71ºF

What's the right amount to tip during the holidays?

HOUSTON – As you're out shopping for kids and family and friends, you may want to throw in gifts for the professionals that help you all year long. Teachers, hairdressers, mail carriers to name a few. But it's hard to know what to give who.

Every year we show you recommendations from etiquette professionals about what you should be tipping. But who are these people? Wouldn't you rather know what your neighbor is tipping the lawn guy or what the other parents are giving your child's teacher?
  
To find out, we asked you in an online survey what you really give. Here's how Houston consumers stack up to what "Money Magazine" says we should tip.
 
The publication's "Holiday Tipping Guide" suggests giving a regular babysitter a tip equal to one night's pay. If you have a nanny, it recommends one week's pay.

Here's a reality check. Less than a third of those surveyed give a full week's pay as a tip or bonus. Just over 45 percent of people spend between $20 and $50 for nannies and babysitters during the holidays.

If you tip your hairdresser regularly, "Money Magazine" says no holiday tip is necessary. If you do want to give, editors say you should give them an amount equal to one visit.

In reality, nearly half of those surveyed said they tip their hairdresser for the holidays. Half of those tip between $20 and $50.

If you've got a housekeeper or cleaner, "Money Magazine" says give them a week's pay and a personal gift.

This one was most in line with the results of the survey. A third of consumers who responded do give the house cleaner a bonus worth the same amount they are usually paid for a cleaning.

Everyone has a mailman, but the U.S. Postal Service says they are not allowed to accept cash. You can give them a gift, but nothing worth more than $20.

In the survey, just over 20 percent of respondents said they tip the mailman. Those that do, give a gift worth between $11 and $25.

More people who responded give to their children's teachers than any other professional, and almost 60 percent give gifts or cash worth between $10 and $25.

Other respondents say they tip lawn care workers, garbage collectors and newspaper delivery people.

To see the results of the KPRC 2 survey, visit SurveyMonkey.com.