* December 31 is the deadline to use your Flexible Spending Account dollars
* If FSA funds not used by deadline, you’ll forfeit them back to your employer
* Use FSA dollars for more than just glasses; many everyday items are eligible
Your holiday shopping may be done, but you might just have some extra dollars that you need to spend. If you’re one of millions of Americans with a Flexible Spending Account, then you know the deadline to use your funds is December 31. While some plans offer an extension or FSA Grace Period, most require you to use your FSA dollars before the end of the year.
Here are five ways to use them — before you lose them.
1. Pick Up a New Pair of Glasses
FramesDirect is currently running a huge sale, with up to 40% off frames from brands like Ray-Ban, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Prada and more. And, use code FLEX50 to score 50% off your prescription lenses. All glasses ship for free from FramesDirect, and by cutting out the middleman (I.e. the optical store), you’re getting some of the best prices on otherwise-expensive frames. You’ll need your prescription handy, so you can enter it directly on the site.
2. Get a Blood Pressure Monitor
This Omron Blood Pressure Monitor has more than 5000 reviews, with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The adjustable cuff fits a range of arm sizes, while the quick start guide makes it easy to fit and use the monitor. The device compares your readings with normal blood pressure levels, while also monitoring for irregular heartbeats. Runs on four AA batteries (included).
3. Get a Step Up on Your Fitness Goals
Many FSA providers will allow you to use your funds on devices that track your fitness levels if there is a specific health concern or condition related to weight loss or metabolism. We like this Omron Body Composition Monitor, which measures 7 different fitness indicators: body fat percentage, BMI, skeletal muscle, resting metabolism, visceral fat, body age, and weight. (Keep in mind, you can’t use your FSA on gym memberships, fitness equipment or fitness trackers, like a FitBit).
4. Fight the Flu
With Flu Season in full swing, use your FSA to treat and manage symptoms with products like a digital thermometer. This one is super easy to use, with just two buttons, and it’s comfortable enough for all ages. The thermometer comes with a 100-day money-back guarantee.
5. Stock Up on First Aid Kits and Supplies
Many flex spending accounts allow you to use your dollars for everyday emergency supplies, like bandages, gauze and wraps. Get everything in one convenient kit with this First Aid Pack from Adventure Medical Kits. Small and lightweight, stash this 1-pound medical kit in your car, day bag, tackle box, at home, or anywhere else you may need first aid. The kit includes supplies for wounds, blisters, fractures/sprains, and common medications, packed in a coated nylon outer bag with waterproof plastic inner bags.
If you’re still not sure about what qualifies under your Flex Spending Account, check out the site, FSAStore.com. You’ll find answers to commonly asked questions and be able to buy eligible products directly from the site. The site offers free shipping on all orders over $50 and guarantees that everything they sell will be eligible for FSA reimbursement.