Being smart with HSA saving and spending

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer a multitude of financial advantages, making them a valuable tool for individuals seeking to manage their healthcare expenses efficiently. One primary benefit lies in the flexibility and portability they offer. 

Unlike Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), HSA funds don’t have a spending deadline. The money in your HSA rolls over from year to year with no penalties, ensuring that you don't lose any unused balance. This feature encourages long-term savings and allows individuals to build a substantial healthcare nest egg over time. Unfortunately, many people don't realize this and rush to spend their funds on things they don't really need.

Being savvy about your HSA involves adopting a thoughtful approach to your spending decisions. Rather than impulsively using your HSA funds, take the time to consider your wants and needs. Avoid the temptation to make unnecessary doctor's appointments or purchase items that don't contribute to your well-being. By making deliberate choices, you not only maximize the value of your HSA but also cultivate a responsible attitude toward managing your healthcare expenses.

Equally important is ensuring that your purchases align with eligible medical expenses. There are more qualified expenses than most people are aware of, and it's likely you can use your HSA funds for things you were already planning to spend your money on.

While HSAs offer flexibility, veering into unqualified territory may lead to a 20% penalty and potential income tax obligations if audited. That means if you spend $500 on an unqualified expense, you'll be charged an additional $100 penalty and if you fall into the 15% income tax bracket, another $75 in taxes.

It's crucial to educate yourself on what qualifies as an eligible expense and rigorously verify that each purchase falls within those guidelines. This diligence safeguards the financial advantages and tax benefits associated with your HSA, reinforcing the importance of informed and rule-compliant spending.

Check out a few Surprisingly Eligible expenses, and get smart about your HSA spending.

person looking through their receipts

Travel essentials

If you're going on vacation — or even a short road trip — it's always a good idea to load up the suitcase or car with a few essentials and emergency items. Use your HSA funds to pick up a travel-sized first aid kit, sunscreen, acupressure wristbands to stop nausea, and an orthopedic neck pillow to manage pain..

Medical travel expenses

Frequent travel to medical appointments can wind up costing a small fortune. But did you know that your HSA can actually be used to cover some of these expenses? Fuel, public transportation costs, tolls, and parking fees related to qualified medical care are all considered eligible expenses.

  • If you're planning to reimburse yourself for these expenses, make sure you keep documentation that shows you were traveling for medical purposes like a bill that has the date of the procedure on it.

Family planning

If you're planning on having a baby, your HSA can help you cover some of the associated expenses. Eligible items include pregnancy tests, ovulation predictors, and fertility kits. Already have a newborn? You can use your HSA to pay for items like baby breathing monitors, breastfeeding supplies, and thermometers.


Eye care isn't cheap, so many people skip out on purchasing more than the bare minimum when it comes to their eyewear. Are you constantly leaving your glasses at home only to realize you need them when you get to the office? Use your HSA funds to get a backup pair. You can even use the money to purchase prescription sunglasses and non-prescription reading glasses.


Acupuncture is a popular form of pain relief, but many people shy away from trying it because of the out-of-pocket cost. But acupuncture is actually an HSA eligible expense! So take advantage of its many benefits and worry less about the bill.

Your HSA spending made smarter

Making informed and rule-compliant choices not only fortifies the strategic use of HSA funds but also cultivates a mindful and responsible approach to managing healthcare expenditures, contributing to a more secure and balanced financial future. 

Explore the convenience of managing receipts and finding great deals at, making your healthcare spending easy and rewarding.

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