Author Topic: New Mustachian based in the UK  (Read 4726 times)

Mathyu

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
New Mustachian based in the UK
« on: November 23, 2014, 02:54:49 PM »
Hello!

I've just stumbled across this site earlier this evening whilst Googling ways to make money with a motorbike (my new job as of next week is a motorcycle courier here in the UK).

So, like many others, I have decided to start sorting out my future financials.

I'm 23, I live in Oxford UK, I am around £2,000 in debt as of right now (which isn't a lot by any means), my new job as a motorcycle courier begins next Monday, and is a Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm job that pays £350 per week (£1,400 per month), however this is a self employed job, which means petrol money will be coming out of my own pocket, but I will be able to claim a percentage of it back when I did my tax return each year.

So for the first two months, I shall be getting rid of my two overdrafts, one is £750 and the other is £1000, and my credit card which was £500 but is now £120.

So if I try REALLY hard I could be debt free by the end of January, however I have already paid for a trip to Berlin for the New Year, so I shall be taking around £200-£300 for my week stay there, so ideally, end of February I should be completely fresh.

I live with my parents at the moment after leaving my old job as a pub manager doing 90 hours per week for £13k per year (which worked out as something like £1.60 per hour).

After looking through and reading various things on this site, I've become inspired to grow my stache!

The only difficulty I'm finding at this very moment is translating things to UK.

Are there any other UK based Mustachians on this forum?

And even if there isn't, does anyone have any beginner starting tips for someone based in the UK?

For instance, should I look into getting a private pension? Is there a particular way to save money? Is there a way to get into stocks with such low income at this moment?

I'm doing my own research into all this, but getting advice from all you guys here would be a god-send if anyone has any!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I look forward to hopefully being an active member here myself =]

Cheers!

Matthew

auntie_betty

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 307
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 03:46:12 PM »
Mathyu I'm about 60 miles north of you.

Congratulations on your new job, I hope you enjoy it (please be careful she says in a worried 'mum-type' voice).

Once you've paid off your debts you need to get some emergency savings behind you. It's likely with winter coming there will be some days you can't work, so you need to make sure you've money put aside for that for starters, then aim to build up 3-6 months worth.

As to what you should do with your money, well, it's a nice problem to have! Basically I'd say you have 2 options - pension or ISA. The benefit of a pension is you get 20% relief on your contributions - so if you pay in £80 a month the govt. automatically add £20 on. Drawback is though you can't access it till you're 55. I'm not quite sure how you'd put this through 'your books' with you being self-employed. Have you seen www.moneysavingexpert.com? There is a pensions forum on there and people are very helpful. So the tax relief is up front, but you're taxed on what you withdraw (though you can take 25% tax free).

You can contribute up to £15k per annum to an ISA, either as cash or stocks and shares. No tax relief on what you save, but all your gains are tax free. There is an article on MSE somewhere about cheapest ISA provider, I'll try to dig it out tomorrow. Cash is not best as it's not keeping up with inflation - but ok for your emergency fund (you can hold a cash and a S&S ISA as long as you don't exceed 15k).

Within an ISA you can invest in individual shares, actively managed funds, index trackers and mixed investments. Do a google search and read more - but in a nutshell individual shares are the riskiest and how are you going to pick an good actively managed fund when some will underperform every year - plus the higher charges eat into growth. Mixed investments (say an 80/20 where 80% is invested in funds and 20% in cash/bonds) are where you're trying to play a bit safer (and over time you'd move to a higher % in cash). Not really needed when you're so young unless you think you might need the money in say 5 years - in which case cash is best anyway. The cheapest option, and over time the best for most people (she says, being prepared to be shot down) is to go for low cost tracker funds. For example, Legal and General have launched some with a ridiculously low charge of 0.03% per annum. You can contribute to a lot of the funds for as little as £50 a month.

Good luck and let's be extra careful out there.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 03:49:14 PM by gallygirl »

Mathyu

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2014, 04:10:46 PM »
Hi GallyGirl,

Thankyou so much for your response! 60 miles? Where abouts are you from?

