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My new tipping rule: Everyone gets 20%! Nice and easy…

by J. Money on Monday, January 5, 2009

the 20% rule.I’m tired of figuring out who gets what, and why. Plus, it’ll make the math all that easier ;) So from now on it’s a flat 20% wherever I go – no more ifs, ands, or butts about it!

And can you blame me? Wherever we go these days someone, somewhere, “deserves” a tip for something and i’m done thinking about it. Servers, cabbies, doormen, delivery men – they all get the same tip from me now – 20%.

Sure it may not be the *best* idea out there, but you know what? It makes life simple, and sometimes you just have to do what’s right for the brain! It’s definitely worth at least considering. Hell, you might already be doing it! If you’re trying to calculate a 17% tip on a $24 meal, odds are you’ll round up and get close to the 20% mark without even realizing it.

Of course, that alone isn’t enough to convince the naysayers, so I’ve put together a list of PROS and CONS that’ll help make it easier for you:

PROS of Always Tipping 20%

  • You NEVER have to think about it again! This is a biggie because it’s one of the most annoying things you have to deal with after eating/drinking/getting your hair cut/whatever.
  • You come off as an exceptional tipper, no matter the case! If people, on average, are tipping 15-20%, you’re automatically looking great. Everyone likes to come off as a baller, and this, my friends, helps to maintain this image ;)
  • It’s easy to calculate! No more whipping out the “tip calculator” on your cell phone. All you have to do is add $2.00 for every $10.00 of service/food/etc. that you spend. EASY! Spend $4o bucks, tack on an additional $8. Spend $47, round up and add $10, or round down to $45 and make it $9 – that’s it!
  • It FEELS great too. The more you give, the better you feel about it! Anyone who’s ever worked in the service industry can tell you that a larger tip makes all the difference in the world, esp. since they’re always getting gypped.

CONS of Always Tipping 20%

  • You have less money in your pocket. Sure, but it’s not ALL that much less, you know? On that same $40 example, a 17% tip would still set you back, what, $6.80? (had to use that cell phone calculator again) That’s a $1.20 difference. Yeah it adds up over time, but peace of mind definitely trumps this in my opinion.
  • You might overtip for horrendous service! Probably the strongest case against the 20% rule. If you were treated like a jerk the whole time, it’s going to take a lot of willpower to drop a hefty tip for them. Maybe this could be the one exception to the rule?
  • You could make your friends look bad. Kind of a stretch, but it’s possible! This comes into play more when splitting the bills with those who skimp on the tips. Everyone has their own reasons for the amount they give, but you still run the possibility of making them feel like they “have to” throw in a few extra dollars now.

It’s definitely tempting, right? It won’t be for everyone, sure, but it’s certainly an idea. It’s not like i’m the smartest, or even first, man in the world really for coming up with this. But i tell you what, when that check comes floating by next time – you better believe I’ll be looking the most relaxed :)

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PS: This also reminded me of the whole “tipping BEFORE you started the service” topic we went over months ago! Remember that? Good times, good times.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mohammad October 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

It’s easy to calculate! No more whipping out the “tip calculator” on your cell phone. All you have to do is add $2.00 for every $10.00 of service/food/etc. that you spend. EASY! Spend $4o bucks, tack on an additional $8. Spend $47, round up and add $10, or round down to $45 and make it $9 – that’s it!

it’s even easier than that- just move the decimal point one to the left (that’s 10%) and double it (2*10% = 20%)!

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2 J. Money October 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Haha, yup! that’s exactly what I do now actually – just add $2.00 for every $10 spent. been working like a charm every since ;)

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3 Jaime December 9, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well I don’t tip for bad service, if its kind of okay service, I tip less. But bad no, its rare for me to leave zero tips because most servers do a good job or an okay job to leave some kind of tip. If the service is really bad, I will complain to the manager, this has rarely happened though. I usually like to tip between 20 to 25% , if its excellent service I might tip 30%.

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4 J. Money December 11, 2010 at 5:46 pm

i wish i could just leave $0.00 tip but i always feel bad. or that they’ll find who i am and do something to my car/food next time i’m there ;) haha…

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