5 Little-Known Things You Can Use Your FSA For

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  • Many FSAs require you to spend down your balance by year's end or lose it.
  • If you don't have medical appointments or prescriptions to pay for, there are numerous 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.

Have a lingering FSA balance? You're not out of luck.

There's a reason people are often encouraged to set funds aside in a flexible spending account, or FSA. FSAs give you an upfront tax break on the money you contribute. And also, that money is taken out of your paychecks directly. That means that as medical costs arise, you won't have to keep dipping into your savings account to pay for them, because instead, you'll have separate funds specifically earmarked for healthcare spending purposes.

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

But if you have money still sitting in your 2022 FSA, you may, at this point, only have a few weeks left to spend it. And if you don't have any upcoming doctor appointments or medications you need to renew, you may be wondering how on earth you're going to spend your leftover FSA dollars.

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

1. Acne treatment

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

2. Dry skin relief

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

3. Bandages and ointment

Have a bunch of accident-prone kids? If you go through a lot of bandages in your home, then it pays to use your remaining FSA funds to stock up. You can also use your FSA to purchase over-the-counter first aid ointments.

4. Sunscreen

It's important to protect yourself from the sun's rays. And you can use your FSA to purchase sunscreen -- or stock up for next year if you have a balance you need to deplete.

5. A scale

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

If you're still sitting on an FSA balance and can't carry any of it into 2023 or use it in early 2023, then it's important to try to spend it on eligible purchases in the coming weeks. These five items are just a few of many over-the-counter products that are FSA-eligible, 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 comprehensive list of eligible products to spend your money on.

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