Congratulations on your new job. You have worked hard to get there and now the true hard work comes when you have to prove you can do everything you said in the interview.

Your extensive knowledge of international shipping being that you can beat your niece at battleships will not cut it so get some reading done before you start.

Heck, you are going to be busy enough when the job starts.

The mistake people make now is not grasping the financial benefits that you can make at this time.

Here is my top 5 tips for making the most of a new job.

1) Review and change your financial plan. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not have a plan and putting it off until you are a bit more settled in your role is wrong.  By the time you are settled, you will be looking for the next role or adventure.  Get one put down now.

2) If you have got a pay raise, don’t blow it, save it.  I am not saying save it all, of course you deserve that pay increase so spend some of it, but just not all of it every month.

You never had it before hand, so you shouldn’t really miss it that much unless you need to change your lifestyle.

3) If you are working for a company that has a pension plan, take it, buy into it, just do whatever you can to get into it. Even if you know you may not be in the company past a couple of years, on the long term just get in it.

4) Use every benefit that your employer will give you.  Health insurance may be offered for you, but what about your spouse and dependants.  If you can get them on your company’s group scheme, you could save a bundle of cash there.

Also, now some companies here are starting to offer schemes that include life insurance and disability cover.  Use them. They will generally be cheaper than stand-alone policies.

5) If this is your first contract abroad, remember that you do not have a pension provided for you here from your employer or government before.

If you paid into a 401k or a Super or with PAYE or the ilk, this has just stopped and your employer contributions are no longer being collected.  Find out if you can still make additional voluntary contributions and even if you can find out way that you can make up the shortfall separately.

Enjoy your new role but just think of it as only one cog that makes your financial plan work. Sit down and make a financial plan, review it once in a while and make it work.

Paul McLardie is a partner at Total Wealth Management. Contact him at