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Scoop on Savings – Tis’ the season for giving back

The Salvation Army is now accepting ringers and volunteers for the holiday season. / Rob Carr/AP

The holidays are here, and so is the season of giving. As presents are exchanged, and good cheer fills the air, many are looking for a way to give back.

In this week’s Scoop on Savings, local financial professional Brian Mirau, from Mirau Capital Management, tells me how we can get in the giving spirit without breaking the bank.

So how can we celebrate this giving season? Mirau says there are three main categories people give to this time of year. That’s giving to others, giving to charities and giving to yourself.

“First of all, giving to others is a very special time of the year, you know the biggest joy we have is giving more than receiving,” Mirau said. “And so we want to make sure we give to others the way we want to.”

Mirau says we need to be disciplined when looking at what we’re giving to who, and how much it’s going to cost. He also says that when giving to charities, you need to find out what they need

“What you might do, is go to the charity's website, to see what they’re needing, what they’re looking for, and are they in need of a monetary gift or supply gift?” Mirau said.

Mirau recommends keeping receipts when giving to charities, as they could be a tax deduction at the end of the year.

And last, giving to yourself.

“We’re all guilty of spending money on ourselves at Christmas time,” Mirau said. “But rather than thinking about that new sweater, we might want to think about increasing our family emergency fund, or increasing our 401k payments, are different ways we can give to ourselves.”

Mirau says the giving season isn’t about how much we spend, it’s all about giving.

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