Holiday tip guide: Etiquette expert explains how to tip for a healthy budget

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An etiquette expert offers tips on how to gift responsibly to those such as caregivers, trainers, dog walkers and more this holiday season. (KABC)

Personal chef Alina Z. and hairstylist Mayya Granina both look forward to their holiday gifts.

Etiquette expert Jules Hirst says it is something they should be given, but you've got to have a plan.

"First and foremost have a budget. Just like you write a list for items you're going to buy for family members, you want to do the same thing when it comes to tipping everyone," Hirst said.

Hirst even suggests a spreadsheet so you don't go over budget.

With gardeners, pool service, child or even elder care, Hirst suggests offering one week or month of service tip wise, depending on the frequency, with that sum to be divided among a crew if there is more than one.

When it comes to trash collectors, delivery drivers and postal workers, check websites or customer service for rules, but typically they may accept gift cards up to about $20.

For personal care such as hair, nails or a personal trainer, gift the amount of one service.

And if things are tight this year, a heartfelt handwritten note goes a long way.

"It doesn't have to be monetary. It can be home baked goods," Hirst said. "Little items you've picked up year around. You want to acknowledge somehow. Again, it could be a handwritten note with a couple of lottery tickets inside."

While it's too late this year, Hirst says start planning your giving right after Thanksgiving and give to those who help you as you see them. You don't necessarily need to worry about timing gifts for each winter holiday.

However, she does remind everyone no one should ever expect a gift from anyone.

But, your offering will most likely be a welcome addition to the season.

"It's a token of appreciation for everything that you've done, and how you've helped me all year round," Hirst said.
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