5 Little Known Things You Can Use Your FSA For

A doctor standing in front of a sunny window in his office and talking with his male patient sitting in a chair.

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Do you have a persistent FSA balance? You are out of luck.

Key points

  • Many FSAs require you to spend your balance by the end of the year or lose it.
  • If you don’t have doctor’s appointments or prescriptions to pay, there are plenty of FSA-eligible items you can find at your local pharmacy.
  • Consider using your FSA to pay for first aid supplies, sunscreen, or even a bathroom scale.

There’s a reason people are often encouraged to set aside funds in a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA. FSAs give you upfront tax relief on the money you pay in. And also, this money is taken directly from your paychecks. This means that as medical expenses arise, you won’t have to dip into your savings account to pay for them, because instead you’ll have separate funds specifically for healthcare expenses.

There is, however, a big drawback associated with FSAs. Most plans require you to spend your balance by the end of the year or risk losing it. You may sometimes get a short grace period in the coming year, depending on your specific plan. And you can sometimes carry a limited portion of your FSA over to the next calendar year.

But if you still have money in your 2022 FSA, you may only have a few weeks left at this point to spend it. And if you don’t have any doctor’s appointments coming up or medications to refill, you might be wondering how you’re going to spend your remaining FSA dollars.

The good news is that a number of over-the-counter products are actually FSA eligible. Here are a few that might surprise you.

1. Acne Treatment

Skin problems can occur at any age. If you are able to treat acne with an over-the-counter preparation, you may be able to use your FSA to cover its cost.

2. Relief from dry skin

Many people struggle with dry skin, especially during the cold months. The good news is that you can use your FSA to pay for store-bought lotions designed to relieve conditions such as eczema.

3. Bandages and ointment

Got a bunch of accident-prone kids? If you use a lot of bandages in your house, it pays to use your leftover FSA funds to stock up. You can also use your FSA to buy over-the-counter first aid ointments.

4. Sunscreen

It is important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. And you can use your FSA to buy sunscreen – or stock up for next year if you have a balance to run out.

5. A scale

A bathroom scale may or may not be a welcome addition to your home. But if you want to track your weight, you can use your FSA to pay for one. You can even use your account to purchase an upgraded scale with additional features, such as body fat readings.

If you’re still sitting on an FSA balance and can’t keep any of it until 2023 or use it in early 2023, it’s important to try to spend it on qualifying purchases in the coming weeks. These five items are just a few of the many FSA-eligible over-the-counter products, so think about the things you might need for the coming year and take the opportunity to stock up. You can also visit FSAstore.com for a full list of eligible products to spend your money on.

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