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Important days for your finances in 2009

If you're anything like me, you have some trepidation that the New Year will swoop in and you'll miss some big financial deadline that will end up costing you a bundle. Thankfully there's Kiplinger's Save the Date guide to financial dates in 2009.

Some items won't apply to your situation, but what's important, however, is that you do take five minutes and figure out which of these tasks matter in your financial life.

Some of the prominent dates to remember:
  • January 1 and June 30th - The first and last days you can file your FAFSA application for federal aid.
  • January 15th - Estimated federal income tax due.
  • February 23rd -Get an accountant or buy tax prep software.
  • May 15th - Twenty-somethings prepare for wedding season.
  • May 25th - Check your stock value when the market is closed to prevent rash decisions.
  • November 9th - 1st payments due on student loans for May grads!
I can't stress enough the importance of remembering November 9th for college graduates and their parents. With student loan bills higher than some house payments, students who don't prepare for the end of deferment get hit hard! I don't have enough digits to count the fellow graduates who, even after exit loan interviews, didn't understand how much they would have to pay 6 months after graduation. Preparing for this date is an important way to start your post college life out on the right foot.

US Financial Crises

When the stock markets first reopened after the 9/11 attacks, how many points did the Dow Jones fall?

  • 584
  • 684
  • 784

In which year did Black Monday take place?

  • 1982
  • 1987
  • 1991

The Dow dropped by what percentage on Black Monday?

  • Nearly 3 percent
  • Nearly 13 percent
  • Nearly 23 percent

How much did the U.S. government pay for the bailout during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s?

  • $124 billion
  • $324 billion

When did the Great Depression start?

  • 1929
  • 1933
  • 1939

Many economists blame the Smoot-Hawley act for the severity of the Great Depression.

  • True
  • False

About how many years did the Depression last in the U.S.?

  • 5 years
  • 10 years

I do take issue with one other item relating to college graduates. As a recent graduate who is coming up on his 4th round of wedding season, I can assure you that unless you only hung out with devout bachelors and bachelorettes for the last 4 years, setting aside money in the middle of May won't cut it. Even though August was the most popular month to get married in 2005 I've seen the number of May weddings increasing steadily since graduation as couples try to avoid the need to live at home or keep two apartments. Take note of how many friends are already engaged before graduation and start budgeting for a gift early.

While you're adding these dates to your calendar or date book take a few minutes to look back on 2008. Where you late on any payments? Did you lose money or have to pay extra because you missed an important deadline? If you did, add that event to your calendar right now so it doesn't end up costing you again in 2009. Personally I have a recurring reminder to pay my estimated city income tax since it is due on, what are to me, odd quarterly dates and the city won't allow me to set up a recurring payment.

This calendar is definitely a great starting point to planning out important financial moves in the coming year even if it requires a bit of customizing. It also got me thinking about the year ahead and what we need to do to better our ability to get a house. Hopefully with the help of these tasks and some additional planning we'll be closing on a house by this time next year.

What dates are still missing from the list? Share them in the comments and help out your fellow WalletPop readers.

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