As you know, I chipped my tooth on Tuesday, but unlike last time, I was prepared. I put $400 in my FSA about two weeks before I chipped my tooth the first time, thinking that it would last until 2010. I was wrong, but chipping it again on Tuesday gave me a reason to use some of my FSA. I purposely set money aside to fix this exact problem, so the funds would serve their purpose.
Of course, since I had planned and was prepared to take care of the bill, the very nice dentist told me that since I broke it so quickly after she fixed it, I wouldn’t be charged. Awesome! But now I have a lot of extra money in my FSA that I wasn’t expecting. It’s not really a problem because I can always buy extra contact lenses, nicer glasses, and stock up on over the counter medicine, but I was excited to be able to use my FSA, and she ruined it! Still, I really like knowing that should something else happen to me in the next year, I won’t have to pay out of pocket.
Also, one nice thing is that my FSA allows me to use my funds up until March 31st of 2011. Which means that I’d be able to pay for a January 2011 dental appointment with my 2010 funds. It also means that I don’t have to worry about finding ways to use my funds for quite awhile. Three dental appointments, various over the counter medicines, cough drops, and a first aid kit should cover most of those funds. And if something does happen, I’ll be prepared.
It’s very hard to judge how much money should go into an FSA. If you put too little in, you’ll have to pay for some expenses out of pocket. If you overestimate how much you’ll spend, you end up throwing away money that could have gone towards your paycheck. I thought I did a good job, and then I had my tooth fixed before I needed it. Then I broke it and was on track again. Then the dentist did me a favor and I may have some money left over. Oh, well, I guess this is a very good problem to have.