If you have a Flex Spending Account (FSA) through your employer’s insurance program, it’s important to remember that you have to use that money before the end of the year — otherwise, you’ll most likely lose it. You can check your FSA account to confirm your remaining balance, along with the deadline for spending.
While you can pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and prescriptions throughout the year with your FSA, there are also plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) products that you can purchase to help you use up that money. You can use this as an opportunity to stock your medicine cabinets or splurge on a new FSA-eligible device.
Alternatively, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) instead, you can still purchase these same eligible products with it — but unlike an FSA, an HSA rolls over into the following year, so you don’t have to spend your HSA on OTC products by any particular date if you don’t want to.
Read on to check out 10 types of products that you can buy with your FSA.
Eyeglasses are an FSA-eligible expense, so if you’ve been holding out on upgrading your current pair, now’s the time to buy something new for yourself. GlassesUSA has a seriously impressive selection of thousands of brand-name specs, and most of them are priced below $100.
More:The Best Places Online to Buy (FSA-Eligible!) Contact Lenses
Another splurge that you’re sure to get some use from this cold-and-flu season, this touchless infrared thermometer from Vicks allows you to check body temperature in just 2 seconds if you or someone in your house starts to feel feverish.
Another one of those items that you never really want to use, but you always want to have on hand, is a complete first-aid kit. This one is under $15 and has a whopping 57 items inside of it — including bandages, gauze, tweezers, and antiseptic towelettes.
Additionally, you can buy all individual types of first-aid products, like boxes of bandages, with your FSA.
Go ahead and buy yourself all of the sunscreen with your FSA dollars. This convenient six-item bundle of SPF will ensure that you’re stocked up for months of sun protection.
A drug-free alternative to aspirin and acetaminophen, these cooling patches stick to your forehead to offer some much-needed relief when migraines and headaches have you horizontal for hours on end.
They’re really affordable, so they’re good to stock up on if you just have a little left of your FSA to spend.
If you struggle with plantar fasciitis and foot pains, particularly if you’re on your feet for most of the day, it’s a good idea to get yourself a good pair of sneakers (unfortunately not FSA-eligible) and stick these shock-absorbing inserts from Dr. Scholl’s into all of the other pairs of shoes that you own.
If you have quite a few dollars to spend before the end of the year, splurge a little bit on this FDA-cleared acne treatment device in addition to any OTC acne treatments that you use.
Its blue LED lights help to destroy bacteria that cause acne, and the benefits of this range from smaller pores to quelling inflammation. Reviewers claim to see a difference within just a week of using.
No matter how you prefer to manage your menstruation, whether with tampons, pads, cups, or even absorbent underwear like Thinx, you can use your FSA to replenish your stash for the new year.
Also, OTC cramp-relief medicines and heat patches are eligible, too!
If you’re trying to conceive, you can use your FSA to stock up on a supply of pregnancy tests, like the reviewer-favorite First Response, so you know the minute you get that two-line result.
But if kids aren’t in the cards for you, your FSA also covers prescription birth control, the morning-after pill, and a wide array of condoms. The more you know!
It’s called insurance for a reason! Even if you feel great today, you don’t want to wait until you’re stuffed up with congestion to buy yourself some cold and flu medicine. Stocking your medicine cabinets with Mucinex and other congestion and cough-relieving liquids is a smart way to stay prepared.