My husband thinks I’m the worrier in the family, but I know the truth. Yes, I worry about the little things, like what if Trader Joe’s never starts carrying their Conacado Organic Fair Trade Cocoa anymore and we’re forced to drink Swiss Miss the rest of our lives? That’s a real possibility, as they haven’t carried it in over a year. But my husband worries about things that will never happen. Like what if we don’t spend all the money in our flexible spending account and we lose what we don’t use?
For those of you who don’t know what a flexible spending account (FSA) is, it allows an employee to set aside a certain portion of his or her salary to be used for medical expenses during the year. The benefit is that this amount is not subject to payroll taxes, so it reduces the amount you’re taxed. The downside is that if you don’t use all that you set aside, at the end of the fiscal year (in our case, July 1), you lose any money that’s left in the account. The trick is to estimate how much you’re going to need during the year.
Every year my husband worries that he has estimated too much and that we won’t spend it all in time. He figures out how much our normal prescriptions will cost, adds in a pair of glasses for each of us, getting our teeth cleaned every four months, and then he throws in some more for unforeseen expenses. It’s those unforeseen expenses he sweats about. He started fretting back in November about maybe estimating too much. “Seriously?” I said. “We’ve got a long way to go until July.” “But we’re so healthy,” he moaned.
Yes, we are relatively healthy. But we’re also old. And something always comes up for old people. He just called me from the dentist office where he’d gone to have a sensitive tooth checked. “He’s going to do have to do a crown today,” he said, sounding unusually chipper. A crown? That will cost at least a thousand dollars. Praise the Lord!
I agree…Conacado is the best. I hope they start carrying it once again. I WILL stock up next time I see it in the store.
Wow, Jamie! Someone else who has experienced Conacado. Trader Joe’s has a hot chocolate now that has cinnamon in it. I hate cinnamon in my hot chocolate.
I don’t have to worry about that Flex account anymore but I do remember the frustration of trying to predict the amount. It was almost like betting against yourself. What you’re basically saying when you pick an amount is: ” I’m going to get a lot sicker than you think I am!”
Exactly, Big Al! What a way to live.
lol Thanks for sharing. Blessing come in the most mysterious ways. 😉
Thanks, EC. Even my husband found this funny when he read it.
Oh gosh, this made me laugh! Bad health…what a blessing! 🙂
All in good fun, Emily. We’re very grateful to be in such good health. We count our blessings every day…except if we have money left in our FSA account…
I don’t recall ever seeing that at Trader Joe’s. Ghirardelli hot cocoa is my favorite. We used to have an FSA, and I know that drill all too well. Cute wrap up at the end!
Thanks, Patti. I keep the container just to prove that TJ’s once carried that cocoa.
Ha! Love the irony of that ending line.
My husband just read it and he even laughed at himself, Kelly.
Funny what can be called a blessing in certain circumstances 🙂
Of course this is all tongue-in-cheek, Bella. We’re very happy and grateful that we are relatively very healthy.
FSAs are helpful for those who have kids, I think, who are always getting themselves sick or hurt. At the end of every year, my parents email my sisters and I and ask what we need from an ever-shorter list of things that their FSAs cover so they can max out theirs (this year it was eye care, sitz baths, humidifiers and filters, and something else random. Not even OTC painkillers.) I personally don’t have one… though once in a while when my stupid insurance’s stupid deductible policies leave me broke, I think maybe I should enroll. Here’s hoping you sit on your glasses!
Ha-ha, SC! Not to worry. We usually have enough left in the account to get me a new pair of glasses every year. Not that my eyes always change that much, but when you have to wear glasses from the minute you get out of bed until the minute you get back in bed, you need a change.
This is delightful! Absolutely delightful! Thanks for helping me see how funny even fear can be!
Thanks, KD. You’ve encouraged me to choose joy, so I will encourage you to laugh at fear once in awhile.
My husband worries about that, too, but we’ve never lost any of our FSA dollars. Sometimes I wish we had overestimated our health care expenses.
I know, Shary! So what if we lose a little of it if it means we were even healthier than usual.
How funny Susan. We do the flex spending account too, and I must say, have never had a problem using it up. And we’re pretty healthy people, but as you say, “we’re old” – or at least getting there age-wise.
We’ve never had a problem either, HG, so I don’t know why he worries so. Guess he won’t have to worry anymore.
Haha! “Praise the Lord!” You do have me laughing and yes, I save the computer cartridge box and the can light bulb boxes so I know what to buy. haha…Congratulations on meeting your limit early.
Thanks, Georgette. Now I suppose I’ll have to listen to my husband fret about maybe not taking out enough!
Yes! A crown! The things we get excited about now, huh?
I have a cupboard full of Swiss Miss and have never tried the other cocoa, now you’ve got me curious if our Trader Joe’s carries it…
Once you’ve had the Conacado, nothing else tastes quite as good, Mama.