Extra Fees

Sales tax is a state tax that is added to the purchase price of things that you buy.  It is important to know what purchases your state taxes.  In some states anything you buy has sales tax, in others food isn't taxed, and in some prescription drugs aren't.  Some states have no sales tax at all.
Other countries have sales taxes that are called other names.  In England, where one of our team members lives, the tax is called a VAT, or Value Added Tax.  It was 17.5% until 12/2008 when it was dropped to 15% so that people would buy more and help the bad economy.
How does this affect you?  As a teenager, you will be spending money that you earn. Knowing what the sales tax is on a purchase is part of knowing how much something is really going to cost.  For example:  If you buy an IPod for \$125.00 in New Jersey, there will be a 7% tax added to its cost.  That means that when you reach the cash register, you need to have \$8.75 more to cover the cost of the sales tax.  As you are making the decision whether to buy the IPod, you need to know the actual cost of the item.  (If there are shipping costs, these need to be added in, too.)  Part of smart spending is smart choices.  Smart choices can only be made if you know all of the costs of the purchase.
This is how you figure out sales tax:

 Take the tax rate of the state you are in, and convert it to a decimal.  For example:  7% is 7 cents on each dollar or .07 cents. Multiply the cost of \$125.00 by .07 and you get \$8.75 Add the \$8.75 to \$125.00 and your purchase price is \$135.75 Once you begin to do this often, you will find that you can do this in your head.  This is a really good thing to know how to do so that when you go out to dinner or buy something you can figure this out before you get to the cash register.  It is embarrassing when you don't have enough money to pay the bill.

Another fee that you need to understand is tips.  When you go to a restaurant, there are waiters or waitresses who take your order and bring your food.  A lot of times, they don't make a lot in wages and really count on their tips.  A tip is money that you give your server because they waited on you.  This isn't included in the bill when you get it unless you have a lot of people at your table.  People that have good manners will leave a tip.  Tips for servers are between 15% and 20% of the bill total.  Sure, you say, but what if the server does a really bad job.  Your food is late or wrong and you aren't happy about it.  Even though it is mannerly to leave a tip, you have choices.  You can:

 1 Not leave a tip:  Keep this option for times when the service is horrible. We are only talking about the service, not the food.  The server doesn't cook the food and shouldn't lose a tip because of it. 2 Leave a 15% tip.  This is a normal tip amount. 3 Leave a 20% tip.  This is the upper amount of a normal tip. 4 Leave more than 20% when the service is TERRIFIC.

When you figure out tips often, you will be able to do it in your head.  The first thing you do is multiply the bill total by .10 (10%).  Take that total and divide it in half (5%).  Add the 10% total to the 5% total and this will give you the amount to pay for a 15% tip.  If you want to give a 20% tip, multiply the bill by .10 (10%) and then add that same amount twice.  For example:  Your bill is \$25.00.  Multiply that by .10 and you will get \$2.50.  That's 10% of the bill.  Divide that in half and get \$1.25.  That's 5% of the bill.  Add the 2.50 + \$1.25 = \$3.75.  That is your tip if you want to give 15%.  If you want to give 20%, take the \$2.50 (which is 10% of the total) and add \$2.50 (another 10%) to equal a \$5.00 tip.
Tips should be given to the server or left on the table.  Try to leave it under the corner of a plate or under a salt shaker or somewhere that it won't be able to fall off the table.  Don't leave it on the edge of the table where someone could come by and easily take it.

Piggy Page

"Original tipping page: Restaurant."  21 Mar 2009.  <http://www.tipping.org/tips/restaurant.html>.