The holidays are a time to say thank you to people who have helped you all year long. This 'thank you' usually comes in the form of a tip, gratuity or present. For most it is a cash gratuity, some people will give gift cards, scratch off lottery tickets or a small token of thanks.

The question of what to give isn't usually the issue. It's who gets this 'thank you?'

The first and most important thing is only give if you can. Do not feel obligated. If you do want to give money, remember to set a budget and stick to it. HT to Clark Howard and his team for the following guidelines:

  • Doorman: $20 to $100 each (more if they provide heavily for you during the year)

  • Handyman: $20 to $100

  • Landlord or Building Manager: $50 and up, depending on their level of support

  • Daily/Weekly Housekeeper: Equivalent to one day’s (or week’s) service

  • Newspaper Delivery: $10 to $30

  • Pool Cleaner and Lawn Maintenance: Equivalent to one week’s service

  • Trash Collector: $10 to $25 per person (check local regulations for public service employees)

  • Babysitter: Cash equivalent to one night’s pay or a gift card

  • Nanny: One week’s (to one month’s) pay and a gift from your child

  • Hair Stylist, Manicurist, Personal Trainer and Massage Therapist: Tip or gift card equivalent to one visit

  • Shampoo Attendant: $5 to $10

  • Pet Groomer: Cash gift equivalent to one service

  • Dog Walker: Cash gift equivalent to one day (or one week’s) service

  • Dance Instructor, Tutor, Coach: $25 or gift card to favorite coffee shop

  • Food Delivery: 18% to 20%