5 things to do every time you start a new job
23 January 23
Reading time: 5 minutes
Landed a new job? Well done you!
This means a fresh start and an opportunity for you to take a good look at your money decisions and check if they’re keeping you on track to your goals.
Here are five things to do every time you start a new job.
1. Check you’ve been paid out correctly from your last role
Before you get swept up in the excitement of your new role, it’s worth taking a look at your final payslip from your last job and making sure it’s all correct.
To make sure you’ve received your KiwiSaver contributions, check your payslip against what’s showing in your KiwiSaver account.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve been paid for outstanding leave, check how many annual leave hours you had left and make sure that’s matched in your final payslip.
Logan, 29, noticed when leaving his last job that he hadn’t been paid for the amount of annual leave he thought he was owed.
“I spoke to my boss and he explained that it was an accounting issue, so my annual leave count was showing incorrectly, but the pay was right. I’m glad I checked though, it was good to understand why I’d been paid what I had and get it all sorted before I started my new role.”
If you notice any issues, get in touch with your past employer – they should be able to get it sorted.
2. Plan how you’ll spend any extra income
Looking forward to seeing a bit more in your bank account each week? You should be! Pay rises are exciting, and you should be proud to have earned a higher salary.
But before you blow your extra income at the shops, it’s smart to consider whether you can put some away in savings or investments. Check out our savings calculator to see how quickly a little bit each week can add up, especially if it’s gaining interest.
If you’re not careful, this extra money can disappear quickly in something we call lifestyle creep. This can emerge in your small day-to-day spending choices or in big ones.
Did you used to only watch Netflix but now are also signed up to Disney+, Neon and Amazon Prime? Did you upgrade to a nicer vehicle? These changes might seem insignificant, but they can quickly swallow up your extra pay so you don’t actually end up feeling any richer.
3. Consider how much you want to contribute to KiwiSaver (and its potential impact on your future)
Now it’s time to consider if you’re on track for the retirement you want.
With tax, student loan and KiwiSaver payments coming out of your pay each week, it can be hard to make the decision to sacrifice more. Plus, if you’re in your 20s or 30s, 65 might feel SO far away.
But have you thought about what difference it could make if you did put away a little more?
Our KiwiSaver calculator can help you make these calculations.
As an example, let’s say you’re 25, starting a new job for $50,000 a year. You currently have $0 in your KiwiSaver.
Right now, if you start contributing 3% in a growth fund, the calculator estimates you’d have close to $265,254 at retirement. Not bad, right?
But what if you contribute another 1%? That takes your forecast retirement savings up to $309,276. Lift your contribution rate further to 6%, and you could have closer to $396,875.
That’s around $130,000 difference, from sacrificing less than $30 each week. It can be hard to think that far ahead, but imagine having an extra hundred grand at 65 compared to a weekly takeout meal now...
4. Check your KiwiSaver fund type and fees
This is the perfect time to take a good hard look at your KiwiSaver and make sure it’s working hard for you.
The best fund type for you depends on where you’re at in life and what your goals are. How soon you’re planning to use your KiwiSaver money and your comfort level with risk are key.
If you’re looking to buy your first home soon, you’ll want to be in a more conservative fund to make sure your money is there when you need it for your deposit. But if you don’t plan to touch your savings until retirement, you’re in a much better position to ride the ups and downs in value of a riskier investment. In this case, a growth or even aggressive fund will be a better fit.
While you’re looking at your KiwiSaver settings, it’s also worth comparing your fees with other providers. They might seem like a small amount, but fees add up over time, and higher fees don’t necessarily guarantee higher returns.
You can compare fees on our KiwiSaver fund finder. The difference in your balance at retirement could be tens of thousands, so five minutes checking this could be well worth it.
5. Check your first payslip to make sure your tax, KiwiSaver and student loan payments are correct
Just as you checked your payslip from your last job, it’s a great idea to check your first one in your new role.
When you first get paid by your new employer, have a close look over that payslip and check it’s what you expected. If it’s not, or anything doesn’t seem quite right, ask your employer to talk you through it.
A new job is a busy and exciting time, but with these few steps, you can make sure you’re on track to get the most out of your money.
Remember, work smarter – not harder!