It seems like quite a lot to take in, I have zero experience with all of this stuff, which is why I'm here to learn!

I will check out MoneySuperMarket and look into whatever I can get my hands on, thanks for that =D

Do you know of any particular articles or websites that explain these things in more depth, so that an idiot like myself can understand?

I like the thought of, by May (my birthday month), investing into a Legal and General Index Tracker. I've noticed I can either put "X" amount in each month or do a lump sum... This is where I need help. Let's say I save £6k by May, would it be worth investing £1k-£4k in one of these Index Trackers and leaving it for the next ten years? (As well as adding more money as time goes on).

I may be getting the completely wrong idea here, as I said, I don't fully understand all of this just yet haha, I need an idiot's guide!

So my current 1 year plan would be:
Get out of debt by February.
Start saving money.
Once I have (for example) £6k, put £3k into an Index Tracker with Legal And General, and leave that to grow for a couple of years, whilst still working and saving more money.

That's about all I have at the moment, and it doesn't sound completely right to me (although if it is that simple, then that's amazing!).

Is there any benefit to having multiple Index Trackers simultaneously? So one of £3k, one £5k, one £2k? Or would it be better just to have £10k in one?

I'm not sure I'm making a lot of sense here... I'm hoping I'm not coming across as clueless as I feel I am haha...

expatartist

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1729
  • Location: The Big Lychee
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2014, 06:00:06 PM »
Welcome to the forums! One popular blog in the UK is Monevator http://monevator.com/ Oxford's COL can be rather high - good on you for living with family for a while while you save your stache.

[We don't live in the UK but may end up there eventually for a while, after our stint in Asia. DH is from the Northwest.]

smellymellyUK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 07:01:49 AM »
Hi

I'm also from the UK and live in the North West of England. Well done on stumbling upon this site and be ready to do lots and lots of reading but it will be worth it!

I agree with the poster above that the monevator site is great for learning about investing in the UK. Go check out the articles on passive investing and which brokers to use.

Also, other good UK based blogs worth reading are the escape artist and the FIREstarter. All about financial independence from a UK point of view.

Check out money saving expert especially the forums which have a wealth of knowledge about saving, cutting costs, getting out of debt and investing. (I think I recognise gallygirl from the forums over at moneysaving expert  ;)

shelivesthedream

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4607
  • Location: London, UK
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 07:49:46 AM »
Hi, I live in a similar area and am a similar age and am also self-employed!

I'm relatively new to all this, but here is my advice:

1. It always seems to me like everyone on this forum makes SO MUCH MORE MONEY than I could ever dream of. This is because:
i. Lots of them are older. I am just starting out on a career and am still at entry-level earnings. It is silly to compare with someone ten years older.
ii. I forget that if you divide dollars by sort of two, you get pounds. So of course it looks like they are earning twice as much!

2. My impression is that a lot of things are cheaper in America: houses, food, taxes. However, we have three great advantages in the UK: the NHS, government-run student loans system, and the fact that in most of the UK it is perfectly possible to live without a car.

3. It seems to be the norm for a lot of America to eat out for every. single. meal. This is crazy and we have an advantage in that the culture in England makes cooking every day much more normal.

4. As for the pension or ISA question... I put less than £100 into a SIPP every month. I'm planning to retire well before I am 55 but I feel that if nothing else, that money is well-protected, the tax-relief is a bonus and it will be a nice surprise when I do get to 55 - my vague plan is to perhaps use it over time to remodel my home to make it suitable for living as an older person (handrails on the bath, that kind of thing) if I don't need it for anything else. Everything else I put into an ISA. Seriously, at the moment, I am hardly thinking about what I invest in. I started off with six individual stocks recommended as good dividend-payers because I thought it would be fun, but soon switched to an index fund as I read more about investing. The most important thing is to invest SOON. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

5. MoneySavingExpert.com is really good for all sorts of things that are UK-specific - price comparisons, credit card rewards, tax advice...

6. Learn to cook. Cook for your parents between one and three nights a week. They will be grateful for the help and you will learn a really important life skill. Keep track of how much each meal costs in groceries. This will be very interesting.

