Every holiday season, many New Jersey residents struggle, deciding who to tip and how much to give.

Business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter, president of Cherry Hill-based Pachter & Associates, suggested considering your relationship with the person providing the service.

"If you have a very good relationship, chances are your going to be more generous," Pachter said.

But don't ruin your holiday budget on tipping people, Pachter cautioned.

Y"ou need to do what's appropriate for you," she said.

Generally, giving a tip equal to one session or one visit for a service is good, according to Pachter. If you're not sure on an amount, she suggested, "Give the person $20. That seems to be a nice number for most people."

While you might give a bigger tip to a caregiver of a loved one, for other service workers, Pachter said, "If you've been tipping them all along, maybe you don't need to be that generous."

Pachter also said homemade gifts and group gifts also are acceptable tips during the holiday season.

Here's a few holiday thanking recommendations from Emilypost.com (with lots more at the link):

  • Babysitter: Up to one evening's pay and a small gift from your child or children
  • Day care provider: A gift from you or $25 to $70 for each staff member who works with your child or children, and a small gift from your child or children.
  • Beauty salon staff: Up to the cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you.
  • Personal trainer: Up to the cost of one session or a gift.
  • Dog walker: Up to one week's pay or a gift.
  • Newspaper delivery person: $10 to $30 or a small gift.
  • Mail carrier: Small gifts no more than $20 in value.
  • Yard/garden worker: $20 to $50 each

Contact reporter Dianne DeOliveira at Dianne.DeOliveira@townsquaremedia.com.