A Guide to Tipping Etiquette

The details of who to tip, and how much.

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I'll never forget the wonderful sound of change clanking in my tip jar. Back in my student days I worked as a minimum wage server at a local coffee shop to help pay for college tuition. Every tip I earned was always appreciated and my gratuity earnings were carefully budgeted using my student budget planner. Those were tough times.

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Now that my student days are long over, I often tip my caffeine-serving barista without a second thought. But I've often grappled with how much to tip hair stylists, newspaper carriers, and movers. Are there professions you don't need to tip?

I got into a major argument over tipping practices with my husband after he tipped a take-out cashier 16 percent for simply ringing in our order. I was livid. In a quest to do the right thing I consulted a few online tipping guides with some remarkable results.

Here are ten startling tipping suggestions from CouponSherpa and iTipping:

1. Take-Out Food: 10 percent when you pay. Tip based on total cost if you use coupons.

2. Chain Coffee Shops: 25 cents tossed in the tip jar.

3. Hair Stylist: 15 to 20 percent. Same for a colorist.

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4. Taxi: 10 to 15 percent is standard, 20 percent if the driver helps you with heavy bags.

5. Grocery Baggers: $1 to $3, depending on the number of bags loaded into your car. (What if you bag your own groceries?)

6. Tattoo Artists: 10 to 20 percent, depending on complexity.

7. Movers: $10 to $20 per mover.

8. Dog Groomers: $10 per pet.

9. Hotel Housekeeper: $2 to $5 per night.

10. Gas attendant: No tip.

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After going through these lengthy tipping guides I must admit to under-tipping for certain services and over-tipping for others.

Your Thoughts: Who are you tipping and how much? Who deserves a tip and who doesn't?

Kerry K. Taylor writes at Squawkfox.com, a blog where personal finance and frugal living are sexy, delicious, and fun. Kerry is the author of 397 Ways To Save Money: Spend Smarter & Live Well on Less.