7. I work out of the home a lot, sometimes across lunch and dinner. I have a rule with myself that I have to bring at least one meal a day with me. To be honest, if I'm eating at work I hardly taste it - it's just fuel - so I might as well bring something cheap that I can eat whenever I like without having to run to the shops. If I'm out for two meals I cut myself some slack and allow myself to buy one of them.

8. Oxford is a good city to learn to cycle in. I've seen better, but there are enough students cycling that the cars are pretty aware and tolerant. You could then get a (second?) job as a cycle courier!

9. Don't get sucked into recurring expenses like bills and subscriptions. Monthly, I pay my rent (bills included), phone bill (contract ending soon and will be shopping around), into my SIPP and a small donation to a charity I support. No Sky bill, no magazine subscription, no contact lens service (I used to have this. I kind of miss the convenience but to be honest glasses do the same job and I love having the extra money), no daily purchase of any one particular item (e.g. coffee).

10. You can choose what you enjoy, to an extent. I could get into some very expensive hobbies but I try to avoid those and instead choose things that are cheap or, if they do incur an expense, provide some output (e.g. gardening). I am very interested in fashion but I channel that towards historical costume research, making/mending my own clothes and imagining (and one day implementing!) the perfect capsule wardrobe. I get a subscription to Vogue every year for my birthday, but I regard it as an exotic picture book, not a catalogue. Instead, I choose to be most interested in sustainability and self-sufficient living. It's easy now, but it took a while to get into it. Anything is interested if you delve below the surface.

11. Read. From libraries. Anything. I read a lot, whatever I feel like at the time - I just finished reading a tacky detective series and a history of the Pilgrim Fathers, but am about to start The Man in the Iron Mask. To be interesting, you have to be interested.

12. The details are different for the UK but the principles are the same. Spend less than you earn. Be grateful for what you have. The biggest problem I am having is patience, because at my (our) income level things move slowly. However, I am trying to assuage my impatience by focusing on amassing skills as well as money. It's hard because I don't have space to store tools (or anywhere to do things like carpentry!) but this year I have learned how to make jam and how to keep bees, and am trying to get onto a bicycle maintenance course locally (my irregular work schedule is making this hard). On my list for next year is fermenting, canning, allotment gardening (we got an allotment right at the end of the growing season this year) and possible keeping sheep (I know a guy who knows a guy...).

I'm afraid that's a bit of a random collection of thoughts, but I hope some if it has helped!

auntie_betty

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 307
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 01:27:13 PM »
(I think I recognise gallygirl from the forums over at moneysaving expert  ;)

Outed ;). I'm in England's smallest county!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/isas/10611058/Tables-cheapest-fund-supermarkets-for-Isa-investing.html

This is the article I was thinking of, it was on the Daily Telegraph website. 

If you want to start investing then no harm in starting as soon as you can. The advantage of doing it regularly (apart from the good habit of course) is called pound cost averaging. Basically if you invest a lump sum at a market high you get less units for your money. Do it monthly and the cost is averaged out over good and bad months so, unless you happen to choose a down cycle, you'll be getting more for your money. You can go for a Global Tracker to cover everything or pick say UK, Europe, USA, Emerging Markets etc. If you're buying and holding then you don't have to worry about transaction costs.

Foe general advice on how to think and act, try The Millionaire Next Door and Rich Dad, Poor Dad, then Rich Dad's Cashflow Quadrant. American, but very relevant for the UK. Get them from the library or look 2nd hand on ebay, amazon or green metropolis. If I had read them when I was your age I would have retired many years ago! A good book when you've learned a little about the stock market is Better Investing by Tim Hale, about why low cost index trackers are best. Again, library or 2nd hand. Don't worry about getting the latest edition, I've read it, it has the same ending ;).

Good luck.

Mathyu

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2014, 11:04:31 AM »
Hey guys! Sorry for the few days of silence, I've been transitioning jobs and trying to get things prepared for the coming months :)

Welcome to the forums! One popular blog in the UK is Monevator http://monevator.com/ Oxford's COL can be rather high - good on you for living with family for a while while you save your stache.

