Is Guilt Costing You $500 Each Year?

A new study has revealed a curious habit that most Americans are unwillingly partaking in that’s costing them upwards of $500 a year. Curious as to what that could be? 

A Divisive Issue 

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Tipping – it’s a controversial subject. With so many service industry workers relying on tips to supplement their low wages (minimum wage for tipped workers in many states is $2.13 an hour), they have become a necessity for many. 

Rising Pressure on Customers to Tip More

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And while Americans used to tip plentifully, as “tipflation” (essentially the increased number of places asking for tips and the increased value of tips) has run rampant the last few years, people are feeling tip-fatigued.

Gratuities’ Evolution

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What used to be a 10% gratuity has risen massively since the pandemic, and now the average American tips, on average, over double that. Some places now expect a 25% tip minimum, with anything less being an insult to the server. 

Pushing the Boundaries of Tipping Culture

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Perhaps the worst offenders of the new boom of tipping culture are self-service kiosks, which cheekily pop up with a tip request despite you not interacting with a human being. 

Increased Outrage

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It’s fair to say that all of this has added up, and more and more Americans are beginning to grow frustrated. 

Guilt-Induced Tipping

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Well, a new survey by Talker Research has looked into the average American’s frustration and found a noteworthy trend – most Americans don’t want to tip but feel guilted into it.

The Yearly Financial Impact

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In a survey of 2000 Americans, Talker Research found that “guilt-induced gratuities” cost the average Joe on average $453.60 a year, with 26% of respondents reporting that they often or always felt “forced to tip more than they would like.”

Overwhelming Options

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The average respondent reported tipping more than they would want to on at least six different occasions in the last thirty days alone, with the pressure of tipping options overwhelming them and leaving them – in their minds – with no other option.

Frequency of Feeling “Forced” to Tip More

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Almost 60% of people surveyed reported that feeling pressured to tip more than they normally would was a regular occurrence. 

Majority Experience Discomfort When Tipping

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Out of the 2000, only 24% said that it was “a rare experience” for them to feel pressured when tipping – indicating that the majority feel some level of discomfort or pressure when their waiter turns up with the card machine.

Rising Costs

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49% of people surveyed said they had noticed that the available options for tipping on tablets, card machines, and other digital devices had increased in price in the last month alone, and over 30% reported being asked to tip for a service they would never have normally tipped for in the same timeframe.

Generational Divide

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When it comes to age and tipping culture, there’s a distinct divide throughout the generations. 

Younger Generations

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It seems the younger you are, the more you might feel the pressure, as about 16% of both Gen Z and millennials feel like they “always” have to tip –  almost twice as much as the older generations.

Gen X and Boomers

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On the other hand, only 9% of people from Gen X feel this constant pressure, and it’s even less for baby boomers at just 5%.

In-Person Purchases

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When it comes to buying things in person, like at a store or a café, the younger generation still seems to feel the heat more. About a third of both Gen Z and millennials said they always or often feel pressured or even guilty about tipping, while about 23% of Gen X and only 13% of boomers feel the same way.

Tipping for Non-Human Services

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Perhaps most notably, 23% of all people surveyed reported that they would leave a tip for a computer – like at a vending machine or a self-service checkout at a fast food joint or grocery store. 

Human Touch vs. Automation

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This suggests that the human touch doesn’t add all that much, and people are tipping for more than just good service.

Guilt-Driven Tipping Decisions

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So, next time you’re presented with the option to tip and feel that guilty twinge, remember it’s a common American reaction. 

Balanced Tipping Approach

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Unfortunately, though, this guilt could cost you almost $500 a year – so it may be time to reconsider your tipping habits and opt for a more balanced approach to your finances!

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The post Is Guilt Costing You $500 Each Year? – first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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