A health savings account (HSA) is one of the more underutilized financial tools. It has long been praised as a tax haven for the rich, for those that can afford to save, and those that can invest in their retirement.
The most important thing to understand is that the money you put into your HSA is tax-deductible, the funds in your account grow tax-free, and you can spend it tax-free on qualified health-related expenses.
This means that whether you save or spend this money, you are going to reap some tax breaks along the way. Whether you are saving pretax or post-tax dollars, it's helping to bring down your total taxable income which will yield you a great return when you file your taxes. We think that's pretty awesome!
What if you can't afford to save - how does an HSA help you?
Great question! There are a few strategies that we've seen our customers use that we think you'll find interesting.
The first strategy is the Reimburser. This one is similar to the Everyday Spender, only they go about their shopping and use whatever card they want (debit or credit) and then add those expenses up, move the money into Starship, then do a reimbursement (or pay themselves back) right to their linked checking account. It's like a cashless transaction resulting in sweet, sweet tax savings.
The second strategy is the Everyday Spender. This strategy requires less planning and a little more account management. These customers will calculate their expenses for the week or month and move that amount into their Starship account in one lump sum. As they shop throughout the week/month they simply pull that Starship card out of their wallet at the cashier instead of their ATM card. They can also pay themselves back from the Starship app if they made the purchase on another card.
The third strategy is the Short Term Saver. With this strategy, you might have a known medical procedure or medical expense that you are planning for. Perhaps it's braces for a child, a new pair of glasses or another health-related procedure that you know will not be 100% covered by your insurance. These events may require you to save little by little. By putting your savings on autopilot with your Starship account you can sock away a small amount each month.