Planning for the future can be a difficult and stressful 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 both figuratively and literally costly. To add a little sanity to your life, we created a calendar with all the important financial dates of 2021.

The Investopedia 2021 Personal Finance Calendar lists all of the monthly and other market-moving events, tax deadlines, holidays, and important dates that will occur throughout the upcoming year. 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 our list of key dates to ensure you won't miss out on anything that might impact your finances.

Key Takeaways

  • For most people, Tax Day will fall on April 15. However, there are several additional/alternate tax deadlines throughout the year that may apply to you.
  • Two of the biggest market-moving events are the releases of the monthly Employment Situation report and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings.
  • A majority of the bank and/or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) holidays coincide with other prominent national holidays.

Why It's Important to Have a Personal Finance Calendar

If 2020 has shown us anything, it's 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 for many. That's why it's essential to plan for what you can, and we already have a fairly good idea of what to expect in 2021. As many people have had their financial plans upended by the coronavirus, this year may offer a chance to get back on track as the world (we hope) starts to return to normal.

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, its most crucial function is preventing you from spending more this year than you have to. For example, while most people probably don't love to pay their taxes, 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 expenditures.

What to Expect in 2021

The dates that will likely be of most interest to the average financial planner are the deadlines for filing taxes. In addition to the major Tax Day on April 15, there are several additional/alternate deadlines throughout the year that may apply to you, depending on your circumstances. There are also changes to such programs as Social Security and multiple retirement accounts that will take effect at the beginning of the year that will likely affect how much you can save toward your nest egg or what kind of budget you'll be working with during retirement.

Other dates worth looking out for—albeit more so for investors, are what we might consider "market movers." These are events that can have a significant impact on the stock market, either positive or negative. These are worth noting if you plan to buy or sell stock. Two of the biggest, and the easiest to plan for, are the releases of the Employment Situation report and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The former refers to a monthly publishing of various statistics pertaining to the U.S. labor market, with the increase and/or decrease of employment and unemployment being of particular interest to investors. The latter refers to the eight currently scheduled meetings in 2021 when the 12 members of the FOMC will determine what, if any, near-term changes to U.S. monetary policy there should be.

Annual holidays and other major life events may also need to be taken into account in your financial planning. While some events won't set you back too much—though they are no less worth budgeting for—others can be quite expensive. It's worthwhile to plan ahead and take advantage of dates coinciding with significant savings events. Additionally, a majority of the bank and/or New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) holidays coincide with several national holidays, so investors have another reason to keep an eye out for them, even if they don't celebrate the holidays in question. 

Month-by-Month Breakdown

Jan Cal

January

  • Jan. 1: Bank & NYSE Holiday (New Year's Day). 
  • 2021 Social Security Changes: 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment to monthly benefits, maximum taxable income increases by $5,100, the full retirement age increases by two months, the annual earnings limit for recipients increases by $720 (prior to full retirement age) or $1,920 (at full retirement age), Social Security disability benefits per month increase by $50 (non-blind) or $80 (blind), and the credit earning threshold increases by $60. 
  • Medicare Changes: There are generally a series of changes to the premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance for the four Medicare plans (Part A, B, C, and/or D). How these changes will affect you will depend on your income and other factors, so check how much more (or less) you'll be paying in 2021 and take that into account for your monthly budget. Of note, beneficiaries with Part D or Medicare Advantage plans with Part D will gain access to insulin with a copay of $35 per month, if they are enrolled in one of the plans participating in a pilot program. 
  • Changes to Retirement-Savings Rules: There are generally a series of complicated changes to the rules for contributing to various savings plans. Check what will happen to the amounts you (and your employer) are allowed to contribute to employer-sponsored plans, how much you can deduct for contributions to a traditional IRA, and whether you are eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA in 2021.
  • Jan. 8: Employment Situation Report (December).
  • Jan. 11: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Dec. 2020): "If you received $20 or more in tips during December, report them to your employer."
  • Jan. 13: Beige Book Release (January).
  • Jan. 15: Fourth Quarter 2020 Estimated Tax Payment Due: "Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2020 if you didn't pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or didn't pay in enough tax that way). ... However, you don't have to make this payment if you file your 2020 return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) and pay any tax due by January 31, 2021."
  • Jan. 18: Bank & NYSE Holiday (Martin Luther King Day). 
  • Jan. 26–27: FOMC Meeting (January).
Feb Cal

