IIt’s December, and that means it’s time to work on your holiday gift list. Along with gifts for family and friends, it’s time to show your appreciation to everyone who has helped you through the year. We’re talking about holiday tips and gifts for babysitters, dog walkers, home caregivers, housekeepers, and maybe even your hairstylist and manicurist, not to mention the mailmen and sanitation workers that go along with it. visit your neighborhood every day.
Between the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic and shortages and price increases caused by a global supply chain crisis, 2021 has been an unusual year. Service workers worked on the front lines of the pandemic, often for less than white-collar workers who had the option of working remotely. It’s an argument to make room in your budget for a big extra tip this year.
And then there is inflation. If workers have not obtained an increase of at least 5% this year, they are probably late because of how quickly the prices go up. Here’s another great reason to tip generously this holiday season.
Here are some more details, if you still need to be convinced of the importance of being more generous this year, and some tips on how much to give.
Inflation makes everything more expensive
In other words, your money doesn’t go as far as it used to. So that $ 100 tip you gave your dog walker in 2020? At today’s inflation rate, it’s only worth about $ 94 this year.
Rising prices, especially for gasoline, hit service workers harder than most. “As costs continue to rise, it is definitely affecting child care providers,” says Morgan Clark, founder of STL Sitter, which employs 425 babysitters in the St. Louis area. “A lot of our guards will be working three or four different jobs a day. “
It’s a lot of driving between jobs, and with gas prices more than a dollar more than at this time last year, costs can add up quickly.
Not to mention the fact that low-paid educators are quit their job en masse this year. “If you combine the problem of inflation with a staff shortage, and then add a high demand for service,” says Clark, “you have a recipe for chaos.”
Service workers took additional risks in 2021
As in 2020, service sector workers faced additional risks – and sometimes additional hurdles – from the coronavirus pandemic. UrbanSitter co-founder and CEO Lynn Perkins noted that many families have asked their caregivers to avoid public transportation and carpooling during the pandemic. Not to mention the risks inherent in public work which does not allow a worker to limit his interactions to a small circle of people.
“If they are being asked to jump over extra hurdles because of Covid, I think that’s another reason to give a little more this year,” Perkins said.
Jessica Abernathy, president of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and owner of two pet sitting companies in the Chicago area, pointed out that many pet groomers were caring for pets when their owners were hospitalized with COVID-19 this year. “We are there for you, whatever the circumstances,” she says of the petsitters.
Tips increase, but so do prices
In a survey conducted by UrbanSitter, 42% of 500 parents polled said they plan to tip their babysitters over $ 25 this year. That’s up from 25% of parents who said the same thing in 2018. Another investigation conducted by CreditCards.com found that 45% of people plan to tip more than usual this holiday season.
UrbanSitter also found that child care rates on its platform have increased 10.5% over the past year. This means that for families who tip their nannies and babysitters on the basis of a week or two of extra pay rather than a fixed amount, an inflation-adjusted tip is already built in.
But this is not the case for everyone. Real hourly wages in October were 1.2% lower than a year earlier, according to The data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For most Americans, wage gains have not been enough to keep up with rising inflation. So if you haven’t started paying more for your babysitter yet, now is a good time to start.
Money is not the only way to say thank you
If you don’t have enough room in your finances for a vacation tip, there are always ways to show your appreciation to the people who have helped you through 2021 with thoughtful words or personal testimonials of your thanks.
“Homemade gifts for kids can go a long way to show appreciation,” says Sheri Reed, editor of Care.com. “Things like a children’s quote book or heartfelt drawing are always a great idea. “
There’s the gift of time, too: UrbanSitter’s Perkins remembers a family who gave their nanny an afternoon off and the use of their car when she was scheduled to work, as a vacation surprise.
Or if your dog walker has their own pet, Wag! CEO Garrett Smallwood recommends making a homemade puzzle toy or other DIY pet gift.
Service workers can find other jobs
Regardless of how much you donate or if you can afford to tip, the tightening labor market means that it is very important to show that you value the service providers in your life in 2021. Guardians and service workers are particularly in demand and register levels of Americans quit their job translates into more openings and stiff competition for workers.
Clark of STL Sitter says that on his platform, some families are even offering bonuses beyond a babysitter’s rates to secure services. “Retention should be something that comes to your mind when thinking about tip,” says Clark.
“If you really love your caregiver, it’s not a bad year to give a little more just because people are starting to look around you. [for other jobs]Says Perkins of UrbanSitter. “If this is someone who really matters to your family… show them a little more love this year.”
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