It's true that living in New York is expensive. And when it comes to the holidays, well, it only gets more expensive. Tipping can be a tricky task, especially in the city and surrounding areas, where we depend on a lot of other people for many everyday chores – from your dog walker to your doorman. Etiquette experts suggest that, while not necessary, tipping is important.
How Much Should You Tip...
Your Manicurist: If you see the same manicurist/pedicurist regularly, consider a tip between $10-$15. The general rule of them is to tip the price of one manicure, so in New York City, this might mean a bit more.
Hairdresser/Stylist: This can very greatly. Some etiquette experts suggest a $15 tip. Do you see the same hair stylist regularly? If they provide you with a quality cut/style each time, tip them the cost of one typical haircut.
Babysitter: If you have a regular babysitter, tip them the amount you would pay them for one evening's work.
Full-time Nanny or other home helps (elder care, etc.): 1-2 week's pay, or 1 week's pay and a week's vacation.
Dog Walker: The cost of a week's walk.
Teacher: A small gift of about $20 value, given to the teacher by your child. Or consider gathering money from all the students in the class and purchasing a group gift.
Mail carrier: By law, the Postal Service cannot accept tips or gifts. If you do decide to tip anyway, a tip of about $20 is a safe bet.
Cleaning Person: An unofficial standard is 10 to 15% of the cleaning bill. Consider tipping more if they do work more frequently.
In Your NYC Apartment Building
For those living in Manhattan, tipping those in your apartment building might get pricey. You can exclude the property manager and any outside contractor (an electrician or a plumber, for example).
The Superintendent: Consider whether or not you tip the super throughout the year for various tasks. If you do, you can make adjustments, but the suggested etiquette is a range of $50 - $200.
The Handyman: Again, you can adjust the amount if you tip the handyman throughout the year. The suggested range is between $20 and $30.
Parking Attendants: $40-$75
Delivery Person: $10-$30
The Doorman: $25-$150 each. The range is wide. The amount depends on how long you've known your doorman. Newer doormen tend to receive less than their senior counterparts. If you have a "favorite" doorman, a box of candy or chocolates in addition is acceptable, as well.
Elevator Operator: $10-$40.
General Tips On Tipping
Make a budget, then make a list of people who have made your life easier over the last year. Work backwards based off this list and prioritize this way to save extra cash.
Choose to give cash (fresh, crisp bills) over a check.
Always give a handwritten note with your tips.
The time frame for tipping lasts from the beginning of December until the beginning of February.
If you tip throughout the year for service, then it's Ok to tip a bit less come holiday time.
If you can't afford to give a little extra - or at all - a handwritten note to show your gratitude is something you should consider.
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