February

  • Feb. 1: Individuals Who Must Make Estimated Tax Payments Tax-Filing Due (January): "If you didn't pay your last installment of estimated tax by January 15, you may choose (but aren't required) to file your income tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR) for 2020 by February 1. ... If you can't file and pay your tax by February 1, file and pay your tax by April 15."
  • Feb. 5: Employment Situation Report (January).
  • Feb. 7: Major Spending Event (Super Bowl).
  • Feb. 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Jan. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during January, report them to your employer."
  • Feb. 14: Major Spending Holiday (Valentine's Day).
  • Feb. 15: Bank & NYSE Holiday (Washington's Birthday). 
  • Feb. 16: Individual Exemptions Due (2020): "If you claimed exemption from income tax withholding last year on the Form W-4 you gave your employer, you must file a new Form W-4 by this date to continue your exemption for another year."
March Cal

March

  • March 3: Beige Book Release (March).
  • March 5: Employment Situation Report (February).
  • March 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Feb. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during February, report them to your employer."
  • March 16–17: FOMC Meeting (March).
April Cal

April

  • Financial Literacy Month.
  • April 2: NYSE Holiday (Good Friday).
  • Employment Situation Report (March).
  • April 4: Major Spending Holiday (Easter).
  • April 12: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Mar. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during March, report them to your employer."
  • April 14: Beige Book Release (April).
  • April 15: Tax Day (End of Tax Season).
  1. Individual Tax Returns Due for Tax Year 2020: "File a 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax due."
  2. Individual Tax Return Extension Form Due for Tax Year 2020: "If you want an automatic six-month extension of time to file the return, file Form 4868 and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest."
  3. First Quarter 2021 Estimated Tax Payment Due: "If you’re not paying your 2021 income tax through withholding (or won't pay in enough tax during the year that way), pay the first installment of your 2021 estimated tax."
  4. Last Day to make a 2020 IRA Contribution: "...the deadline for a contribution to a traditional IRA, deductible or not, and a Roth IRA. However, if you have a Keogh or SEP and you get a filing extension to October 15, 2021, you can wait until then to put 2020 money into those accounts."
  5. 529 Plan State Income Tax Deduction Due (Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin): Last day to claim a 529 Plan deduction in these six states.
  • April 27–28: FOMC Meeting (April).
  • April 30: 529 Plan State Income Tax Deduction Due (Iowa): Last day to claim a 529 Plan deduction in this state.
May Cal

May

  • Best Time to Sell a House
  • May 7: Employment Situation Report (April).
  • May 9: Major Spending Holiday (Mother's Day).
  • May 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for April 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer."
  • May 31: Bank & NYSE Holiday (Memorial Day). 
June

June

  • June 2: Beige Book Release (June).
  • June 4: Employment Situation Report (May).
  • June 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for May 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during May, report them to your employer."
  • June 15: Individual Filing Date for U.S. Residents Abroad: "If you're a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due. Otherwise, see April 15, earlier. If you want additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file and pay what you estimate you owe in tax to avoid penalties and interest. Then, file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR by October 15. However, if you're a participant in a combat zone, you may be able to further extend the filing deadline."
  • Second Quarter 2021 Estimated Tax Payment Due: "Make a payment of your 2021 estimated tax if you’re not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or won't pay in enough tax that way)."
  • June 15–16: FOMC Meeting (June).
  • June 20: Major Spending Holiday (Father's Day).
  • June 30: FAFSA Filing Deadline: Last chance to apply for federal student aid for 2020–21.
July

July

  • July 2: Employment Situation Report (June).
  • July 4: Bank Holiday & Major Spending Holiday (Independence Day). 
  • July 5: NYSE Holiday (Independence Day).
  • July 13: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for June 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during June, report them to your employer."
  • July 14: Beige Book Release (July).
  • July 27–28: FOMC Meeting (July).
Aug

