It’s not hard to spend the money
It’s officially deadline season. There are just weeks left to finish your holiday shopping, wrap up your end-of-year work projects—and use up your flexible spending account (FSA).
This year, there were an estimated 28.8 million active FSAs—or employer-sponsored accounts where you can stash pretax dollars for eligible medical expenses—and that number is expected to hit 32.3 million by 2020. So if you don’t have an FSA already, you may have an opportunity to sign up and save with one soon. Check with your HR department to find out more about your benefits package and open enrollment dates.
While FSAs generally have a use-it-or-lose-it rule, where any leftover funds disappear at the end of the year, it’s not that hard to spend the money. There are plenty of FSA-eligible items you can purchase without a prescription that can help you stay healthy and sane during this hectic season. Consider this your holiday survival shopping list.
1. Cushioned sole inserts ($9.99)
Protect your feet while dashing through the mall, decking the halls or standing in line at Target TGT, -0.07% to nab $50 Beats earbuds on Black Friday.
2. Band-Aids ($3.99)
Consider these your first defense against death by a thousand paper cuts while stuffing envelopes with holiday cards. Or use them as tape in a gift-wrapping emergency. (Just kidding. Kind of.)
3. Eye drops ($8.99)
Because the office heat is blasting and you’re allergic to pine needles.
4. Travel sickness bands ($18.99)
If the thought of holiday travel on planes, trains and automobiles makes you ill, these can help you ward off the nausea long enough to make it to Grandma’s house.
5. Blood pressure monitor ($35.99)
Make sure your blood isn’t actually boiling at family gatherings when your drunk relatives stir up drama.
6. Headache relief ($19.95)
Maybe your blood pressure’s fine, but now your head’s pounding. While you can’t purchase over-the-counter drugs, like Aleve, without a prescription, this natural remedy is fair game.
7. Back pain kit ($119.98)
Because all that luggage won’t carry itself, the Christmas tree delivery guy canceled and the turkey and trimmings weigh a ton.
8. Adjustable crutch ($25.99)
For when ice, sleet and snow get the better of you, or you’re asked to play Tiny Tim at the last minute and need a costume.
9. A visit to the chiropractor or acupuncturist (prices vary)
After weeks of working overtime then overindulging with family, some holistic healing methods can help you start the New Year off right.