Action that could prevent debt misery

Who worries about people struggling with debt? Not many of our patronising politicians, judging by recent pronouncements on the issue.

Bargain Hunter: Win a Bentley competition to be driving in a winter wonderland

Fancy driving a £250,000 Bentley Continental GT3-R – on ice? That's the €11,340 prize – in fact there are two up for grabs – in a seasonal competition from the luxury car maker.

How to raise money for charity this Christmas

There are so many ways you can raise money - and awareness - for charity. Rob Griffin explains how easy it is to donate and reap financial rewards

Mark Dampier: Keep the faith in M&G Recovery. The wheel could turn full circle

I have been asked the same question on a number of occasions over the past year: when will the M&G Recovery fund recover?

Five questions on: Phone scams

Are people still falling for these?

Questions of Cash: Co-op Bank and a promised call that left me out of sorts

Q. On 3 November I called the Co-operative Bank to explain that a health insurer would be charging £1,370.40 against my account. I was told there should be no problem with the credit card transaction, but that if there was the bank's fraud department would call me. But when the insurer tried to make the transaction it was declined. I also explained that I would be travelling throughout South-east Asia from January to March next year and asked if this could be noted. The bank said I would have to call from each country to advise my local number. Is this really necessary? NL, Philippines.

Money Insider: An early Christmas payday can be a godsend but there are downsides

The run up to Christmas is the most expensive time of the year for many of us, so it's a great help if your employer enters into the festive spirit and pays your December salary a week or two in advance.

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.

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