I go into the copy room and there she is faxing in the Flexible Spending account claim forms. I was shocked. I had just tried to fax in my forms a couple of days before, the fax was continuously busy. So I didn't get through. I eventually got tired and mailed them.
Any way we started talking about the FSA and how much we loved it.
She asked me if I "knew they offered a debit card."
I laughed of course "just got it in the mail last week."
Boss wife "so how does it work."
Spendthrift "You still have to save your receipts, but you pay for your prescriptions and co-pays at the pharmacy and doctors office just like you would use a debit/credit card. The card comes pre-loaded with the entire amount that you requested get taken from your paycheck."
"Really? I thought they re-loaded it after it was taken out of your check…"
Spendthrift "Nope, whole amount for the year comes pre-loaded. "
Boss-wife "Wow. Did you call in?" Another co-worker spent several hours on the phone trying to order his and still hasn't received it.
Spendthrift " I ordered mine online at -'name of our payroll company's website' got in a couple of days."
We went on for about 5 more minutes; we had segued into pharmacies. I said "we rarely use the same pharmacy two months in a row because we are always switching to get the store cards."
Boss -wife "What?"
Spendthrift "Yeah, some stores Safeway, Rite Aid, CVS especially offer $25 store cards if you transfer your prescriptions."
She had never even heard of this. Then you could see the bulb going off. 'ding' "So you switch your prescriptions every month to get the store card. Pay your co-pay for your prescriptions. Get reimbursed for the co-pay through the flexible spending account and still have the store gift card to buy stuff?"
Yes! Someone got it. I had explained this to someone else and it went 'Zoom right over their head.' I take my pre-tax dollars from my flexible spending account to pay for a prescription. My pre-tax dollars in the flexible spending account has served a two fold purpose; I made a purchase with un taxed money and reduced my tax liablity.
Those same pre-tax dollars garner me more purchasing power - the store gift cards. Yes, I am limited to where I can purchase but I have stretched my purchasing power especially when combined with coupons and sales to include groceries at Safeway, sundries at RiteAid and CVS.
My spending power at CVS gets even better because if I purchase something that generates ECB then my dollar and my spending power has expanded almost four times. I can then take those ECB to make more purchases.
How many times have I recycled my dollar?
Wait did I mention boss' wife actually works at company and her title is Vice President, Director of Operations? Frugies are born everyday...
How do you expand your purchasing power?