How to tip at a hotel

by Kristina on March 4, 2015 · 1 comment

How to tip at a hotel, travel tipping, tips at hotel, travel tipGood morning Dinks.  I’m back from my much needed extra long weekend getaway and let me tell you I had a great time.  To sum up my six days (Thursday to Monday) I met with a freelance client, I attended a digital media conference, I had dinner with an old friend from high school and I had a job interview.  I know that sounds like a lot, but I still managed to sneak in some recreational time at the pool and in the sauna.  I also found the time to finish reading my book.

On the downside my luck with accommodations is a different story.  I stayed in three different hotels over the five days.  My first night hotel was an add on because I decided to leave a day early, my second hotel was awful (a.k.a. kid friendly – very kid friendly) then I finally settled into my final hotel destination.

I spent $57 in taxi cab fares travelling from hotel to hotel, that’s a lot of wasted money.  Each taxi cab ride was a new start up fee, a new travelling fair and a new tip.  As I handed over my heard earned money I thought about the habit of tipping, specifically tipping when travelling.  When should we do it, who should we give it to and how much should we give?

Your cab driver?  I never know how much to tip when it comes to cabs, is it the standard 15-20% like in restaurants?  I usually round up and add a dollar.  However I never tip if I’m taking a trip where there is a flat fee such as to or from the airport (remember THAT story?).  I’m not sure if it’s proper etiquette, but that’s what I do.

The bellman for helping with your bags?  In the movies the traveller always hands the bellman money when he brings luggage into the room.  However the people having their bags carried are usually rich.  So what about us, what about the average Joe, should we tip the bellman at a hotel?

Housekeeping for bringing extra towels?  I used to always hand housekeeping a dollar or two when I requested extra towels but I recently stopped doing it.  I started thinking, why am I paying for something that’s already in my hotel room?  I made a decision then and there to stop tipping for items that are already in my room but I need more of.  If I need extra pillows, towels or a blanket I don’t tip.

What about items that aren’t in your hotel room?  I don’t necessarily think we should tip for someone bringing extra towels to the room because those are items that come with renting a hotel room for the evening.  But what about other items that are available from the hospitality desk and aren’t standard in your room like shower caps, tooth paste and razors.  Do you tip when someone brings non standard items to your room?

While I was on my extra long weekend getaway I called housekeeping and asked for a shower cap.  I had no intention of tipping so I didn’t bring any money to the door.  When the man handed me two shower caps he said “Here you go Kristina”.  He knew my name, that’s great service…and yet I didn’t tip him.  I still feel bad about it!


cheap stuff, yard sale, cheap furniture, secondhand appliances, secondhand furniture, thriftyGood morning Dinks.  Has spring fever hit you yet?  I’m not exactly sure if that’s what I’m going through right now but I can tell you that I’m definitely over winter and ready to move on to the next phase of the year – or should I say season of the year.

When spring comes the snow melts and we can start spending more time outside.  As you know Nick and I moved into a new apartment in October and after getting all our furniture we decided to hold off on the decorating until spring.  Now spring is almost here and I’m ready to start decorating, but there’s a catch…as there always is.  I need to do it for cheap, like really cheap.

So here’s the question.  How do you make your apartment look like a million bucks for less than $1000?  Normally I would say buy everything used, but my boyfriend doesn’t believe in buying other people’s stuff because he thinks it’s garbage.  I try to spin a used item as being a vintage masterpiece but he’s not buying it.  The following are ways I would like to decorate our apartment on the cheap but unfortunately I won’t be able to take my own advice.

Fill your bookshelf with used books

Our bedroom has a built in bookshelf.  I love it, it’s gorgeous and it gives the room character.  Even though Nick and I both really like to read I don’t think we could fill up this bookshelf in our entire lifetime.  It’s almost the entire size of our wall which has 14 foot ceilings and there’s room for at least two rows of books on each of the five shelves.

If you want to fill your bookshelf go to your library and buy their books.  My Dad keeps sending me books that he buys at library sales.  “Read this book, I bought it for $1″ he tells me.  I think I inherited my love of reading from my Dad, actually I know it.  He’s always the first to ask me what I’m reading and he even sends me back books that I’ve given to him.  Yes that’s right, not only does my Dad re-gift my gifts but he gives them back to me.  I don’t mind because we have the same taste in books; we both love to read crime fiction.

Drive around hitting up garage sales

I’m not sure where the term garage sale comes from because they’re usually held on someone’s front lawn, by the curb or in a driveway.  But nevertheless garage sales are a great place to find hidden treasures.  As long as the item looks clean and I need it garage sale finds can give old world charm to a new apartment.

I love walking around garage sales looking for book ends, lamps and other decor but for reasons already mentioned I never buy anything.  I wouldn’t buy just anything and everything from a garage sale because I don’t want to clutter our pretty new apartment with junk, but rare cute items are OK.

Take advantage of other peoples woes

Does profiting from someone’s loss make you a bad person?  I would normally say yes, but not when it comes to money.  You may have heard that both Sony and Target are closing their stores in Canada.  Although I feel bad for these mega million corporations I can’t help but take advantage of their going out of business sales.

I bought candles and pillows at a discount for our new living room at Target and Nick bought a new sound bar for our entertainment system from The Sony Store.  Going out of business sales are a great place to get awesome things on the cheap.

