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Should You Tip Extra During the Holidays?

Should You Tip Extra During the Holidays?The holidays are an exciting time for the whole family. Your kids are naturally excited about receiving presents, and they enjoy being away from school for a little while.

As an adult, you probably get satisfaction from seeing your kids so excited, and you might even be able to take a little time away from the office yourself.

One of the great things about the holidays is seeing people decide to do nice things for others. You will frequently see stories on the news about strangers buying gifts for those who are less-fortunate, or people serving meals to the homeless. Whatever the act happens to be, it is great to see society coming together to help one another.

Getting into the Spirit

Of course, you naturally want to get in on the action and do your part. One thing you might consider when trying to be generous around the holidays is tipping extra after a meal out.

Those who work in restaurants often don’t make a ton of money, so even a few extra dollars can help. That is especially true if a number of other diners decide to do the same thing.

So, is this a good idea? Well, that all depends. For starters, there is no doubt that it is a nice act. Everyone appreciates extra money, and tacking a few bucks onto the bill is an easy way to have a positive impact on another person’s holiday season. With that said, this method of giving is not for everyone.

Respect Your Budget

Even at the holidays, you still need to pay attention to your budget. Giving away extra money to a stranger is only a nice act if you can afford to do so. If providing an extra tip to the wait staff is going to put the squeeze on your own budget, it might not be worth it in the long run.

If you are going to take this step, build it into your budget – or at least consult your budget to make sure it will work out okay. As an alternative, you could choose to alter your order to save money, only to then tack that extra money onto the tip.

For instance, if a family of four skipped the soft drinks and just had water with the meal, that change could save a total of $10. By adding the $10 back onto the total at the end, you will be providing a nice tip without spending any extra money at all.

Other Giving Options

While it is nice to tip extra, you may want to consider the fact that those working at the restaurant already have a job. If you are going to do some giving at the holidays, consider donating to causes who help those who are struggling to get by each day. Homeless shelters and food banks are a great place to start.

In the end, tipping extra will always be seen as a nice thing to do during the holidays. But, it might not be the best use of your charitable funds. Think carefully about how you want your money to be put to use, and then take the appropriate action.

 

Do you tip extra during the holidays? How else do you give during the holiday season?

 

Photo courtesy of: thinkingmancreative

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report and more. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

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