To be fair...

I live in Denver - Stapleton to be precise. I grew up in South Florida but spent my formative years (18-29) in Chicago. I'm a lawyer and a mom to Lila, born in September, 2011. Bella and Beans are my dogs and my sunshine. I like CrossFit, yoga, reading, and Civilization V.

Adulting

I’m Angie’s Listing like a boss right now trying to get a few projects done. P does not have time to do them. We are so fucking uncool it blows my mind.

green-goold:

johnstamostimelessbeauty:

I call this one “nuance”

Some humans love being kept on leashes! 

My house is definitely the North Korea of environments, that’s true.
Anyway, I keep trying to set my dogs free but they won’t leeeeeave. (I’m kidding about trying to set my dogs free, but not about them refusing to leave. We could leave our front door open all day and neither of those fuckers would set a foot outside it. They know what they have.)

green-goold:

johnstamostimelessbeauty:

I call this one “nuance”

Some humans love being kept on leashes! 

My house is definitely the North Korea of environments, that’s true.

Anyway, I keep trying to set my dogs free but they won’t leeeeeave. (I’m kidding about trying to set my dogs free, but not about them refusing to leave. We could leave our front door open all day and neither of those fuckers would set a foot outside it. They know what they have.)

sdotmarymartha:

robot-mama:

I have a similar FSA for childcare, and I want to make a few notes (for you and for those unfamiliar with how dependent care FSAs work.) These FSAs are not administered by the IRS, but by private companies, typically in tandem with other benefits (like health and disability insurance) provided by your employer. The money actually comes out of your paycheck pre-tax and is non-taxable, so the money never goes to the IRS. In fact, that’s the whole point of the FSA—the IRS never sees that money earmarked for daycare, and it can’t be taxed at the end of the year. Your money instead goes to the private company handling your FSA, and they are the ones responsible for reimbursing you. Some companies do offer dependent care FSAs with debit cards, but not all do, and either way, the money has already been taken from your paycheck and you are requesting reimbursement for services rendered. The debit card just removes the final step of having to file a claim. Ultimately, the reimbursement process is set by the private company who administers your benefits, not by the IRS.

For us, the cost of daycare far outstrips the cap set on dependent care FSAs. We spend just over $1K/month on daycare, while the annual cap on dependent care FSAs is $5K. I can’t file for reimbursement until the amount pulled from my paycheck and put into the FSA equals the cost of one week of daycare, and because the $5K is pulled out of my account over the course of the entire year, it’s impossible for me to be reimbursed for care as soon as I’ve paid for it. For instance, at the end of January I’ve paid my care provider around $1000 ($250/week), but there’s only $400 in my FSA, which means I can only be reimbursed for one week of care in January. I can’t be reimbursed for care I paid for in May until after December 31, and I won’t be reimbursed for any of my care for June-December.

I’ve just stopped thinking of the money that comes out pre-tax as being there to cover the cost of daycare on a week-to-week basis. I budget for daycare out of my regular paycheck and save big purchases/expenditures until I get reimbursed. It’s not ideal, but neither is setting the cap on non-taxable money earmarked for daycare at a fraction of what daycare actually costs. (How many people can get full time care for under $5K in a year in the US? My guess is near zero.) However, having that $5K be non-taxable at the end of the year might mean the difference for my family being in substantially different tax brackets, and it means less I have to pay the IRS in taxes overall. The purpose of the FSAs are not really to be convenient on a regular basis, but to be a money-saver in the long run when you have to do your taxes.

It really stinks that your company was dishonest with you about how your FSA works and that they didn’t fully explain how the reimbursement process might impact your regular finances. And it really stinks that there’s nothing you can do about it until the end of the year. For next year, there is an alternative to dependent care FSAs, and that is the dependent care tax credit. With the tax credit, nothing comes out of your paycheck. Instead, when you file your taxes, you list your daycare expenses (and just like with the FSAs, you need valid receipts and to meet all eligibility criteria) and you are able to deduct a portion of that from your taxes. Whether the FSA or the tax credit works better for you really depends on your personal financial situation. Here’s a great calculator for helping you determine which will generate the most savings for you. I’m so sorry you got stuck in this crappy situation. :( 

I understand how the money works and why, I’ve done this before using a Visa card and I have also done it just getting the tax credit. I realize that a company is handling the funds and this is not handled by the IRS. Regardless, they are reimbursing me according to iRS/Federal guidelines- which is what I was annoyed about. I was curious about how other people handle the reimbursement process, what their feelings/experiences were. When the funds are loaded to a Visa card, the money is available with each pay cycle and you can use the funds immediately to pay for care, ie: paying in advance.

I think the rules actually changed this year, or at least my FSA only started following them this year. Last year, I was able to get reimbursed at the beginning of January for my January childcare bill. This year, we had to wait until the end of January to get reimbursement. Because January is generally a low-spending month for us anyway, and because we had to save up in order to pay our tax bill, it wasn’t a big deal. I can see how it’s annoying when your budget is tighter.

Does your FSA have an option for direct deposit? Mine does, and that is very convenient. They pay me the same day the funds are sent to them by my employer. (We run through our $5k by mid-March, so after that they’re just playing catch up on my submitted expenses.)

I am getting sassy with my work email responses. But seriously, men in their 50s and beyond, you should have a better handle on how to do your job by now.

Sanguich - prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto, veggies on ciabatta. Grilled. Yummmmmmmm.

Sanguich - prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto, veggies on ciabatta. Grilled. Yummmmmmmm.

I’m starving for lunch. It’s 10:30 AM.

Just got my emissions tested. The guy was super rude, and then he was like, “Well, the good news is that you passed.” Of course I passed. I have a 2005 car. It was never a question whether I would pass. Don’t act like it’s some huge surprise. I doubt they fail very many 10 year old cars.

Isn’t it just a check? Or am I thinking of a negotiable instrument? IDK, BarBri was a long time ago.

I feel vindicated that you don’t remember either! “Commercial paper is a money-market security issued (sold) by large corporations to get money to meet short-term debt obligations (for example, payroll), and is backed only by an issuing bank or corporation’s promised to pay the face amount on the maturity date specified on the note.” -Wikipedia. It’s essentially a private, short term bond.

I actually convinced counsel it wasn’t worth the client’s money for me to create said table. Yay.