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How much should you tip? Easy ways to navigate tip-flation

A guide to the new tipping culture.

tipping screen

No matter what businesses you enter in the United States, it’s likely that you’ll be prompted on a little digital screen to offer a tip. Tip-flation is in full effect. 

But, the rapidly changing tipping culture raises questions about its fairness and effectiveness.
 
We are breaking down some ways you can avoid that awkwardness at the counter and how much you should actually be tipping for services.

In this post we are sharing ways to navigate the current tip-flation.

What's going on with tipping?

According to a recent Bankrate survey, nearly 66% of Americans have a negative view on tipping.

According to almost 30% of respondents, the culture surrounding tips is “out of control,” with more businesses than ever requesting customers to leave tips at the register.

Consumers believe that companies should pay their staff more instead of depending solely on gratuities (41%), and they find the pre-entered tip screens annoying (32%).

Why Do You Have to Tip?

Tipping is a way to show appreciation for a job well done. Tipping at your favorite restaurants or expressing gratitude to a dependable handyman does more for you than simply leaving a tip; it fosters a culture of continuous good experiences.
 
Tipping becomes an essential source of additional income for service professionals, who frequently depend on low hourly earnings. 
 
Your kindness goes a long way toward increasing their income and is essential to maintaining their financial stability.

How Much Should You Tip?

Though opinions on those matters differ, tipping experts agree on one point: the increasing number of cashless payment methods with automated tipping features has significantly increased the frequency with which we are prompted to leave a tip.
 
They also point out that answering ” yes ” is not always necessary.”
 
There has been a significant change in the way tips are distributed, both during and after the pandemic. Almost everywhere you go, you see digital tablets at the point of purchase asking you to tip a specific amount.
 
It’s worth noting that Americans are among the top tippers in the world, despite their negative view of tipping culture.
 
The tipping standard is often between 15% and 20% of the whole bill.
 
The majority of workers in the service sector make less than the minimum wage, which is low in the first place, and many depend on tips to supplement what they make.
 
The majority of the pay for hairstylists, salon assistants, food delivery drivers, and other service employees is typically derived from similar percentage tips.
 
To sort out that confusion, consider following these strategies for navigating our current tipping culture.

Easy Ways to Navigate Tip-flation

Dismiss the Awkwardness
 
When faced with the appearance of a tipping screen at a checkout counter, it’s natural to feel a bit awkward. But remember, it’s essential to recognize that you have the right to take a moment and make the best decision for both yourself and your budget.
 
We are living in a time where everything costs more so, it’s crucial to empower yourself to make decisions aligned with your financial reality. Feel confident in your decision.
 
If you don’t have ample disposable income, there’s no need to feel guilty for opting not to tip, even when prompted by an iPad. Prioritize your budget and make choices that align with your financial well-being.
Prioritizing Essential Services
 
Determine which services are important to you and prioritize tipping for them. Concentrate on areas where a tip has a direct impact on people’s livelihoods, like the food service industry, rather than feeling obligated to tip in every circumstance.
 
Allocate a certain sum of money for tipping, taking into account your top priorities. ⁤⁤With this strategy, you can fund necessary services without going over your spending limit.
Being Mindful of Personal Finances
 
Businesses often present opportunities for tipping, even in unexpected places like drive-throughs.
 
It’s crucial to remember that you are in control of your finances. Just because the option to tip exists doesn’t obligate you to do so. Assess your budget and make decisions that align with your financial goals.
 

Advocacy for Fair Wages

Supporting Fair Labor Practices 

Choose to support businesses that prioritize fair labor practices and provide reasonable wages to their employees.

By being a conscious consumer, you contribute to a culture that values and compensates workers appropriately.

Engaging in Conversations About Tipping Norms
For companies, relying on tips can reduce labor costs, as gratuity offsets the low wages paid to workers.
 
This can be particularly appealing for businesses with slim profit margins.
 
Addressing the issue of tipping culture involves broader discussions on labor laws, the minimum wage, and fair compensation for all workers.
 
Some argue that companies should pay their employees a livable wage without relying on tips, creating a more stable and equitable income for workers.
 
