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Making Decisions

October 10th, 2007 at 03:56 pm

Since Ive been tracking every cent of spending this year from January 1st on, I was able to easily track how much Ive spent in Medical expenses this year. Then I estimated what Id be spending now through December. I came up with an obscene (at least to me) amount. $968.99 !!

I need to not be so expensive. Geeze. I know a majority of the expense is my main prescription, which is $132.00 quarterly. But still. What have I been doing? Well, theres been dentist appointments, sick visits, prescriptions, eye doctor appointment, gyno appointment and over the counter meds. But geeze! I cant imagine what itd be without insurance.

Anyway, Ive decided to go ahead with the Health Savings Account through my work. They take the money out of my account pre-tax. I get a debit card to use from the account. All of which seems easy to use.

Now to figure the amount out. Now I know what Ive spent this year, with nothing out of the ordinary. Im set on contacts, but in the upcoming year, Ill need new glasses. Actually, I need them now, but I want to wait until my annual appointment before investing in a new pair. Just in case my prescription changes. Which it better not, or those contacts will be useless.

I also dont want to put too much into the account & then have a lot leftover in my account. At least the IRS allows us to go 3 months into the next year to use up any balance left in the account. So Im figured that Im going to estimate that Ill be spending about 1000.00 next year. Well, really Im figuring that itll probably be closure to $1100.00 with the glasses, but I want a little wiggle room until Im comfortable with the account.

I currently have budget 82.00/month for medical. And the out of paycheck would be roughly 82/month. According to my benefits website estimator, Ill be saving $326.50 in Federal & FICA tax savings. Which sounds good to me.

So Ill be enrolling tomorrow. Whew. That was tough.



In other news,I had a no spend day on Monday and today. Also, the Breast Cancer benefit went really well. I had a few drinks, got a bit generous and ended up spending/donating $38.00 total instead of my planned $15-20 amount. But hey, it went to a great cause.

I have several things coming up in the next few weeks. On Sunday, Im treating my sister & my nephew to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair. Tickets for the 3 of us will cost roughly $90.00. Then Ill need some spending money. But itll be worth it. I really liked the PA Ren Fair as a kid and I know that my nephew will LOVE it.

I have set aside $100.00 towards my Halloween party. And roughly $200.00 towards my vacation week. I want to set aside a few extra bucks, but Ill be waiting until my 10/30 pay check to use those funds. Which is halfway through my vacation, but works out just fine.

I get paid on the 15th and Ill be sending 413.00 towards my Student loan. Its a bit lower than the $500.00 per paycheck than I wanted, but I actually ended up doing a little less overtime than I expected and Ive recognized that Im getting a little burnt out on the overtime. So now Ive rethought my goal and Ive lowered it to $400.00 per paycheck. Which is still a VERY substantial amount.

So in conclusion, today Ive made a couple of big decisions. And I feel good about them Smile

8 Responses to “Making Decisions”

  1. Maismom Says:

    FSA is nice to have. I usually use up my fund. By the way, you do not have extra three months to use them up. You have extra three months to claim it. For example, if you had to pay for your glasses on December 31, you can send the claim by the end of March to get reimbursement. With the debit card system, there's no worry to send out claims anymore, though. Just FYI.

  2. HouseHopeful Says:

    Thanks for the clarification on that Smile I was going to reread all my info again. Now I'm making sure I do that before the year starts Smile

  3. boomeyers Says:

    It sounds like you are doing awesome!

  4. moi aussi Says:

    Usually if your prescription changes, they take back your unopened contact lenses if you go to the same people.

  5. Carolina Bound Says:

    Yes, do reread your info. The plan I had last year DID allow me to use it up in the first three months of the following year -- and I did!

  6. fern Says:

    HSAs and FSAs are a great benefit to have. Yes, it's a good idea to try to itemize every doctor's visit/prescription cost out of pocket for the coming year. That's what I do: dentist, gyno, optometrist, a physical, prescriptions, etc. I funded this year's FSA at $1200, sounds like a lot, i know. I have about $237 left, right about where i want to be.

    Dont' forget, there are lots of things you can buy and get reimbursed for at year's end if you find you have leftover money in the account. Like, I take a baby asprin every day. That's reimbursable. So is saline solution and other contact lens supplies, birth control and other stuff.

  7. lattelal Says:

    The HSA doesn't have to be used up by March. It is like an IRA and keeps rolling over what you don't use. (and accumulates interest!)

  8. Sunshine Suz Says:

    I was just going to say what lattelal told you. Health Savings Accounts are yours forever. They do NOT have to be used up each year. In fact, mine is in an on line bank called Exante that is linked to my insurance...United Health Care. It pays 4% interest. If you have money in your account when you reach age 65, then it is yours tax free to use as you want. I am trying to treat mine as a savings account and pay as I go on medical items.

    http://www.treas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/

    Check out this link. It will answer your questions.

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