On a Grateful Tip

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Money Monday: Expressions of gratitude for those whose services and assistance align with their value to you and your shared values

It seemed like the year just started, but here we close to Thanksgiving, and while we remember our blessings and express our gratitude now, many of us struggle in one area: the tip! We struggle with the idea of tipping those who have been good to us during the year, but for some, tipping is a science. Who should we tip? How much? When do you tip? These thoughts and more are some of the thought processes we will ponder now that the holidays are upon us.

To Tip or Not To Tip?

The first decision is whether or not you are going to tip anyone this holiday season. If you’re like me, while you may have a budget, tipping is probably not included. Therefore, once you have decided to tip people who have contributed to your success and life this year, the next challenge is to budget or figure out how much you want to spend or give in tips this year.

Your second consideration is who you’re going to tip. The people who have assisted you during this year are only one category of tip recipients.  Haven’t you noticed a growing number of tip opportunities, post COVID-19? Have you purchased something, and when it’s time to pay, the machine suggests a tip percentage? Perhaps in the old days, you could get away with not tipping when there was a tip jar, passively. However, today, you have actively and intentionally disengage; you have to choose “no tip” when it’s time to pay. I suppose when it comes to tipping, there are sins of omission and sins of commission.

Further, as you study the tip, you’ll need to know what to tip. There are norms or culture when it comes to tipping. In some cases when you purchase an item or service there are three components to the transaction. There is the tip, the gratuity, and then the service charge. How you work through all of those add-ons while still having to acquire the product or service is anybody’s guess! The culture or norm when it comes to takeout food seems to be 10% of your purchase. But then you have food deliveries which are separate from take out and have their gratuity and tips at around 10 to 15%. If you decide to sit down and have a meal, the tip can range from 15% to 20% of the service. Regardless of societal expectations or specific situations, having a predetermined budget or spending limit generally ensures that you won’t part with sums that significantly impact your livelihood.

Gratitude in Play

The people you tip will have to be those governed by your internal guidelines. Do you have a reason to tip this person or these people? In an time of ebbing civility, it bears repeating: even if you do not have a reason to tip someone, it is always important to be courteous. By that I mean, it’s still important to say “thank you”, “please”,  or “excuse me,” and manage your attitude whatever the outcome or circumstance. Remember, some of these people that you tip earn most of their livelihood from tips. While the list of who we should tip each year may change, think about those who align with your values and what difference they have made in your life. Babysitters, or child care providers, for example, offer us such a valuable service by allowing parents to take a break, and actually help rear our kids today. Their recommended tip is one week or one day’s compensation. That tip can range from $100 to more than $500.

Having identified your babysitter as a person you should tip, what about the persons you should not tip? At the top of the list are the professionals in your life. But do you not think you should tip your financial advisor, accountant, doctor, or lawyer? Conventional wisdom suggests that you should not tip these professionals. I would say it depends. Suppose your financial advisor gave you a great tip and you made lots of money in the stock market this year. Is this person not worthy of a thank you?

One sure way to thank them perhaps is by sending them more referrals, so remember also, that are also other ways to tip, other than monetarily. It really should come down to your relationship with those professionals, the impact they have made in your life and your ability to say thank you.

So, are you grateful, and how will you show it this holiday season?

WHAT’S UP! Today’s What’s Up is about the financial dynamics surrounding government shutdowns. Contrary to expectations, these disruptions might actually offer a silver lining for your financial portfolio. Take the last government shutdown, for instance, where the Standard and Poor 500 experienced a noteworthy gain of over 10%, followed by an impressive additional 23% in the ensuing months. Trying to anticipate what the United States Congress will do, and how it will impact your portfolio  ers makes predicting the optimal response challenging. The key is adaptability as we closely observe unfolding events. Stay tuned for more updates on this intriguing financial rollercoaster! And that’s what’s up!

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC. Give2Get Rich, LLC 2023. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

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