Flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) are two employer-sponsored plans nurses can use to reduce their income tax liability and pay for related medical expenses. This article focuses on how these plans can improve your health. If you need an article explaining the differences between an FSA and HSA you can find that here. I have an FSA and will be writing about my experience with this program and how it can be beneficial to your health as a nurse.
Recently, I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, for four days to do a health training workshop. Throughout the whole trip, I only spent $4 on my food and drink. You may be saying, “Wait a minute Brian, how in the world did you survive on a dollar a day for four days?” Well, I didn’t exactly, but I really did only spend $4 the entire trip. How did I do this? Simple, I brought my food with me. If you have thought this is impossible or it takes too much time let me tell you it is possible and it’s worth it.
This morning I was listening to one of my favorite leadership podcast called, Lead to Win, by Michael Hyatt and Co. They had a guest speaker on who mentioned a couple of times that you could not buy more time. I agree with this some, but not wholeheartedly. You will hear others say things like “Well I have only so much time on this Earth, so I might as well enjoy myself while I am here.”
This is a different topic than I usually write about, but one that I am passionate about. As you may know, our current system of healthcare is unsustainable. Currently, health care is one-fifth of our nation’s GDP (gross domestic product). In his book Unconventional Medicine Chris Kresser explains, “One in two Americans now has a chronic disease, and one in four has multiple chronic diseases. Chronic disease causes seven of ten deaths in the U.S. and accounts for 86 percent of healthcare expenditures.”
One of the major barriers to eating healthy is the increased cost. I am not going to tell you eating healthy will cost the same as eating ‘unhealthy,’ but I will say it is going to cost more for you to eat healthy. How much more? It does not have to cost a lot more maybe a third more than normal has been my experience. The Knight family of three spends about five hundred a month on food, but I feel very strongly that I am investing in my family and myself by buying higher quality food. I feel confident you can pay now, or pay later when it comes to your health. In my experience, what you eat is the single most important determinant of your health.