MONEY MATTERS: Savings, Air Miles, remortgaging and pocket money

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HAVING exhausted my savings, I am thinking of selling my jewellery. Can you advise on cash for gold websites?

These sites are proving to be rather unscrupulous. They use hard-sell tactics and more often than not pay very little money. Many people have fallen into their traps and complaints have been flooding in to the Office of Fair Trading. Once you have sent your gold to the buyers you only have a few days to accept their rather meagre offer. If no response is made the companies take it as acceptance of the offer and melt down your gold. If you are thinking of using these sites, be aware of what you are selling and what it is worth before posting.

Can you tell me if my Air Miles are still valid?

Air Miles are rebranding to Avios and from November 15 you will have to pay all the taxes incurred on flights so you will need to use up your rewards before the middle of December. This will affect 2.2million Air Miles customers, 2.1m BA Executive Club members and 1.1m Iberia Plus members. Customers holding Air Miles will be able to use them until December 15 after which they will have to pay the extra charge. Bear in mind that between these dates redemption has to be done by phone.

I want to remortgage. Should I go for a tracker or fixed product?

The Bank of England will have to raise interest rates eventually, and if inflation continues to rise, fixing at current low rates should be beneficial.

Fixed rates make it easier to plan your finances and in a falling market can be very attractive. If you can fix your deal for a long period of time at a rate you can comfortably afford, why take the risk? For example, a 20-year fixed at five per cent could be more worthwhile than a two-year four per cent tracker. Especially when you consider the arrangement fees you would have to add every few years for the next best rate.

Trackers would only be the best choice if rates stay low or fall further from here. If your lender has cut the standard variable rate considerably you could be better off staying where you are.

My son has asked me for pocket money as his friends get this each week. Can you suggest how much I should give him?

In recent surveys most parents expect help around the house in return for pocket money.

Eighty per cent of children polled said they receive cash on a weekly basis. The typical amount boys get is £6.41 a week, compared to £6.09 for girls. Half of those surveyed said they believed they received the right amount – with girls slightly more content than boys.