Help the Economy and Start Tipping More

Brent Pittman —  06/14/2012

Tipping Jar

The economy is still sputtering in many sectors with unemployment around 8.1%. There are also millions of underemployed persons. Millions with college degrees serving coffee, digging ditches, and taking dinner orders.

We’re Cheap

I’m cheap, how about you? I don’t value the hard work of others and I forget that persons working in the service industry need my tip money. You’d think I’d remember since I’ve worked hard all my life and even in the food service industry.

I’m on a tight budget, I don’t have extra money to tip others.–Snap out of it! Those baristas are making $7-$10 an hour before tips and taxes.

Many industries receive a majority of their pay from tipping. This tipping study by Payscale reveals the % of income different industries receive from tips:

  • Waiters/Waitresses 63%
  • Bartenders 55%
  • Pizza Driver 38%
  • Bellhop 36%
  • Taxi Driver 26%
  • Tour Guide 25%
  • Hairdresser 24%
  • Tattoo Artists 18%
  • Barista 12%

**These numbers are what is reported. Tips are often underreported to avoid paying taxes.

Help the Economy and Start Tipping More

Let’s start an experiment and start tipping more. Forget tipping calculators and tipping apps. Just give generously (speaking to myself here).

Will it help the overall economy? Probably not–but it will help the personal economy of whomever is receiving the extra tips. An extra $20 a day is huge for a single mom struggling to pay for rent and childcare.

Let’s be generous with our tips and see what happens.–at the very least we’ll change ourselves.

Action Point: Tip generously this week.–shock someone–bring tears of gratitude to their eyes. 

Photo Credit professor evil

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • I love this. I used to be a server so I can tell you – they work hard for the money!! I almost always tip 20% at restaurants. Around that for others as well. You have to really do bad to get less from me.

    • I did also…server at Cracker Barrel and busboy, host, dish at Outback…You?

  • I always try to be a good tipper. I feel like it is the respectful thing to do. I always tip 15% but if I get exceptional service, I will tip more.

    • I think you hit on something with that word–Respect.

  • Kraig @ Young, Cheap Living

    Great idea. I struggle to budget for tipping. I go out to eat not thinking about the tip. I order from the menu not thinking about the tip. Then, when the bill comes, it often hurts to tack on extra money to an already expensive bill. Tipping hurts. I wish it didn’t. I think the problem is that I need to eat out less and budget for better tipping, because if I can’t tip, I shouldn’t be eating out.

  • I’m not one to throw a large tip towards bad service, however if someone went above and beyond or just did their jobs correctly (polite, checked up on us, delivered the pizza, whatever) I will always tip generously. I also tip my hairdresser and other service-oriented people (like massage therapists) pretty generously because they really contributed to my well-being. It’s a tough job!

  • Averagejoemoney

    I’ve always thought there’s a little karma thing going on with good tipping. That said, I’ll only tip really well for good service. I’m not a horrible tipper….but show me you care and I’ll surprise the heck out of you with the size of my tip.

    • I wish I would have waited on your table 10 years ago!

  • addvodka

    I’m a little picky about what I’ll tip for (I’ll never tip at Booster Juice, because that’s just silly) but when I do tip (which is ALWAYS at restaurants, for cabs, etc), I tip well. It’s important!

    • I’m guessing Booster Juice is a smoothie bar–yea seems odd to tip there.

  • I totally agree and I have been doing this as much as possible. I think it’s a small way to give to those working in tough jobs and offering a wonderful service to me.

  • Krantcents

    Thanks to the bad economy, my pay was cut 5%.  I am a teacher and I will have 10 furlough days next year.  I generally avoid tipping by not going to places where I have to tip.  If I dine out, I take out.  The only one, I cannot avoid is the tip for the barber.

    • Sorry to hear about the pay cut. Is it just the economy or does your teacher’s union share any blame? I was a teacher once too. 

  • I’ll tip well if the service deserves it but if I get poor service expect a similar tip. I was a server once and I know good service increased my tips and most servers should know the same.

    • It really confuses me when people in the service industry and those who could receive tips give poor service. It just baffles my mind. 

  • I’ve never totally understood where tipping came from or who we decided should be tipped, but I hate when Christians are known as stingy tippers so I try to make sure I tip well, plus I know how much it meant to us when my wife was a barista, that little bit extra sure makes for a better day!

    • We’ve been there too. A big tip week can really save the day