Donald MacInnes: We're having a baby so I won't get the Banana Splits for Christmas

Somewhere in the minds of each of those people who share your bloodline or your name, there resides a number. This figure represents an amount of money that these people – your family, basically – are prepared to spend on you at Christmas. (This is assuming that both they and you follow either the Judao-Christian perception of Christmas, or the more economically fluid Argos-Amazon translation.)

Derek Pain: The high spirits have abated, but Marston's still has pedigree

Shares in Marston's, the brewer, pub owner and long- time constituent of the No Pain, No Gain portfolio, have suffered since hitting their high point.

Simon Read: Think your energy bill is high? You ain't seen nothing yet

There also appears to be another hidden sting in the Autumn Statement – this time one that will hit energy consumers, or anyone who pays for gas and electricity.

It is expected that the tax, to be introduced in April, will raise £1.3bn over the next five years

Weekly Money: round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 1-5 December

State pension rise; Overdraft charges; Phone scammers; Credit broker crackdown; Video banking; the stories we noticed this week

Christmas dinner to be cheaper this year as price falls for first time since 2006

Fresh food slipped 0.3% over the year, led by a fall in the price of vegetables

Simon Read: Beware of buying just because the retailer says it's a bargain

With Christmas approaching, shops have been getting themselves into something of a frenzy this week hoping to attract us all in to spend our hard-earned cash on things we probably can't afford.

Santander, whose ads have been fronted by the Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill, was among the banks where there were potential pitfalls with shared licences

Best savings rates are not all they might seem

Consumers can sometimes think they are shopping around for a rewarding account when in one important aspect, writes Samantha Downes, they are not

Bargain Hunter: It isn't a deal breaker if you didn't have a retail spree on Black Friday

Don't worry if you didn't find any great deals on Black Friday; the offers will just keep on coming as retailers get even more desperate to sell in the run-up to Christmas.

Mark Dampier: Holding on the line for a 'decent' bond yield could mean a long wait

It has been a while since I wrote about a bond fund. The yields of government and corporate debt are exceptionally low by historical standards and over the past four years, many investors have written the asset class off.

Questions of Cash: Charged interest for MBNA's mistake over extra payment

Q. I attempted to clear my balance of £5,810.72 on an MBNA credit card in October. I paid £5,400 on 9 October and left the balance to be collected by direct debit, which is processed in the last week of the month. At that time, I confirmed the balance on the account was £410.72 and thought all was well.

Donald MacInnes: Can you really put a price on magic? Even second-rate magic?

Why are we at all surprised when, at this time of year, we go through money like a canoe through water? Since when was Christmas anything at all to do with good financial sense?

Derek Pain: After a spate of profit warnings, I have to move to shore things up

Although shares, as measured by the FTSE index, have performed quite well and could even reach a new high before the year's end, the No Pain, No Gain portfolio has suffered a few hiccups.

Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 24-28 November

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

Donald MacInnes: So it’s a no for Wonga, but a yes for the demon drink

Like most Celts, I’m fairly in touch with my feelings.

The battle between the banks to attract more current account customers moved up a level this week when Yorkshire Bank (and Clydesdale Bank) launched a market- leading £150 switching incentive.

Money Insider: Would £150 make you switch banks?

The £150 incentive from Yorkshire and Clydesdale runs from now until 28 February next year, but you must use the official Current Account Switching Service (CASS) and close your existing account to qualify

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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
Money
For whom the Christmas bells toll? Shoppers should be wary of 'bargains' and 0 per cent deals on credit cards
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The first website that allows travellers with pre-existing medical conditions planning a cruise to compare policies and buy cover has been launched at Allclearcruise.co.uk
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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
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Video: Simon Read offers some advice on ensuring you enjoy Christmas without the financial hangover
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The LED Hut range could help you cut festive bills for years to come
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Booming alternative finance; current account probe; payday loan ad banned; tax avoidance; energy bill woes: doorstep crime; the stories we noticed this week
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Bergans is among the ski brands whose prices are going downhill
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Gifts such as iPads have been used to tempt mortgage hunters, but the value should be in the home loan itself
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Spooky homes; Junior Isas; your Section 75 credit rights; tax avoidance; tax deadline: help with energy bills; the stories we noticed this week
Money
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
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See How to Train Your Dragon 2 cut-price at a Vue cinema
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The Independent’s Personal Finance Editor Simon Read talks over the latest news with Luke Blackall
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Struggling millennials, soaring energy bills, stock market woes and warnings of bank scams: the stories we noticed this week.
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The people’s lenders: The peer-to-peer services can be less bureaucratic and less bloody minded than the banks
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