With only three days left in the year, a lot of people are scrambling to spend down their Flexible Spending Accounts before the balance expires worthless. It’s a crazy system but those are the rules. Fortunately, if you can’t squeeze in any end-of-the-year dentist appointments or medical checkups, you can always spend them on eligible over-the-counter supplies you will likely need next year. I’ve put together a list of things I usually stock up on if I find myself with a few extra bucks.
In the past I’ve always bought a lot of my OTC products on Drugstore.com because they helpfully label which items are FSA-eligible, which takes a bit of the guesswork out, and because I won’t have to pay sales tax on my purchases. Amazon.com is a good place too but they don’t label FSA eligible products.
Last Minute FSA Ideas
- Contact lens solution
- First aid kits – When I’ve stocked up on everything else, I just buy some first aid kits to put in the car, my wife’s car, our kitchen, our upstairs closet…
- Band-aids, blister band-aids
- Motion/sea/car sickness pills
- Pain relief – Advil, Tylenol, Bayer, etc… you can’t have too much.
- Electric heating pads
- Allergy medicine – Loratadine is always good to have, it’s the antihistamine in Claritin, at a fraction of the price.
- Healing lotions – They often smell like medicine but they’re good for you.
- Acid reflux drugs – I don’t use them often but when I need them, it’s awesome to have them handy.
- Smoking cessation products
- Braces, supports, ACE bandages
- Ice packs – for those sprained ankles
- Blood pressure monitor – instead of using the trusty arm wrap pump (I made up that name) and stethoscope, go 21st century!
- Defibrillator – This is for when you’ve grossly under-estimated your spending, by like a thousand dolllars or more, you can consider getting one of these. It’s for cases like where you planned on Lasik but then couldn’t get the procedure. These things usually last only a couple years too (pads last for around 2, battery for four, and you need to frequently test them), but they are lifesavers if you have a heart attack..