You Should Tip Doctors, Lawyers And Accountants, Too!

I thought my last rant about tipping would satisfy my disdain for America’s new tipping culture for a while. I was wrong. Turns out, tipping isn’t just completely out of control. Instead, tipping guidelines have become a laughing matter! At least that’s what I do when I read them!

What brought up this wonderful revelation? This article by CNN Money about 5 People You Might Not Tip (But Should). In the article, Diane Gottsman, an “etiquette expert” suggests you should tip the following:

  • The exterminator
  • The cable guy
  • The spray tanner
  • The dry cleaner
  • The road service employee

I don’t know about you, but not one single person on this list will ever get a tip from me. EVER. I honestly thought it was a joke, but we’re well past April Fool’s day. If you’re wondering why these people should be tipped, you’re asking the right question. These people are paid to do a job by their employers!

Tips should not ever enter into the picture. As for whether I’m following proper etiquette or not, honestly I don’t care one bit. It might be “proper” to drink tea with my pinky in the air while balancing on one leg, but you’ll never see me do it!

Would you ever consider tipping your doctor, lawyer or accountant? Why not?! If you’d tip anyone on this list, you might as well tip every person you ever come across.

  • You should tip your grocery store cashier for ringing up your groceries.
  • Tip the cart pusher for bringing carts in the store.
  • Tip the gas station clerk for making sure that the Slurpee machine is running.
  • Tip the your real estate agent, on top of their commission, for selling you something.
  • Tip your car salesman for making sure your monthly payment is a bit higher than you wanted.
  • Tip the cook at the fast food restaurant for not spitting in your food.

Hell, tip your Congressman for running for office! That ought to do the trick although it might be considered a bribe and get you in hot water.

I completely understand why we tip restaurant servers. They get paid a very small wage under the normal minimum wage and tips are considered part of their compensation. As long as tipping doesn’t get out of control, I can deal with that. However, you should use your common sense as for who else you tip and who you don’t.

Don’t ever feel pressured to give someone a tip simply because they’re asking for it. They may look at you weird, but you aren’t obligated to tip anyone. If you were obligated to tip, tips would be calculated as part of your bill and you wouldn’t be able to remove them. Otherwise, use your own judgment on when and where to tip. Don’t let society pressure you into giving your hard earned money away just because everyone else thinks it’s the right thing to do. Be an individual and make up your own mind.

What do you think about tipping everyone and their mom? Should we tip everyone person we have contact with each day? Is there anyone on this list that you legitimately think we should tip? If so, why? Let me know. I want to know if I’m the only crazy one who thinks this list is absolutely insane.

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. Honestly, I really don’t know if I should tip my Doctor. 🙂 Usually, I tip the waitress, masseur and the cart pusher.

  2. Melissa@MrsFinancialFreedom says:

    In the UK, we don’t have a big tipping culture. The only people we tend to tip are waiting staff in a restaurant and then it’s not seen as something you have to do as many people don’t.

  3. This is getting out of control. I pretty much only tip when there is food involved or when you’re cutting my hair. Or when I’m on vacation in Mexico or Jamaica. I’m not even sure how you could apply the rules of tipping to any other profession.

  4. If someone serving or helping me is making peanuts, why would I not tip them? Why not be generous? But obviously people making $150+ an hour do not need even more. . . .

    • Is your tip because you feel bad they don’t make much or because they did an exceptionally good job? If it is just because you feel bad you could be promoting bad service.

      • Someone told me once that TIPS stood for To Improve Performance Service. Not sure if that’s really true but I think it’s important for us to tip to promote exceptional service. I think people should be paid the living wage and it should be calculated into the price. It’s a peeve of mine when I get bad service and 18% tip is tacked on as “gratuity.”. I rather them call it a service charge. I’ll add gratuity if it is warranted.

  5. Haha…my wife would say, “Yes, tip accountants!” since she is one. It would seem it’s gotten out of hand. However, there is something to be said for thanking someone for a job well done. My wife has clients who bring her goodies because they appreciate all the stuff she does for them. In a way, they are tipping her, just not with dollars.

  6. Tipping has gone out of control. I had a discussion with someone who said I should tip everyone who provides service. So I said, when I worked as a teller no one ever gave me a tip. I should Have had a tip jar in front of my teller station.

    I concur tipping in restaurant industry is important because restaurant owners don’t calculate an actual living wage as part of the cost of the meal/dining. They should. There is actually data that shows how tipping at restaurants and us being okay with it supports the substandard wage.

  7. Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I agree that tipping has gotten out of control, although I do understand tipping servers like you said. I think that many people who get tipped have a growing sense of entitlement too. I hate it when I feel like I am being forced to tip!

  8. Tipping is out of control. I never know who I should tip and who I shouldn’t tip. I got my dog groomed this weekend (for the first time) and when I went to pay I’m thinking oh crap I am supposed to tip these people? I had no idea what the proper thing to do was so I didn’t tip them. Then I felt bad afterward.

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