smart spending

8 ways to trim your Christmas gift list

Don't skip the tip
Don't skip the tip

It's tempting to skip the December haircut and avoid that obligatory holiday tip, but can you really cut out the tips to shorten your shopping list or -- is that just plain tacky? Smith says if you can't afford to pay the tip, then perhaps you shouldn't be using the service provider.

"If your tipping at the end of the year is putting you into debt, then you should be looking at your lifestyle," Smith says. If tipping your manicurist, hairdresser, dog walker and the guy who shovels the snow in your driveway will put you over the edge, then perhaps you should be doing your own manicures and shoveling your own snow, she says.

However, stiffing the people you should tip is a no-no.

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