Speaking on this topic in your circle can bring more awareness to this topic and make businesses pay their employees better without relying on customers.

This post was all about ways to navigate the current tipping culture.

If you liked this, check out our other posts!

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How much should you tip? Easy ways to navigate tip-flation

This site contains affiliate links, view the disclosure for more information.

Tipping screen

A guide to the new tipping culture.

tipping screen

No matter what businesses you enter in the United States, it’s likely that you’ll be prompted on a little digital screen to offer a tip. Tip-flation is in full effect. 

But, the rapidly changing tipping culture raises questions about its fairness and effectiveness.
 
We are breaking down some ways you can avoid that awkwardness at the counter and how much you should actually be tipping for services.

In this post we are sharing ways to navigate the current tip-flation.

What's going on with tipping?

According to a recent Bankrate survey, nearly 66% of Americans have a negative view on tipping.

According to almost 30% of respondents, the culture surrounding tips is “out of control,” with more businesses than ever requesting customers to leave tips at the register.

Consumers believe that companies should pay their staff more instead of depending solely on gratuities (41%), and they find the pre-entered tip screens annoying (32%).

Why Do You Have to Tip?

Tipping is a way to show appreciation for a job well done. Tipping at your favorite restaurants or expressing gratitude to a dependable handyman does more for you than simply leaving a tip; it fosters a culture of continuous good experiences.
 
Tipping becomes an essential source of additional income for service professionals, who frequently depend on low hourly earnings. 
 
Your kindness goes a long way toward increasing their income and is essential to maintaining their financial stability.

How Much Should You Tip?

Though opinions on those matters differ, tipping experts agree on one point: the increasing number of cashless payment methods with automated tipping features has significantly increased the frequency with which we are prompted to leave a tip.
 
They also point out that answering ” yes ” is not always necessary.”
 
There has been a significant change in the way tips are distributed, both during and after the pandemic. Almost everywhere you go, you see digital tablets at the point of purchase asking you to tip a specific amount.
 
It’s worth noting that Americans are among the top tippers in the world, despite their negative view of tipping culture.
 
The tipping standard is often between 15% and 20% of the whole bill.
 
The majority of workers in the service sector make less than the minimum wage, which is low in the first place, and many depend on tips to supplement what they make.
 
The majority of the pay for hairstylists, salon assistants, food delivery drivers, and other service employees is typically derived from similar percentage tips.
 
To sort out that confusion, consider following these strategies for navigating our current tipping culture.

Easy Ways to Navigate Tip-flation

Dismiss the Awkwardness
 
When faced with the appearance of a tipping screen at a checkout counter, it’s natural to feel a bit awkward. But remember, it’s essential to recognize that you have the right to take a moment and make the best decision for both yourself and your budget.
 
We are living in a time where everything costs more so, it’s crucial to empower yourself to make decisions aligned with your financial reality. Feel confident in your decision.
 
If you don’t have ample disposable income, there’s no need to feel guilty for opting not to tip, even when prompted by an iPad. Prioritize your budget and make choices that align with your financial well-being.
Prioritizing Essential Services
 
Determine which services are important to you and prioritize tipping for them. Concentrate on areas where a tip has a direct impact on people’s livelihoods, like the food service industry, rather than feeling obligated to tip in every circumstance.
 
Allocate a certain sum of money for tipping, taking into account your top priorities. ⁤⁤With this strategy, you can fund necessary services without going over your spending limit.
Being Mindful of Personal Finances
 
Businesses often present opportunities for tipping, even in unexpected places like drive-throughs.
 
It’s crucial to remember that you are in control of your finances. Just because the option to tip exists doesn’t obligate you to do so. Assess your budget and make decisions that align with your financial goals.
 

Advocacy for Fair Wages

Supporting Fair Labor Practices 

Choose to support businesses that prioritize fair labor practices and provide reasonable wages to their employees.

By being a conscious consumer, you contribute to a culture that values and compensates workers appropriately.

Engaging in Conversations About Tipping Norms
For companies, relying on tips can reduce labor costs, as gratuity offsets the low wages paid to workers.
 
This can be particularly appealing for businesses with slim profit margins.
 
Addressing the issue of tipping culture involves broader discussions on labor laws, the minimum wage, and fair compensation for all workers.
 
