 6 Wedding Costs That Will Blow Your Mind

Bartenders

Of course! But just a dollar or two per drink.

Grocery Store Bag Boys

A lot of grocery stores ask you not to tip the bag boys. Some even tell their employees to refuse tips. But if the kid is kind enough to carry your bags out to the car, I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to stick a dollar bill in his hand, right?

Tour Guides

Some of these guys, especially in bigger cities, can be a little pushy about tips, so that’s a bit of a turn off. But, still, we’d recommend a 10% to 15% tip for an informative, professional tour guide.

Other Folks

Some people you probably shouldn’t have to tip include a personal trainer, your regular maid, your trash guy, and the cable guy. But, remember, if you’ve got someone who’s been taking care of your house, sitting your dog, or picking up your trash all year, a nice little bonus during the holiday season is always appreciated.

Bottom line here: You can’t go wrong being generous. In fact, don’t just be generous. Instead, if you’re in a good financial position, be outrageously generous.




When you’re generous, you believe there’s enough for everybody and then some. You’re not self-centered. When you give, it changes you more than it changes the recipient.

Generous people smile more. They’re the ones who open the door for you, and they’re generous in more than just their money. There’s a spirit about them that just connects with other people. Everybody loves generosity.

So that’s our tip for tipping: You can’t be too generous, you can’t give too much—and, when in doubt, simply leave a tip.

Don’t forget to budget for your generosity! Check out EveryDollar, our free budget software to help you set aside money for tipping.

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