personal finance

Americans Plan to Tip More During the Holidays This Year—Especially Gen Zers

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Nearly half of Americans plan to increase their tips to service workers for the holidays — and of those that do, Generation Z is the most likely to give more, according to a new CreditCards.com survey.

When it comes to tipping restaurant staff, baristas, hair stylists and food delivery workers, 51% of Generation Z (ages 18-24) say they plan to give more than they normally do over the holidays, followed by 48% of millennials (ages 25-40), 43% of Gen Xers (ages 41-56) and 43% of baby boomers (ages 57-75).

"We have found that people who worked in tipped jobs tend to be better tippers," says Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. "My read on this is that most of today's service workers are Gen Zers and younger millennials, and they might have more recent experience in tip jobs, so you could say they know what it's like and have reason to watch out for their own."

To a lesser extent, many Americans are also planning to give end-of-year tips or gifts for other types of services they might use, like mail carriers (27%), trash collectors (19%), teachers (41%), landscapers (36%), child-care providers (41%) and housekeepers (47%), with the median tip being around $20 to $50. And again, the willingness to tip for these services tends to skew toward Gen Zers and millennials. 

Still, Rossman acknowledges that the survey measures how much people intend to tip, not how much they will actually pay out, so the real amount spent could be less.

Additionally, "it's notable that 87% of people said they'll shop locally to support small businesses." Rossman says. "But when push comes to shove, I think people are more likely to shop at big retailers because they have the scale and are better equipped to deal with supply disruptions and inflation."

Either way, many Americans are planning to tip during the holidays, a time of year that's often synonymous with giving.  

"A lot of these workers have struggled financially because of Covid," says Rossman. "For those of us fortunate to work from home, it's nice to acknowledge the people out there doing these important jobs. It's a small gesture but it does make an impact."

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