Money

Who, and how much, to tip this holiday season

If you have the financial means, you should tip people generously over the holiday season.

While it's polite to tip in the United States, holiday bonuses are celebrated more formally in much of the rest of the world. The U.K. has Boxing Day and Mexico has the "aguinaldo," a payout equal to three weeks of salary, which many employers are required by law to give their employees.

Still, many people living in the United States rely on cash gratuities to make ends meet, and count on receiving a little extra around the holiday months.

Here's who to tip, and how much:

Your door attendant and super: If you live in an apartment building, it is polite to tip building staff — especially your door attendant(s), and live-in superintendent, if you have one. Tips of at least $50-100 are standard, but if your building has a large staff, ask the building administration about giving a check that will be distributed among its workers. If you're a "squeaky wheel" tenant and call your super often for extra help, consider tipping more.

No need to tip your landlord; they are happy as long as they collect your rent every month.

Mail carriers: Postal workers with the USPS cannot legally accept cash, gift cards or any gift valued over $20. But cookies are appreciated.

Garbage collectors: Without them, society would be a lot less sanitary. So it's good to tip them with a large bill, $10-50, when they come by early in the morning. The same applies to the person who delivers your newspaper.

Stylists and barbers: If you regularly see the same hair-care professional, the holidays are a great time to tip them the cost of one haircut, or a more personal gift if you know what they like.

Housekeepers: If you employ a housekeeper or use a cleaning service that sends the same person to your house, tip them the cost of one day's pay. Personal gifts are also nice.

Teachers: Teachers are often inundated with gifts like lotion and soaps and mugs and trinkets, so why not give them something they can use, like a gift card to a local coffee shop accompanied by a handwritten note from your child?

It's not required by law, but in many cases giving a holiday tip is the right thing to do.