It’s the time of year to declare next year’s flexible spending account (FSA) allocation to your employer. There’s been many good articles about flexible spending account planning, advantages and explanation recently. It’s an annual end of year planning event.
It’s also the time of year to complete qualifying purchases for the current year. I’ve taken advantage of the medical FSA at my employer since they first offered this benefit some years ago (I’ve worked there so long it’s all a blur..). Because of expensive dental needs I’ve been putting in a large amount for several years and typically used it all by summer. Not this time.
Statements were given out the first week of November and I had $1187 left in my account. What happened? Mr. Boomer decided not to replace a bridge and I finished crowning virtually every molar last year.
This is a use or lose situation and I was determined not to lose! My mission was to spend every dollar in the next six weeks.
The first thing I did (after having a minor panic attack) was research the possibilities. Some things I would have liked to spend it on were not eligible (teeth whitening, skin treatments, etc.) as they are considered cosmetic.
However, I did find that my 23 y/o son’s medical expenses would still qualify until his next birthday. He’s not covered on my insurance plan but because he’s still at home attending school his expenses were covered.
I then listed medical expenses left for the year and how much that would take of the $1187 along with a few receipts I hadn’t submitted. This added up to $250. I needed some big ticket items.
Getting my son an overdue checkup and cleaning took care of $190. Then we moved on to optical. Because my lenses are expensive I don’t have a backup pair of glasses. Well that was going to change. My son also needed a pair of glasses as he is having trouble with distance.
The two pairs of glasses took us over the spending cap. I’ve also adjusted my FSA contribution for 2010 by over 50%. This won’t be a problem next year. Mission accomplished!
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