Bad Financial Advice, financial tips, bad financial tips, financial advisor, investments, personal finance6 Pieces of Bad Financial Advice You Shouldn’t Follow

Selena Maranjian – April 29, 2013

Financial advisors can be good or bad, and there are ways of zeroing in on the better folks among them. That’s well worth doing, but it’s also good to remember that we need to be wary of bad financial advice — because it may be coming at us not only from professional advisors, but also from well-meaning friends, neighbors, and relatives, or from financial books or gurus on TV.

Here are a few examples of bad financial advice. The list is far from comprehensive, though, so be sure to keep your critical thinking cap on when you tend to financial matters.

1. In addition to the home you live in, buy another and rent it out to collect income and build home equity. This can work well for some people, but it’s far easier said than done, and is not a good idea for many. Being a landlord involves a lot more than you may have imagined, such as dealing with empty and income-less properties at times, dealing with troublesome tenants, having to make expensive repairs, and not always being able to sell when you want to for a price you want.

2. Don’t borrow money for college. This is bad financial advice because in general, folks with college degrees earn more, and in these recent days of high unemployment, more educated workers were less likely to be unemployed. Yes, being saddled with a lot of student debt can make life difficult, but many schools are quite generous with financial aid and there’s a good chance you won’t be paying or even borrowing the full sticker cost.

3. Pay off all your debt before  you start saving for retirement. It’s easy to see the logic here, if you’re looking at hefty interest rates. The stock market has averaged roughly 10% annually over many years, while some credit cards have charged more than 20% annually. Tackling debt first can actually make sense, but only if you do the job quickly, such as in a year or two. If it’s going to take you many years to pay off your debt, then you’ll be forgoing many years when your retirement account could have enjoyed compounded growth. Procrastination can be deadly to your retirement. Perhaps work on both goals at the same time — that’s better financial advice.

4. If you can borrow money for, say, 8% and then invest it and earn 10% or 15%, go ahead. This is the logic used by many who invest using margin — in other words, borrowing from their brokerage. It looks like a compelling proposition, but for most of us, it’s bad financial advice. After all, you’ll be on the hook for that 8%, guaranteed. But the gain you hope to get via your investments is not so guaranteed. Even great stocks can fall for a short or long while, as can the entire market. And fat dividends can be reduced or eliminated. This is usually a risky thing to do. Also a bad idea: if you’re already saddled with debt and you want to try to pay it off by investing with borrowed money.

5. Go ahead and make the most of your assets — perhaps start a business by borrowing against your home, or borrow from your 401(k) account, or cash out that 401(k) account when you change jobs. These arrangements have turned out well on occasion, but they’re risky. Most of us will not be able to live comfortably on Social Security. We’ll need a nest egg of our own. If you cash yours in, you might end up without one. If you borrow from it, even if you pay that sum back in a few years, you’ll have lost out on some valuable compounding years. If you put your home up as collateral, you might lose your home. This is risky financial advice.

6. Buy a lot of gold. It may be surprising to see buying gold among pieces of bad financial advice, but gold has just not been a great long-term performer at all. Sure, it’s had some great runs, and has delivered a lot of value to those who timed it well. And even now, many smart people think it’s a buy. But many others think alternatives such as stocks make more sense.

There are lots of other pieces of bad financial advice. Taking time to read up on financial topics and to learn more will help you recognize and avoid many of them. But there are some quick and easy red flags that will help, too: Beware of outrageous claims and promises, steer clear of high fees, avoid investments with rules that are too restrictive, and don’t expect to get rich quickly.

Weekly Roundup: Winter, March and Money

February 27, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  How are you spending the last weekend in February?  Nick and I are staying in warm and cozy with Netflix.  We took an extra long weekend away last week so this weekend we’re just laying low and catching up on things around the apartment. Enjoy your weekend and enjoy these posts we […]

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Do you need an assistant?

February 26, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, do you have an assistant? The reason I’m asking is because it seems like the topic of assistants is in the air this week.  I went to my chiropractor on Monday for my monthly visit and there was a new girl working in the office who […]

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Money Only Gets Better with Age

February 25, 2015

Sponsored by Edelman Financial Services Let me ask you a question, do you think your money life is better now than it was 10 years ago?  20 years ago?  30 years ago?  I can definitely answer yes.  My boyfriend Nick and I have both come a long way in how we make and manage our […]

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How to book the perfect hotel room

February 23, 2015

Good morning Dinks.  It’s the end of February and that means it’s the time of the year when I get restless.  I’m over the snowy Northeast and I long for the sun to come out and shine down on me in all its warmth and glory. Normally this time of the year I would book […]

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Weekly Roundup: Just another Friday in February

February 20, 2015

  Good morning Dinks.  Happy Friday.  Let me ask you, what’s going on this weekend.  President’s Day is over, Valentine’s Day is over and now it’s just another cold February Friday. How are you spending your weekends? Enjoy these posts from our friends: Couple Money – Which Debt Payoff Method Is Right for You? Wise […]

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Job decisions after a corporate takeover

February 19, 2015

Well it’s officially here, last week my company was finally sold to a competitor.  My workplace is transforming and as of now my professional fate is yet to be determined.  I’ve waited four months for this day and all of a sudden that day came…and went. That’s right.  After much anticipation and many tears from […]

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