Bargain Hunter: Your signpost to late discounts as panic grips Britain's high streets

Today has been dubbed Panic Saturday as 13 million people are expected to continue to search for bargains. A report from the Centre for Retail Research anticipates that in-store spending will hit £1.2bn – or £2.1m for every minute the shops are open – as crowds battle for last-minute gifts and groceries.

Citizens Advice criticises BT, Sky and Talk Talk for not making real costs of broadband clear

Charity said free or cut-price broadband deals for a set time are misleading

Mark Dampier: Maybe boom, maybe bust, but we'll probably just muddle along

It's that time again when the media looks back over the past year and forward to the next. I am reminded of an old film, The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). Near the end of the film a newspaper prints two headlines – which one it uses will depend on whether the world is saved or doomed.

Questions of Cash: I checked in with Air France in time and still missed the plane

Q. I bought a ticket online from Air France to travel from Birmingham to Paris for a business meeting. I could not check in online because the website was not offering that option.

Donald MacInnes: It would be childish and unhelpful to compare Ukip to the Nazis...

As I dictate these words to my long-time stenographer, Mrs Cooper, I am reclining on my sick bed, its inert, Bauhaus-inspired lines interrupted and, to my shame, very much corrupted by the gothic filigree flourishes of – and there is really no way of putting this elegantly – my hardened snot.

Derek Pain: I'm looking to recruit new shares to lift my selection to a sweet 16

I am examining four possible additions to the No Pain, No Gain portfolio. Quite clearly it needs recruits, with its number down to a dozen and one constituent, Spirit Pub Co, due to depart next year.

Simon Read: Trust no one if asked to fill in an online questionnaire

Is it just me or have the online crooks been getting busier recently? I received a message this week that just said: "I decided to WILL the sum of $14,258,000.00 USD to you". Not all scams are so obvious.

Weekly Money: round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 15-19 December

Misleading broadband ads; High-charging pension funds; Pensioner Bonds; Basic bank accounts; Energy suppliers still wasting our time; the stories we noticed this week.

Move fast to get a Pensioner Bond

Last week the Treasury announced the rates for the new pensioner bonds, announced in March’s Budget, which will be issued by the government-backed National Savings & Investments in January.

Banks must ensure that no-one’s penalised for not having an account

Can you imagine what life would be like if you didn’t have a bank account? OK, it may mean you wouldn’t ever face excessive charges for unexpectedly going into the red. And it would also mean you’d never again have to cope with the bank’s computer cock-ups which have left millions without access to their cash.

Money : Peter Foster in his garden at East Dean, Sussex

Simon Read: How to live your retirement to the full

Picking the right annuity could mean the difference between scraping by and packing in as much adventure as possible

Gross household debt reached a historic high of around 160 per cent of combined incomes in 2007

Simon Read: Give people struggling with debt some breathing space

Struggling people need help, understanding and forbearance, not ill-thought-out pronouncements

A person walks through the City of London during the early morning rush hour in London

Simon Read: Caught up in the scandal about leaks at the regulator

You won’t find me bashing the banks for the sake of it, but sadly they’ve deserved all the criticism that’s been sent their way in recent years

Pat and Richard Astbury at their home in Norton Canes, Staffordshire. They have benefitted from the Community Energy Project aimed at helping council tenants with their energy bills. They have had solar panels installed.

Locals in Staffordshire to save hundreds after new council-backed project to install solar panels

The sun is shining on people who struggle to heat their homes and it’s thanks to a sense of community

Questions of cash: Santander said I’d won a prize but my Kindle never came

Q | I had a letter from Santander on 10 September to say that I was a prize winner in its Santander Nominee Service prize draw. The letter said I had to complete an attached form and return it to Santander by Monday 29 September by email or post.

I did this on 27 September, when I came home from holiday. I checked the website on 6 October, which confirmed that my name was on the list as a prizewinner.

The prize was a Kindle, but it did not arrive. I emailed to ask what had happened and was told that my form had not been received by post by the required date. I replied that the letter clearly stated that I could email the form, which I had done. I was then asked to resend the email, which I did. I have now been told that Santander cannot find the email. CI, Salisbury

It is expected that the tax, to be introduced in April, will raise £1.3bn over the next five years
State pension rise; Overdraft charges; Phone scammers; Credit broker crackdown; Video banking; the stories we noticed this week
For whom the Christmas bells toll? Shoppers should be wary of 'bargains' and 0 per cent deals on credit cards
The first website that allows travellers with pre-existing medical conditions planning a cruise to compare policies and buy cover has been launched at
Pension liberation schemes; Home loan wars; Credit card problems; Mortgage woes for those in their 30s and 40s; home delivery problems; the stories we noticed this week
Video: Simon Read offers some advice on ensuring you enjoy Christmas without the financial hangover
The LED Hut range could help you cut festive bills for years to come
Booming alternative finance; current account probe; payday loan ad banned; tax avoidance; energy bill woes: doorstep crime; the stories we noticed this week
Bergans is among the ski brands whose prices are going downhill
Gifts such as iPads have been used to tempt mortgage hunters, but the value should be in the home loan itself
Spooky homes; Junior Isas; your Section 75 credit rights; tax avoidance; tax deadline: help with energy bills; the stories we noticed this week
If you think that the kind of car dealer portrayed in Minder by Arthur Daley has been consigned to history, think again. If you can haggle on the forecourt, you can get massive discounts on a new car, reckons What Car? The magazine's mystery shoppers this month managed to negotiate a discount of 31 per cent - a saving of £18, 650 - off the price of a BMW 7 Series as it was about to be replaced by a newer model
See How to Train Your Dragon 2 cut-price at a Vue cinema
The Independent’s Personal Finance Editor Simon Read talks over the latest news with Luke Blackall
Struggling millennials, soaring energy bills, stock market woes and warnings of bank scams: the stories we noticed this week.
The people’s lenders: The peer-to-peer services can be less bureaucratic and less bloody minded than the banks
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