- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -
How to Spend Down Your FSA
Posted By Jim On 12/03/2009 @ 11:08 am In Personal Finance | 20 Comments
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, chances are you still have a few dollars left in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), if you have one. The old backup solution is to stock up on over the counter supplies but that might not be the most effective use of your FSA dollars. OTC products are great as a backup, but there are a few things you should try to do before just buying a million bottles of Advil.
This post is part of the Bargaineering Annual Financial Review  week series where we take a closer look at the four major facets of personal finance and see if we can do better. This post is part of day four – beating back the tax man.
Last year, I wrote my last minute FSA ideas  post three days before the end of the year, which was cutting it way too close (it was accurate though, certainly last minute!). Since it’s early December, I recommend that you try to spend it on a visit to the doctor for a regular check-up or the dentist for a cleaning.
I used to hate visiting the dentist and getting my teeth cleaned. Very few things are worse than lying back helplessly as someone scrapes your teeth with sharp metal picks, ugh. But I made two changes that made the process so much better – I began flossing regularly and I went to six-month cleanings. By going more often and flossing, the process was faster and much shorter.
Chiropractor visits, if they are medically necessary, are FSA eligible, so make an appointment if this applies to you. I had never been to a chiropractor before I was adjusted in September, and it was awesome, but easily a dozen people have told me that visiting one helped them immeasurably. Many of them had been in minor car accidents that threw their back or neck out of alignment and a few visits to the chiropractor beat months of taking pain medication and using other remedies. A good place to look for a chiropractor near you is the Planet Chiropractic practitioner directory .
If you wear contacts, you could always buy an extra box or two with your extra FSA money. The downside to buying it a la carte like this is that most manufacturers will give you a rebate if you buy a year’s supply of contacts, so you’ll be paying more per box this way. That being said, you know how often you go through contact lenses so they won’t just sit in your closet for months.
When all else fails, you can always stock up on OTC drugs and other medical supplies. I usually buy all my stuff from Drugstore.com because they have an “FSA store” and label FSA eligible products with a blue and white check mark. While most OTC drugs are included, I find it easier to look there and see on a page what’s eligible, rather than checking a list. That being said, here’s the list:
How do you spend down your last few FSA dollars?
(Photo: clevercupcakes )
Article printed from Bargaineering: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles
URL to article: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-to-spend-down-your-fsa.html
URLs in this post:
 Tweet: http://twitter.com/share
 Email: mailto:?subject=http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-to-spend-down-your-fsa.html
 Bookmark with Del.icio.us!: http://delicious.com/url/6cfcfb8dd016d8b4c355f6df4b16ea51
 Bargaineering Annual Financial Review: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/bargaineering-2009-annual-financial-review-week.html
 last minute FSA ideas: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/last-minute-fsa-spending-ideas.html
 Planet Chiropractic practitioner directory: http://www.planetc1.com/
 clevercupcakes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clevercupcakes/3398616823/sizes/m/
Thank you for reading!