[We don't live in the UK but may end up there eventually for a while, after our stint in Asia. DH is from the Northwest.]

Thanks a lot! I shall be visiting this frequently :D


Hi

I'm also from the UK and live in the North West of England. Well done on stumbling upon this site and be ready to do lots and lots of reading but it will be worth it!

I agree with the poster above that the monevator site is great for learning about investing in the UK. Go check out the articles on passive investing and which brokers to use.

Also, other good UK based blogs worth reading are the escape artist and the FIREstarter. All about financial independence from a UK point of view.

Check out money saving expert especially the forums which have a wealth of knowledge about saving, cutting costs, getting out of debt and investing. (I think I recognise gallygirl from the forums over at moneysaving expert  ;)

I've been doing so much reading lately, it's actually really exciting, so they are now added to the list! MoneySavingExpert is a site I've been sifting through on and off for years, but usually only for snippets of information as opposed to actually trying to sort out my financials, but with this new goal and way of thinking, I shall be paying much more attention. Thanks for taking the time to reply! :D


Hi, I live in a similar area and am a similar age and am also self-employed!

I'm relatively new to all this, but here is my advice:

1. It always seems to me like everyone on this forum makes SO MUCH MORE MONEY than I could ever dream of. This is because:
i. Lots of them are older. I am just starting out on a career and am still at entry-level earnings. It is silly to compare with someone ten years older.
ii. I forget that if you divide dollars by sort of two, you get pounds. So of course it looks like they are earning twice as much!

2. My impression is that a lot of things are cheaper in America: houses, food, taxes. However, we have three great advantages in the UK: the NHS, government-run student loans system, and the fact that in most of the UK it is perfectly possible to live without a car.

3. It seems to be the norm for a lot of America to eat out for every. single. meal. This is crazy and we have an advantage in that the culture in England makes cooking every day much more normal.

4. As for the pension or ISA question... I put less than £100 into a SIPP every month. I'm planning to retire well before I am 55 but I feel that if nothing else, that money is well-protected, the tax-relief is a bonus and it will be a nice surprise when I do get to 55 - my vague plan is to perhaps use it over time to remodel my home to make it suitable for living as an older person (handrails on the bath, that kind of thing) if I don't need it for anything else. Everything else I put into an ISA. Seriously, at the moment, I am hardly thinking about what I invest in. I started off with six individual stocks recommended as good dividend-payers because I thought it would be fun, but soon switched to an index fund as I read more about investing. The most important thing is to invest SOON. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

5. MoneySavingExpert.com is really good for all sorts of things that are UK-specific - price comparisons, credit card rewards, tax advice...

6. Learn to cook. Cook for your parents between one and three nights a week. They will be grateful for the help and you will learn a really important life skill. Keep track of how much each meal costs in groceries. This will be very interesting.

7. I work out of the home a lot, sometimes across lunch and dinner. I have a rule with myself that I have to bring at least one meal a day with me. To be honest, if I'm eating at work I hardly taste it - it's just fuel - so I might as well bring something cheap that I can eat whenever I like without having to run to the shops. If I'm out for two meals I cut myself some slack and allow myself to buy one of them.

8. Oxford is a good city to learn to cycle in. I've seen better, but there are enough students cycling that the cars are pretty aware and tolerant. You could then get a (second?) job as a cycle courier!

9. Don't get sucked into recurring expenses like bills and subscriptions. Monthly, I pay my rent (bills included), phone bill (contract ending soon and will be shopping around), into my SIPP and a small donation to a charity I support. No Sky bill, no magazine subscription, no contact lens service (I used to have this. I kind of miss the convenience but to be honest glasses do the same job and I love having the extra money), no daily purchase of any one particular item (e.g. coffee).

10. You can choose what you enjoy, to an extent. I could get into some very expensive hobbies but I try to avoid those and instead choose things that are cheap or, if they do incur an expense, provide some output (e.g. gardening). I am very interested in fashion but I channel that towards historical costume research, making/mending my own clothes and imagining (and one day implementing!) the perfect capsule wardrobe. I get a subscription to Vogue every year for my birthday, but I regard it as an exotic picture book, not a catalogue. Instead, I choose to be most interested in sustainability and self-sufficient living. It's easy now, but it took a while to get into it. Anything is interested if you delve below the surface.

