9 Ways Leap Day Can Impact Your Finances (#7 Is Pretty Handy)

Discover how Leap Day might unexpectedly boost your savings

calendar with circle on 29 day
Updated July 11, 2024
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For some folks, Leap Day is the rare chance to celebrate their birthday on the date it actually happened. For others, February 29 is a mere curiosity.

But if you're planning to make money moves in 2024, Leap Day can have some implications for your finances. Here are some fun financial facts about the extra day you might not know.

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The extra day boosts U.S. GDP

Tada Images/Adobe Bureau of Economic Analysis website

Having another day in the year actually contributes quite a chunk of cash to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

In 2016, CNBC noted that having an extra day in the year boosted U.S. GDP by about $50 billion. That was more than the annual GDP of several states.

Some employers get a free workday from employees

mavoimages/Adobe designers using laptop together at work

If you work on salary, Leap Day can be a bit of a bummer. After all, you're giving your employer an extra day of work without your annual salary reflecting an extra day of pay.

Employers likely won't adjust your annual salary for the extra day, so you just have to accept the freebie you are giving them with good cheer.

Hourly workers get more money

Krakenimages.com/Adobe african man working as shop assistance

On the other hand, you might pick up some extra cash if you’re an hourly worker.

Working that extra day means another day on the calendar for you to earn income. Perhaps that additional cash will help you save more this year.

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Some of your costs go up for the year

Paolese/Adobe hand reviewing electric bill charges

This month's extra day means an extra 24 hours when you'll use electricity, natural gas, and water.

You may not notice too much of a change in your utility bill after just one day, but be aware that it might be slightly higher than it would be during a typical February.

Leap Day also means you have an extra day to feed yourself, so your food costs might be slightly higher.

It probably doesn't mean much for your stocks

iamchamp/Adobe chart with uptrend line graph

If history is any guide, Leap Day won’t have much of an impact on your stock returns.

The 10 Leap Days leading up to 2016 were split, with five of those days seeing the market increase and five seeing it decline, according to CNBC.

The tie was broken in 2016 when stocks fell on Feb. 29. The last Leap Day was in 2020. That Feb. 29 fell on a Saturday when markets were closed.

You get an extra free day for things that are billed at the end of the month

Glebstock/Adobe vintage gym interior with equipment

If you have a bill normally due on the last day of the month, you'll get an extra day to pay it compared to most Februarys.

So, you might have a little more breathing room for bills for your monthly gym membership or monthly parking. You might also get an extra day to pay if you subscribe month by month to some streaming services, for example.

You get an extra day to pay bills due on March 1

fizkes/Adobe Happy woman calculating bills using smartphone

In addition to getting more time to pay bills due at the end of February, Leap Day gives you an extra day before March 1 rolls around.

So, if you have bills that are always due on the first day of the month — such as rent — Leap Day will also help you there.

It may be cheaper to plan a wedding

Wedding photography/Adobe bride and groom at wedding ceremony

Some countries — including Greece, Italy, and Spain — have traditionally viewed a year with a Leap Day as bad luck. So, couples have been more reluctant to marry in those years.

That could be good news for you if you want a destination wedding in one of those countries, as it might not be as competitive or expensive to celebrate.

Here’s another Leap Day twist associated with marriage: It’s a tradition in some European countries (notably Ireland) for women to propose marriage to their partners on Leap Day.

Remember, it’s still February

augusta16/Adobe knitted mittens holding snow heart

While Leap Day does give you an extra day in February to get ahead financially, the month remains the shortest of the year.

That means whether it's Leap Day or not, you'll still pay more for things such as rent per day during February than you would during other months.

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Bottom line

MarkRademaker/Adobe one extra day on leap day

Leap Day can be a fun thing to celebrate. For example, those who work an hourly job might get some joy from knowing they have an extra day to boost their income.

Whether you celebrate Leap Day or ignore it, make 2024 the year you crush your debts and get your financial house in order so you will be better positioned in 2025 and beyond.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.