Financial planning for 2022 now is not thinking about it too early. Planning for the future is complicated at best and can be a stressful, challenging process. There are so many events and deadlines to keep track of. And when it comes to personal finances, missing an important date could be very costly. To add a little sanity to your life, start planning now with a personal finance calendar covering all the essential dates for 2022.
What Does a Personal Finance Calendar Look Like?
A personal finance calendar lists monthly and other money and financial events, tax deadlines, holidays, and other important dates. Whether you’re a novice investor or just trying to save as much money as possible, it’s worth comparing your calendar of birthdays, anniversaries, and personal events such as weddings or retirement plans to a real list of key dates. This will ensure you won’t miss anything that might impact your finances. That’s why I recommend it and why you need a calendar.
If 2020 and 2021 showed us anything, it proved that you can’t prepare for everything. Depending on how much attention you were paying to the news, the COVID-19 pandemic hit with little to no warning, and its financial effects have been devastating ever since and continue to this day. Don’t expect peace and tranquility in 2022 either.
That’s why it’s essential to plan for what you are able.
Having a comprehensive personal finance calendar is a preventive measure. In addition to letting you keep track of the days when you might be able to save money, it’s most crucial function is preventing you from spending more than you have to. For example, most people hate to pay their taxes, but doing so on time saves you from a late payment or late filing fee.
A calendar is also a solid budgeting tool, enabling you to plan for holiday shopping and other important money decisions. Using it to plan your 2022 now is a must.
What Dates to Add to Your Personal Finance Calendar
The single date of most significant interest to the average person is the deadline for filing taxes. For 2022, the last day to file your income taxes without an extension is on Friday, April 15th. It happens to be Good Friday this coming year, just before Easter and on the eve of the first Passover Seder celebration.
April 15 is the official tax deadline to file your federal income tax return each year, but that date isn’t carved in stone. It sometimes can be moved to the next business day when April 15 falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday or other unusual event such as during the pandemic.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll also want to mark down days when quarterly tax payments are due.
Important Money Days
Next up in important days is that most magical of all days, payday. Whether you get paid weekly, biweekly, monthly, or on an irregular basis, it can help to mark those dates on your calendar.
Similarly, you may want to mark dates when major bills are due such as your mortgage or rent. Seeing your income and spending on the calendar can help you identify dates when you have more money to save, or when your cash flow will be low.
Annual holidays and other major life events also need to be considered in your personal financial plan. While some events won’t set you back too much, they are no less worth budgeting for. Others can be quite expensive. Don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries that you celebrate. It’s also worth taking note of the dates of big retail sales such as Black Friday coming in November.
Then you can notate other significant dates on your calendar such as bank and stock market holidays which coincide with national holidays. These all influence investors’ timing and gives another reason to keep an eye out for them.
Other Important Personal Finance Notes to Make
There are also some changes to financial programs including Social Security and retirement accounts that change at the beginning of the year that may affect how much you can save toward your nest egg or what kind of budget you’ll be working with during retirement.
You may want to mark a monthly date to transfer funds into your retirement accounts and/or investments.
Other Dates Worth Looking Out for
“Market Movers” are the events that can have a significant impact on the stock market, positive or negative. These are worth noting if you invest and plan to buy or sell stock.
The former refers to a monthly publication of statistics about the U.S. labor market, with the increase or decrease in employment and unemployment being of particular interest to investors.
The latter refers to the eight scheduled FOMC meetings in 2022 when the committee will determine what, if any, near-term changes to U.S. monetary policy are needed.
More Events to Keep in Mind
Aside from the monthly events you should account for, here are a few others that you want to mark down on your personal finance calendar. These events aren’t date-specific and depend on your own personal circumstances. They include:
- Best Time to Get Married: Beginning of the calendar year
- Best Time to Sell a Car: March through August
- Best Time to Sell Your House: March through June
- Best Months to Lock in your Fixed Utilities Bill: Spring (March/April) and Fall (September/October)
- Best Time to Rent a House: Winter (December–March)
- Best Time to Take a Vacation: Varies by local off-season and shoulder season
- Required Minimum Distribution Due (If turning 72 or older this year)
- Major Spending Events: Back to school/back to college, graduations, weddings, milestone birthdays or anniversaries
- Annual Portfolio Rebalancing (ultra important!)
It’s not silly or a waste of time to sit down and draw up a personal finance calendar for the coming year of important life events and financial decisions to make. In fact, if you don’t sit down and do it, you will find you are caught off guard on at least some of these things or even worse more. Even forgetting one simple date or cut off can dent you bigtime financially.
I suggest purchasing an actual calendar and hanging it in a place where you will see it every day, perhaps by your computer in your office or at your desk at home. It’s worth a dollar or three or if you are really frugal, make your own and print it at home on your printer and save the money. Or if you prefer an online calendar, that works, too, and makes it easy to change dates as needed. The main thing is to actually do it!
The countdown to 2022 is on (just nine weeks to go!). Are you ready? Have you given thought to all you need to do to prepare and meet the financial challenges of 2022 yet?