A Tipping Guide for New Yorkers

In New York City, the most wonderful time of the year also happens to be the most expensive regarding tipping your building staff. But this tipping guide should help you figure out whom you should be tipping and how much you should be tipping them.

In New York City, the most wonderful time of the year is also the most expensive, considering all the tips you’ll be handing out. But this tipping guide should at least ease some of your worries.

Below is a quick rundown of who needs to be tipped and how much you should be giving them. (Wondering why your doorman’s suddenly become so friendly lately? This is why.)

When it comes to how you should present the tip, we think cash tucked into a holiday card with a nice greeting inside is the way to go. Be sure you actually hand it to whomever you’re giving it to, and shake their hand. A little appreciation goes a long way. Oh, and keep a track of whom you’ve already tipped (to avoid tipping twice or missing someone) as well as how much you tipped, which can serve as a tipping guide for next year.

Doormen: $25–$100 Each

Yes, you can tip the ones you like better a little bit more (or throw in a small gift like a bottle of wine, if you know they’re okay with alcohol), but just understand that they may compare notes.

Super: $50–$150
If you live in a non-doorman building where the super wears many hats, you may want to consider tipping on the higher end of the spectrum.

Porters: $20–$30
Remember that the porters do a lot of work that you don’t see (e.g., emptying the trash, cleaning the hallways).

Garage Attendant: $25–$75
These guys take care of your car and make sure you’re not waiting too long when you need to take it out. Be generous.

Nanny: One Week’s Pay
Oftentimes parents will give their nannies some days off during holiday time (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are musts). Those are in addition to a monetary gift.

Babysitter: Depends
We know you should tip full-time nannies (and day care teachers, too — usually about $25–$50 each), but do you tip babysitters? It’s a nice gesture, especially if you have a regular weekend sitter. Consider giving about $25–$50 or a gift card.

Cleaning Person: One Week’s Pay
This is assuming you have a regular cleaning person, of course. If you occasionally use a cleaning service, and they always send different people, it’s probably not necessary to tip.

Dog Walker: One Week’s Pay
If you (and Fido) are going away over the holidays, remember to give your walker the tip before you leave.

Postman: Up to $20 Gift
USPS workers are not allowed to take gifts worth more than $20. And they’re not ever supposed to take cash (something like a hand warmer can be particularly useful during winter).

Newspaper Delivery Person: $10$20
He or she probably slipped a holiday card in with your paper at some point over the last few weeks. This is their gentle reminder.

Image Source: Flickr/Dion Hinchcliffe

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