Some argue that companies should pay their employees a livable wage without relying on tips, creating a more stable and equitable income for workers.
 
Speaking on this topic in your circle can bring more awareness to this topic and make businesses pay their employees better without relying on customers.

This post was all about ways to navigate the current tipping culture.

If you liked this, check out our other posts!

Filing Taxes for the First Time? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Are you in a bind because you’ve never filed a tax return before? And to top it off, you just learned that you’ll need to file one this year? April 15th:

This site contains affiliate links, view the disclosure for more information.

filing your taxes
Are you in a bind because you’ve never filed a tax return before? And to top it off, you just learned that you’ll need to file one this year?
 
April 15th: Tax Day always falls on that date, unless April 15 falls on a weekend or holiday. 
 
If you are filing your taxes for the first time, we have everything you need to know. And yes, we will be sharing how to file your taxes for free (or at a super low cost).

In this post, we are sharing everything you need to know if you are filing taxes for the first time.

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO FILING TAXES

Essential tips for all you first-time filers out there ⬇️

Figure Out If You Have to File a Tax Return

To determine if you need to file a tax return, there are a few key factors to consider. 
 
In general, if your gross income in 2023 was at least $13,850, you’ll likely need to file a tax return in 2024.
 
Keep in mind that different rules apply to married individuals, older Americans, and heads of household. 
 
It’s important to note that even if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, the $13,850 threshold still applies to you. 
 
If you are considered a dependent, you must file a return if you have accumulated at least $1,250 in “unearned” income, such as interest from investments.

Get Your Documents Together Early

 
Once you’ve determined that you need to file a tax return, it’s time to gather the necessary documents to complete it.
 
Here’s a list of essential documents to gather:
 
W-2: If you have a job, your employer is required to send you this form by the end of January. It provides details on your earnings for the previous year and the amount of tax withheld.
 
1099s: These forms report income that doesn’t come directly from a traditional employer. They include earnings from freelance work, “gig” pay, interest and dividend income, as well as income from third-party platforms like Venmo and PayPal.
 
Receipts: As a first-time taxpayer, it’s important to start keeping records of transactions that may need to be reported on your tax form. This includes income, expenses, and potential deductions. For example, keep track of any charitable donations you make or significant medical bills you incur.
 
By gathering these essential documents, you’ll be well-prepared to complete your tax return accurately and efficiently.

Gather Important Personal information

You’ll need the following personal information on hand to file taxes:
 
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number
  • (TIN) for yourself and any dependents
  • Full name and date of birth for all individuals on your return.
  • Proof of identity with a valid photo ID
  • Bank account information, including your routing and account numbers, if you want to receive your tax refund via direct deposit.

Figure Out If Someone Can Claim You as a Dependent

 
It’s important to determine whether someone can claim you as a dependent, especially if you’re living with your parents or receiving any financial support from them.
 
According to TurboTax, parents can claim you as a dependent if you’re under 19 years of age, or under 24 and a full-time student, and they provide more than half of your financial support.
 
While parents can receive tax benefits by claiming you as a dependent, it’s also crucial for you to report this dependent status on your own tax return. 
 
Be sure to check with your parents and discuss whether they plan to claim you as a dependent and how it may affect your taxes. Always stay informed to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps towards financial success.

Figure Out If Someone Can Claim You as a Dependent

 
It’s important to determine whether someone can claim you as a dependent, especially if you’re living with your parents or receiving any financial support from them.
 
According to TurboTax, parents can claim you as a dependent if you’re under 19 years of age, or under 24 and a full-time student, and they provide more than half of your financial support.
 
While parents can receive tax benefits by claiming you as a dependent, it’s also crucial for you to report this dependent status on your own tax return. 
 
Be sure to check with your parents and discuss whether they plan to claim you as a dependent and how it may affect your taxes. Always stay informed to ensure that you’re taking all the necessary steps towards financial success.

Determine Your Tax Filing Status:

Here are the five primary filing statuses: 
 
  • Single: If you’re unmarried.  
  • Married (filing jointly): For married couples who want to combine their income on one return.
  • Married (filing separately): For married couples filing separately.
  • Head of household: For unmarried individuals who support dependents.
  • Qualifying widow/widower with dependent child: If you’re a surviving spouse with a dependent child. 
 
