10 things to buy with your FSA money before the end of the year
Running out of time to use your FSA? Check out these products
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The end of the year is approaching, which means there’s less than a month left to spend your remaining flexible spending account (FSA) dollars. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be able to carry over some savings into the new year—but chances are you’ll need to “use it or lose it” before January 1.
To make shopping easy, we’ve rounded up great FSA-eligible purchases you can make right now. You may need a doctor’s note for some, like a massage gun or a DNA testing kit, but there are plenty of goodies you can nab before the year’s end.
1. Glasses to keep your vision sharp
If you’ve been putting off updating your prescription or maybe you’re looking to change up your style, you can use your FSA to buy new glasses (including sunglasses if you have a prescription). We’ve tested what it’s like to buy glasses online and love EyeBuyDirect for its variety of styles and reasonable prices. EyeBuyDirect makes it easy to find the right size frames thanks to its virtual try-on feature and you can even purchase made-to-size custom frames. We also love Warby Parker for its outstanding try-on features. In addition to virtual try-ons using the Warby Parker app, you can order and try on up to five frames to find your perfect fit for free before ordering.
2. Acne treatments to keep pimples at bay
If you’re no stranger to pimples, you may want to snag some over-the-counter acne treatments with your FSA. If you’re not sure where to start, a salicylic acid cleanser or leave-on treatment can help eradicate acne. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser is a popular option, with 4.5 stars and more than 8,600 reviews on Amazon. Reviewers say this cleanser helps fight off whiteheads and blackheads, and has been a great addition to their routines.
A benzoyl peroxide cleanser is another great option for acne-prone skin, thanks to its bacteria-fighting properties. Dedicated fans swear by the PanOxyl face wash, and many say it has been the one product that works on their skin.
You can also try retinoid, or a derivative of Vitamin A, that is known for its anti-aging properties as well as its ability to stave off unwanted blemishes. For this, the Differin Adapalene 0.1% Gel is another popular product among the acne-prone. Reviewers rave about how clear their skin looks after using Differin, but say you have to be patient with this product, as it can take up to a few months to see noticeable results.
- Get the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne and Redness Facial Cleanser from Amazon for $7.18
- Get the PanOxyl Acne Foaming Wash from Amazon for $9.48
- Get the Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment from Amazon for $12.79
3. Genetic testing kits to learn more about your DNA
One unexpected purchase you can make with your FSA is a genetic testing kit. Genetic testing kits can help diagnose, treat and prevent certain diseases, and with a doctor’s approval you can use your FSA dollars for this purchase.
For a DNA testing kit that fills you in on your ancestry and gives you insight into your health, we recommend 23andMe. Like other DNA testing kits, 23andMe evaluates your genetic makeup, but it also has an added health feature that can tell you if you’re genetically predisposed to certain traits or ailments. (Though you should take these results with a grain of salt, as they won’t be as accurate as information from a professional genetic counselor.)
4. Period products to stay comfortable during your time of the month
Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in 2020, period products are now eligible for FSA spending.
If typical pads and tampons aren’t your thing, you may want to use your FSA money to get a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups have some advantages over traditional period products—namely, they’re less expensive over time and more environmentally friendly. If you’re interested in making the switch, we recommend AllMatters (formerly OrganiCup) for its ultra-comfortable design.
You can also try a pair of period underwear for maximum comfort. We believe the Thinx Hiphugger is the best period underwear out there right now. This pair fits true to size and feels secure in the crotch area, and we didn’t experience any leaks while testing this pair of panties.
- Get the AllMatters (formerly OrganiCup) menstrual cup from Amazon for $27.95
- Get the Thinx Hiphugger menstrual underwear from Amazon starting at $33.99
5. A massage gun to melt away stress
Using a massage gun, also called percussion therapy, can be great for warming up before a workout or relieving tense muscles. Though you may need a letter of medical necessity from your doctor for approval, a massage gun can be a great tool to purchase with your FSA.
We’ve tested plenty of massage guns at Reviewed and think the Therabody Theragun Elite is the best massage gun out there. It has five speeds and five attachments, allowing you to tailor your massage session to your needs, and it can connect to the Therabody app for use with preset programs like warm-ups for runners or sessions for “tech neck.”
For a less expensive option, we recommend the Vybe Pro percussion massage gun, which has nine speeds and comes with eight attachments.Though it’s much larger than other massage guns, it’s still a great option.
- Get the Therabody Thergun Elite from Amazon for $399
- Get the Vybe Pro Percussion Massage Gun from Amazon for $199.99
6. Sunscreen to wear all year round
It’s never a bad time to stock up on sunscreen. Even if it’s too cold to spend much time out in the sun, you should still be wearing SPF on exposed skin to protect it from harmful UV rays. One popular option for your face is the Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick. It has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from more than 1,600 reviewers, and happy customers say it’s easy to apply and not too thick on the skin. You can also try the Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion for full-body coverage. This sunscreen has a 4.5-star rating with more than 2,200 reviews, and satisfied customers say it rubs in like a lightweight lotion and leaves minimal whitecast—a feat for physical sunscreens that create a light-deflecting shield over the skin.
- Get the Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick from Amazon for $11.99
- Get the Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion from Amazon for $14.99
7. A first-aid kit to be prepared
It takes time to assemble a good first-aid kit, but buying a pre-made one allows you to have everything you need in one place when dealing with an injury. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive option, try the First Aid Only All-Purpose Essentials kit. This pack has nearly 300 items, including bandages, scissors, tweezers and ibuprofen. It has a 4.8-star rating on Amazon and more than 50,000 reviews. Reviewers say this kit comes in handy when you need it and at a great deal for just upwards of $20—though they also warn that you may want to throw in some extra ibuprofen or allergy medicine.
8. Nicotine patches to help you quit smoking
If you’re looking to ditch your smoking habit, why not quit for the new year? Nicotine patches are FSA-eligible and can make quitting easier. The American Cancer Society recommends using a full-strength patch (15-22 mg of nicotine) for “several weeks” and switching to a weaker patch (5-14 mg of nicotine) for another “several weeks.”
The Rite Aid 21 mg nicotine patches have a 4.3-star rating from more than 2,600 reviews, and customers say these patches help curb cravings, though they may start to slip on particularly hot and sweaty days.
9. Condoms to practice safe sex
Sexual health is an important part of your overall health, and condoms can help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unwanted pregnancies. The Trojan Ultra Thin condoms are a highly rated option with 4.6 stars and nearly 17,000 reviews on Amazon. Reviewers say they’re comfortable to use and help them feel safer while having sex.
10. A miniature foam roller kit to ease sore feet
Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial rolling, is great for relieving sore muscles. It can also improve muscle recovery and even enhance function and performance in the muscles and joints. You can use your FSA to buy a mini foam roller and roller ball to ease pain or soreness in your feet. You can use this kit to roll and stretch your feet, and reviewers say it helps relieve pain quickly.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.