The Leak: Not Taking Advantage of Flexible-Spending Accounts
The fix: Employers offer flexible-spending accounts that let you sock away up to $5,000 per household tax-free for medical expenses, which you can use for health-insurance copayments, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and even nonprescription drugs, such as aspirin. Estimate your needs carefully when open enrollment comes along. The IRS now offers a grace period of an extra 2½ months to spend the money, so you don't have to rush to spend it all by the end of the calendar year. You can also set up transportation-reimbursement accounts to save money on parking fees and bus and train fares―$2,460 for parking or $1,260 for transit. