Leftover FSA funds? Buy an AED

We are pretty fortunate at our house. For starters, we have health care. Second, our employers give us the option of a Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) for medical expenses. And third, emergency room visits and trips to the orthopedist were way down this year. A record low — only 8 total — stitches, no broken bones, separated shoulders or sprained MCLs. Yep, it was a pretty good year.

So the good news is a healthy family. The bad news is we have a lot of money left in our FSA this year. And with the restrictions on how that money can be spent, it means we either stock up on heating pads, sunblock and contact solution or we lose that money. Well, even a mom on a mission to wipe out melanoma can only go through so much sunblock. And losing our hard-earned money isn’t an attractive option either. So we came up with another solution. Read the rest of this entry »

A good time for doing good

Nordstrom Holiday Decorating Policy

My policy as well.

We’re heading into the holiday stretch. A little prematurely, I think, so I’m siding with Nordstrom’s on this one holiday at a time thing. Philosophically, of course; it’s not like I’m shopping there (see previous posts about kids and sports sucking up all my money).

Fighting my inner Scrooge, I try to recognize that the holiday season, for whatever reason you personally believe or don’t believe in it, is an opportunity to do some good, wrapped up in a great big, over-commercialized package. And I’m full on for doing good.

In some parts of the world, probably not as far away as you imagine, there are kids playing soccer on an abandoned lot in their bare feet with a ball made of bunched up rags. Only in America, says a friend of ours, can you turn soccer into a $5000 a year endeavor. The opportunity to play youth sports is one afforded to those with money, time, health and support. And for many, many reasons, there are kids that don’t have that opportunity. So let’s give them a hand this season and help them out. It’s a great team-building activity and a way for our young athletes learn empathy, see compassion and find out what courage really is.

Read the rest of this entry »