11. Read. From libraries. Anything. I read a lot, whatever I feel like at the time - I just finished reading a tacky detective series and a history of the Pilgrim Fathers, but am about to start The Man in the Iron Mask. To be interesting, you have to be interested.

12. The details are different for the UK but the principles are the same. Spend less than you earn. Be grateful for what you have. The biggest problem I am having is patience, because at my (our) income level things move slowly. However, I am trying to assuage my impatience by focusing on amassing skills as well as money. It's hard because I don't have space to store tools (or anywhere to do things like carpentry!) but this year I have learned how to make jam and how to keep bees, and am trying to get onto a bicycle maintenance course locally (my irregular work schedule is making this hard). On my list for next year is fermenting, canning, allotment gardening (we got an allotment right at the end of the growing season this year) and possible keeping sheep (I know a guy who knows a guy...).

I'm afraid that's a bit of a random collection of thoughts, but I hope some if it has helped!

These are absolutely great! I completely get what you mean about it seeming like everyone else earns so much, it's like "Yeah I only earned $70,000 this past year and managed to save 10% of it but blah blah blah life is so hard" and I'm here like $70,000?!?!! JESUS CHRIST. Hahaaaaa.

In regards to having a SIPP and an ISA, is it really worth having both? I've just done a little bit of Googling and have a better idea of what a SIPP is, but I can't find anywhere that really puts it into perspective as to why it's worth having a SIPP, and any examples as to what you can do with it, over having an ISA. Could you, or anyone for that matter, possibly try and explain this to me? Remember, use small words! ;)

At the moment, I plan on opening an ISA, and just throwing as much money as I can possibly muster in each month, if I have £100 quid, in it goes, if I can get away with throwing in £700, it will go in, and then I'll be investing those into Index, just like you suggested!

Cooking and not having monthly bills that aren't needed are exactly up my street, I've already started moving them around and trying to get rid of stuff. I currently hold a £48 a month phone bill, which I'm trying to get reduced as A) the service is never the full 100% that they promise, B) There are other providers offering the same package for barely £20 a month and C) It's just not worth it!

Something I did recently, that has played a massive part in changing my life, is not texting people. Might sound a bit weird, but seriously, I use Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Text and email constantly, to various friends and family etc, but one day I just got so bored with looking at my phone constantly to reply to messages that really didn't mean all that much, that I told everyone that I was no longer going to be replying to texts and Instant Messaging, so if you really valued my time and needed to get in touch, then call me. Over the coming weeks (been doing this about two months now), my relationships with people have changed dramatically, I've grown a lot closer to people I'd never have thought I'd grow close to, my relationship with my lady friend is much, much stronger, as everytime we speak, we don't subconsciously hide behind the written word barrier, my speech has improved, and my confidence in speaking has improved ten fold (I've never been a shy person, but it's almost like when I talk, people REALLY listen, my words have a new power that they previously didn't have) and basically, my life and happiness overall has improved more than I ever thought possible, just by not texting people anymore. I will admit, as the time has gone on, I will occasionally text the lady friend something like "Running late, see you in 20 minutes", but that is literally it.

Kinda went off topic there haha, but if anyone wants to try this out, I strongly can't recommend it more.

My hobbies are dirt cheap, I have been Freerunning for 10 years now, I've been in adverts and music videos and a lot of random stuff too, and all that takes is just going outside and doing it! Otherwise I pay £26 a month for the gym. Apart from that, most of my hobbies involve reading and learning things.

I absolutely love what you said at the end though... "To be interesting, you have to be interested", LOVE IT.

I used to have a small veg patch in my garden, but we have a very strong clay based soil here where I live, either way I planted some stuff anyway and ended up with more cabbage, kale, lettuce, tomatoes and carrots than we could physically eat in a week, it was AMAZING! Tasted so much better than supermarket stuff too. I would love to get back into that. I started using some of the extra stuff into make green juices and smoothies with, my skin started "glowing" as some people said, my energy levels were like I was permanently injecting myself with coffee beans and my overall happiness was just awesome! I've completely lost track of all that now, but its time to get back into it!

