How Much Is the Right Amount to Tip?

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It seems like we’re expected to tip almost everyone lately, not just the hairdresser or the waiter at a restaurant. Not everyone chooses to tip, but many people tip babysitters, delivery people, mail carriers, and even teachers or bus drivers (although this type of “tip” often includes a gift card rather than actual cash). Trying to navigate the right amount to tip someone and whether to tip at all can be difficult.

If you ask three different people how much they tip a pizza delivery person, you might get wildly different percentages. Each tipping decision is ultimately up to you, but there are certain situations when tipping really is the expected thing to do because decorum dictates it. Many people complete services for a minimal fee, or they have to pay a boss or owner to rent out a space (like a hairdresser), so tipping is the correct thing to do.

Tipped employees are paid a minimum of $2.13 an hour, depending on the state. Many states only require employers to pay the this minimum and anticipate that added income will come from tips. However, several states in the West require employers to pay the full state minimum wage, and some states require that employers pay above the tipped minimum wage. Because many tipped employees make below minimum wage, they depend on your tips to help them pay their bills.

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