In today’s world, digital tipping has become an integral part of our daily transactions, thanks to the surge in cashless payment methods and automated tipping options. Facing a tipping screen at the checkout counter can be a bit perplexing, leaving us wondering about the appropriate amount and whether we should tip at all. Is $5 enough? Or should we be paying a percentage of the total bill?
Here are some strategies to gracefully navigate today’s digital tipping culture, making the experience less awkward and more enjoyable.
Firstly, remember it’s totally fine to take your time when picking how much to tip. Just because the screen shows up quickly doesn’t mean you have to decide in a hurry. Mister Manners, also known as Thomas Farley, says it’s okay to take your time.
The people helping you usually give you space to think, and it’s cool to make the right decision.
Consider Your Budget
In times of rising costs, particularly during inflationary periods, it’s important to think about your budget. Mr. Farley says that unless you have a lot of extra money, you shouldn’t feel bad about not leaving a tip at a checkout counter, even if the iPad suggests it. Your financial well-being should always be a priority.
Aim for 20% for Most Services
While tipping might not be customary at every service point, it’s expected in places like restaurants, where 20% is the standard. Blake Hammerton, founder of the Sharp Gentleman, suggests adding 20% or rounding up to an even dollar amount for most services. Whether it’s your hairstylist, salon assistant, or food delivery driver, a generous tip can make a significant impact on their income.
Carry Cash for Traditional Tipping
In situations where cash remains relevant, such as tipping hotel housekeepers or valets, it’s advisable to keep some cash on hand. Lisa Mirza Grotts recommends having $5 and $10 bills ready, especially during travel. For larger bills, like when tipping for a substantial service, having a few $100 bills can be a thoughtful gesture.
Year-End Tips and Considerations
When it’s time to give tips at the end of the year, it’s a nice idea to give service providers like hairstylists, barbers, or nail technicians the same amount as what you pay for one visit. Using cash is the best way to show your appreciation, and you can make it even more special by adding a sweet note. If someone helps you at home, like a nanny or a housekeeper, it’s usually a good gesture to give them a week’s pay as a tip.
Mind Your Budget and Embrace the Joy of Tipping
Being mindful of your budget is essential in the face of increasing opportunities to tip. Marianne Nolte, a Certified Financial Planner, advises making choices that align with your financial goals. Ellie Austin-Williams encourages consumers to resist unnecessary tipping and manage their finances wisely.
Navigating the digital tipping culture can be stress-free and even joyful with the right approach. By considering your budget, tipping generously when appropriate, and embracing the joy of acknowledging excellent service, you can make the tipping experience a positive and rewarding part of your daily transactions.