The holidays are such a wonderful time of year for gathering around the fireplace with loved ones, drinking hot chocolate, merrily singing christmas carols, and gambling gelt while playing dreidel.

The holidays are also a season for giving.  And while I love giving gifts to my friends and family, I think I spend more money tipping the people in my everyday life than on the people who truly hold the keys to my heart.

After moving out of my very first apartment, my first floor, mouse-ridden, studio apartment on 72nd and West End, my then boyfriend, Ryan and I, decided to leave our college days and budget in the past and move forward into adulthood.  For the past 5 years we’ve been living in a large one-bedroom apartment on 86th and Central Park West.  The doorman building, mouse-free I might add, has acted truly as our home.  But with luxury comes acting a grownup, and with acting a grownup comes holiday tipping.

While we can’t afford to tip as much as some of our very wealthy neighbors, we do break bank in our own way…

Let’s break it down:

Apartment Building:
6 Doormen (and women): $75/pp
2 Maintenance Men: $25/pp
1 Super: $100

Mail Woman: $25

Doggy Daycare: $100

These are just the essentials, adding up to a smooth $725.

I am 27 years old, and though Ryan and I make ends meet, in my eyes, that’s a lot of money.  It’s a shopping spree at Barneys. A shopping spree at Barneys that I never go on because it’s far too expensive!

But that’s not all.  We also like to give to charity…

St. Jude Children Research Hospital
And this year Sandy Relief

So we can add a few hundred dollars there.

The amount I spend on my friends and family doesn’t come close to surpassing the Benjamins spent on others.

I do, however, have to be fair.  First of all, anyone who takes care of our dog, Dilbert, deserves not only a tip, but a medal.  We’d be lost without doggy daycare.  As for the people who work day after day in our building making sure everything is running smoothly, changing lightbulbs for the ladder-less, opening doors for people who are fully capable of opening their own doors, and taking care of any and all problems we might throw their way – well, they too are well deserving.   As far as charities go, although they are not a requirement, and although we don’t have the kind of money to really make a difference, we feel we should contribute what we can.

To sum it up, tipping is a pain in the ass.  But when you think about all the crap others do for you, you realize, it’s not only something you “have to do,” but also it’s a way of saying thank you to those who make our everyday lives just a little bit easier.





A tip is SO much more than just giving someone extra money.

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