Include the appropriate filing status on your forms, when filing your taxes for the first time.

Find Out If You Qualify for Deductions or Credits

 
When it comes to taxes, deductions and credits can both help decrease your overall tax liability. Tax deductions work by reducing the amount of your income that is taxable while tax credits decrease the amount of tax you owe.
 
For first-time taxpayers, there are a few common deductions and credits that may apply:
 
  • The student loan interest deduction is one example of a deduction and can possibly result in a maximum deduction of $2,500 for the interest paid on student loans.
 
  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit is a credit that can be claimed by those individuals for whom no one can claim as a dependent, allowing for up to $2,500 credit for college expenses.
 
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit may be an option for individuals who earned a low income in 2023. It is essential to consult the IRS tables for information on how to qualify for this credit based on your income level.
 
  • Lifetime Learning Credit: A credit that helps cover the costs of post-secondary education, including tuition and related expenses, for eligible students. 
 
  • Educational expenses deduction: This deduction covers certain educational expenses. 
 
  • Home Energy Tax Credits: A credit for homeowners who make qualifying energy-efficient home upgrades.
 
  • Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit: A credit for homeowners investing in energy-efficient home improvements. 
Deductions and credits can be a valuable tool when it comes to claiming your taxes.
 
Getting your taxable amount to the lowest possible is important if you want to pay less in taxes. It’s crucial to research which ones may apply to your situation and take advantage of them while preparing your tax return.

Decide if You Need Help

If you’re a first-time taxpayer, you have the option of either doing your own taxes or hiring a professional. 
 
Many Gen-Z individuals choose to do their own taxes, which is generally fine if your tax situation is straightforward.
 
By taking the DIY approach, you can potentially save money and complete your tax return quickly using tax software or the official IRS Free File program.
 
 Calculate your estimated Tax Return using Turbo Tax.

Completing Your Tax Filing

 
Once you’re prepared to file your taxes, it’s important to ensure the accuracy of your tax return. Take the time to review your personal information, income, deductions, and credits for any errors or omissions.
 
Online Filing: If you choose to file online, the platform you use will typically guide you through the process. Before proceeding from one page to the next, carefully verify the information provided for an easier filing experience.
 
 
Tax Professional Assistance: When working with a tax professional, they are responsible for reviewing their work. However, it’s crucial to provide them with accurate information from the start. If needed, ask for a walkthrough of your return to gain additional peace of mind.
 
Nonprofit Organization Assistance: If you’re seeking help from a nonprofit organization, you might be required to attend in-person sessions and bring all necessary documents. The organization will then assist you in submitting your tax return.
 
Paper Filing: If you opt for paper filing, complete all mandatory forms accurately, attach supporting documents, and send the package to the appropriate IRS address. Take the time to double-check everything before mailing your return, and remember to include a signed and dated copy.
 
It’s crucial to file your return by the tax deadline to avoid any late penalties. For the 2024 tax year, the deadline is April 15, 2024.

Pay the IRS if you owe taxes

After filing your taxes, you’ll either receive a tax refund or a notice of the amount you owe to the IRS. If you end up owing money, you’ll need to know how to pay what you owe.
 
You have a few options:
 
  • Use IRS Direct PayThis online service lets you pay your tax bill directly from your bank account. It’s a secure and convenient way to pay the IRS without any fees. 
  • Pay with a credit or debit card: You can pay your taxes using a credit or debit card through authorized payment processors, but this method includes fees. 
  • Pay in installments: If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, you may be eligible for an installment payment plan with the IRS. This allows you to pay your tax debt over time in manageable installments. 
Whichever method you choose, pay what you owe on time to avoid any penalties.

Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid For First-Time Filers

  • Misreporting any earned income
  • Not claiming qualified deductions or credits
  • Forgetting to sign and date your Tax return
  • Missing the date to file
  • Not keeping organized and accurate records.
  • Inaccurate Filing Status

This post was all about, everything you need to know before filing your taxes for the first time.

Check out our other posts ⬇️

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