WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--‘Tis the season to be tipping! Care.com (NYSE: CRCM), the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, today revealed findings from its 2015 Holiday Tipping Survey, noting that 70% of families will tip this holiday season, and 18% plan to tip more than in the previous year. With 41% of families budgeting for holiday tips this year, and one in five families estimating to spend more than $250 in holiday tips, Care.com asked personal finance expert, Suze Orman, to weigh-in on savings trends and how families can navigate the holiday season without sinking into debt.
“My two favorite findings from the Holiday Tipping Survey are that 41% of people surveyed are budgeting ahead for tips, and that almost all of the respondents are prioritizing people with whom they have long-term, meaningful relationships, ” said personal finance expert Suze Orman. “By planning, families can get through the holiday season without putting themselves in a risky financial situation, and by prioritizing whom they tip, they’re not only sticking with their budgets but also sticking to the true spirit of the season.”
Continues Orman, “The goal is not to bust your budget in the last weeks of the year and start 2016 in debt. I was pleased to see families getting creative and resourceful with a limited budget by using gift cards, especially those with rewards programs, and through the personal touch of homemade gifts.”
Key findings from the Care.com 2015 Holiday Tipping Survey and a “Holiday Tipping Dos and Don’ts Guide” are below.
Care.com 2015 Holiday Tipping Survey Highlights
Who is Tipping in 2015
- People who plan to holiday tip: 70%
- Who budgets: 41% of parents budget for holiday tips
- How much people spend: 1 in 5 families spend more than $250 in holiday tips; 34% budget between $101-$250; 8% spend more than $400
- Those in the giving spirit: 60% plan to tip the same amount as last year; 18% will tip more generously than in 2014
- How people tip: 30% tip in cash only; 60% prefer a mix of cash and physical gifts
- Gift Cards on the Rise: 77% use gift cards/certificates as holiday tips (up from 45% in 2014!)
Why People Tip (And Don’t)
- Why people tip: 85% tip to say thank you for a job well done; 21% tip because it is expected
- Tipping out of fear: 11% tip out of fear they won’t get good service the following year
- Those not tipping this year: 30%
- Why skip the tip?: 41% cannot afford holiday tips; 29% forget to tip; 34% believe holiday tips are not necessary
Who Takes Priority
- How many people they tip: 42% tip up to 3 people during the holiday season
- Prioritizing caregivers: 60% prioritize tips for babysitters, nannies, daycare workers, etc.
- Focusing on their children: 42% tip those who regularly interact with their children such as coaches, tutors, teachers, etc.
- Personal relationships: 47% tip personal care contacts such as hairstylists, manicurists, personal trainers, etc.
- Home care: 39% will tip those who handle home care needs
2015 Holiday Tipping Trends
- Tips for pet care: 14% are tipping dog walkers, cat sitters and other pet care providers
- Rewards programs: of those skipping cash, 77% use gift cards/certificates as tips and often receive rewards and incentives for doing so
- Get cooking: 45% will gift homemade food – no fruitcake please
- Smart or taboo: 34% admit they have re-gifted for holiday tips
DOS AND DON’TS OF HOLIDAY TIPPING
Do Have a Tipping Action Plan: Be like the 41% of parents surveyed and budget for holiday tips. Decide how much money you can use for tips in total. Then make a list of the number of people you’d like to tip this year and simply divvy it up. Be honest with yourself and don’t exceed your budget.
Do Make Things Personal: Include a hand-written, sincere thank you. Share something specific they did this year for you or your family that made a difference in your life.
Do Keep a Tipping Diary: Each year, keep a list of those you tipped and how much. You don’t have to do the same thing every year, but it helps to have a gauge. Keeping a diary will also help you avoid missing anyone important!
Do Have a Tipping Timeline: According to our Care.com survey, close to half of families (46%) share their holiday tips in early December. If you know your budget is going to be especially tight in December, start setting aside money earlier in the season. Some families (5%) save holiday tipping for the New Year, but try and remember that some professionals rely on holiday tips for their own holiday budgets.
Do Remember it’s Not One Size Fits All: Different families, different priorities, different budgets. Prioritize the people most important in your life and see how far your budget takes you. Be comfortable making small adjustments to make the budget work.
Do Get Creative and Mix Things Up: Cash may be preferred, but it is not the only way to say thank you. 57% of parents surveyed said they have felt guilty about not giving someone a holiday tip. Avoid the guilt, think about each person, and get creative with your budget. Consider gift cards – many offer reward programs for buyers—and handmade gifts. And get the kids involved with cards, holiday arts and crafts, and baked goods!
Don’t Exceed What You Can Afford: Tipping is important, but it’s not something that should put you in debt. Give what you can and no more. Remember that running up your credit card bill to account for tips means that you’ll be paying more over a longer period of time.
Don’t Feel Like a Grinch: Can’t afford to exceed what you gave your doorman last year? You’re not a holiday scrooge. Add a thoughtful hand-written thank you in your card this year (and every year for that matter!) and add a box of from scratch cookies to show how much you appreciate his hard work.
Don’t Re-gift, Unless…: Re-gifting is generally taboo, but there are exceptions. Not a coffee drinker and find yourself with a $20 Starbucks gift card? There is no crime in giving it to your latte-loving babysitter as a special holiday thank you.
Don’t Forget What Holiday Tipping is all About: Holiday tipping is part of the holiday spirit and is meant to show appreciation for a job well done. While cash is definitely the most popular tip to receive, those important people in your life will be grateful for the recognition for their hard work.
Visit Care.com/happyholidays for more information on the Care.com Holiday Tipping Survey.
Suze Orman is America’s most recognized expert on personal finance. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times bestselling author, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today.
Suze Orman is an early investor in Care.com. She was not compensated for providing the commentary on the Care.com Holiday Tipping Survey. For more money tips from Suze, visit SuzeOrman.com.
Since launching in 2007, Care.com (NYSE: CRCM) has been committed to solving the complex care challenges that impact families, caregivers, employers, and care service companies. Today,Care.com is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with 17.8 million member consumers* across 16 countries, including the US, UK, Canada and parts of Western Europe, and approximately half a million employees of corporate clients having access to our services. Spanning child care to senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more, Care.com provides a sweeping array of services for families and caregivers to find, manage and pay for care or find employment. These include: a comprehensive suite of safety tools and resources members may use to help make more informed hiring decisions – such as third-party background check services, monitored messaging, and tips on hiring best practices; easy ways for caregivers to be paid online or via mobile app; and household payroll and tax services provided by Care.com HomePay. Care.com builds employers customized benefits packages covering child care, back up care and senior care consulting services through its Global Workplace Solutions, and serves care businesses with marketing and recruiting support. To further connect families, Care.com has expanded its consumer service with its 2013 acquisition of Big Tent, a community platform. Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, Care.com has offices in Berlin, Austin, New York City and Silicon Valley.
*As of September 2015