Your suggestions have been great, I appreciate it a lot, thankyou so much!

And to everyone else that takes time to read and reply and give me their time, thankyou so much too :)


KeishaJayUK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2014, 12:20:49 AM »
Wow. This post inspired me to register. Based in the UK but now obsessed with this site and ERE (not so much though) I am completely on board with the ethos of spending less than I earn, investing the difference and building wealth whilst living a meaningful life.

As yet, like you Mathyu I haven't actually started investing yet. So I'll probably see you at Monevator where I'll learn more about stocks. I think I may just take the plunge and put some money in December into opening a stocks and shares ISA and start making this thing real!

I highly recommend FIREstarter who is UK based. He had a very early post where he puts up his spreadsheet of expenses, old and then adjusted with target spreadsheet/budget. That ALONE has enabled me to see how little money I can live on and I amazed! Instead of only saving £2k a year (which I wasn't doing anyway due to 'overspending' and need info use IT for something or other eacho th (badly tracking expenditures) I realised I could save closer to £4,800 and that was BEFORE adjusting my budget.

how much will you aim to save per year as a percentage and £ amount?

GordonCopestake

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 68
  • Age: 41
  • Location: UK
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2014, 01:49:56 AM »
Another member of the UK here.

Regarding your question as to SIPP or ISA I would suggest both.

The ISA is your fall back and emergency fund combined as you can fairly easily access the money before you are 55. Your SIPP is probably invested in the same funds but you can't touch it until you are 55 so it's nice and safe from your clammy hands! Plus you get that 20% bonus from the government.

I personally use BestInvest for both http://www.bestinvest.co.uk/ they are pretty cheap compared to some (like HL and III) and have great online tools. As to WHAT to invest in, thats up to you. I would recommend cheap index trackers, a good page here lists some: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-1583915/A-guide-cheapest-index-tracker-funds.html

Dont forget as you are young you are already rich: http://monevator.com/young-people-rich/

The most important point about the above article is this:

Quote
If you can save £5,000 by age 25 and invest it for average returns in the stock market, you’ll have £225,000 in your retirement pot by the time you’re 65, regardless of what you save during the rest of your life.

In fact it's so important it should be written like this:

If you can save £5,000 by age 25 and invest it for average returns in the stock market, you’ll have £225,000 in your retirement pot by the time you’re 65, regardless of what you save during the rest of your life.

Create a speadsheet showing how much you can save each year and the effect of compound interest at 7%. Run it all the way until you are 100 years old and work out how much money you can make, it's inspiring! Use a 4% safe withdrawal rate when you hit 55 or whenever you want to retire and see if it's enough to live on. If not you have to increase your saving rate.

Dont forget: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

Good luck! I wish I had found this site when I was in my 20's!
« Last Edit: November 28, 2014, 02:26:56 AM by GordonCopestake »

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4435
  • Location: Avalon
Re: New Mustachian based in the UK
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2014, 02:46:03 AM »
UK person already retired here.

As you are moving from employment to self-employment, you need to think about income tax and national insurance contributions.  On the income tax side, you start paying tax at 20% on anything over £10,000.  Remember that as a self-employed person you can claim expenses: essentially these add to your £10,000 basic allowance, and you need to read up on what you can claim: this might include maintenance for the bike, specialist biking equipment (helmet, leathers), part of your mobile telephone cost (for taking orders), etc.

You may find that your expenses mean that you will be paying very little in tax.  If you come to the end of the tax year and it looks as though you will have to pay tax, you can put the amount of money on which you would have to pay tax into a SIPP instead.  Your SIPP investments should be limited to the amount of income you would otherwise have to pay tax on: if you have any tax-free income to invest it should go into an ISA - the point here is that the eventual income from an ISA is also tax-free, whereas money out of a SIPP is subject to tax so it is only worth paying money into a SIPP if it will save on tax when you put it in.

Congratulations on the new job, and as gallygirl says: be safe!