August

  • Best Time to Buy a House.
  • Aug. 6: Employment Situation Report (July).
  • Aug. 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for July 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during July, report them to your employer."
Sept

September

  • Sept. 3: Employment Situation Report (August).
  • Sept. 6: Bank & NYSE Holiday (Labor Day). 
  • Sept. 8: Beige Book Release (September).
  • Sept. 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Aug. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during August, report them to your employer."
  • Sept. 15: Third Quarter 2021 Estimated Tax Payment Due: "Make a payment of your 2021 estimated tax if you’re not paying your income tax for the year through withholding (or won't pay in enough tax that way)."
  • Sept. 21–22: FOMC Meeting (September).
Oct

October

  • Cybersecurity Month.
  • Oct. 1: FAFSA Open Date: First chance to apply for federal student aid for 2021–22.
  • New CSS Profile Open Date: First chance to apply for non-federal student aid for 2021–22.
  • Oct. 8: Employment Situation Report (September).
  • Oct. 11: Bank Holiday (Indigenous People's Day).
  • Oct. 12: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Sept. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during September, report them to your employer."
  • Oct. 15: Extended Individual Tax Returns Due: "If you have an automatic 6-month extension to file your income tax return for 2020, file Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR and pay any tax, interest, and penalties due."
  • Medicare Open Enrollment: First chance to sign up for the national health insurance program.
  • Oct. 20: Beige Book Release (October).
  • Oct. 31: Major Spending Holiday (Halloween).
Nov

November

  • Nov. 1: Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Period: First chance to apply for 2022 healthcare coverage.
  • Nov. 2–3: FOMC Meeting (November).
  • Nov. 5: Employment Situation Report (October).
  • Nov. 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Oct. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during October, report them to your employer. You can use Form 4070."
  • Nov. 11: Bank Holiday (Veterans Day).
  • Major Discount Shopping Day (Singles' Day).
  • Nov. 25: Bank & NYSE Holiday (Thanksgiving Day). 
  • Nov. 26: Major Discount Shopping Day (Black Friday).
  • Nov. 28: Major Discount Shopping Day (Small Business Saturday).
  • Nov. 29: Major Discount Shopping Day (Cyber Monday).
Dec

December

  • Major Spending Holidays (Winter Holidays).
  • Best Time to Buy a Car.
  • Dec. 1: Beige Book Release (December).
  • Dec. 3: Employment Situation Report (November).
  • Dec. 7: Medicare Open Enrollment Due Date: Last chance to sign up for the national health insurance program.
  • Dec. 10: Employees Who Work for Tips Reporting Due Date (for Nov. 2021): "If you received $20 or more in tips during November, report them to your employer."
  • Dec. 13: Major Discount Shopping Day (Green Monday).
  • Dec. 14–15: FOMC Meeting (December).
  • Dec. 15: Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Due Date: Last chance to apply for 2022 healthcare.
  • Dec. 18: Major Discount Shopping Day (Super Saturday).
  • Dec. 24: NYSE Holiday (Christmas Eve).
  • Dec. 25: Bank Holiday (Christmas Day).
  • Dec. 31: Last day to contribute to charity for a tax deduction.
  • The last day for 401(k) contributions.
  • 529 Plan State Income Tax Deduction Due (December): Last day to claim a 529 Plan deduction in 28 states plus the District of Columbia.
  • Solar Tax Provision Expires: Expiration of the credit for individuals for residential solar property.

Other 2021 Events [Mark Your Calendar as Needed]

  • Best Time to Get Married: Beginning of the year.
  • Best Time to Sell a Car: March–August.
  • Best Months to Lock in a Fixed Utilities Bill Price: Spring (March/April) & fall (September/October).
  • Best Time to Rent a House: Winter (December–March).
  • Best Time to Take a Vacation: Varies by off season and shoulder season.
  • Charitable Deductions Due: Before the close of the tax year.
  • Required Minimum Distributions Due: If turning 72 this year.
  • Major Spending Events (Back to School/Back to College).
  • Major Spending Events (Graduation/Wedding/Milestone Birthday or Anniversary).   
  • Annual Event (Portfolio Rebalancing).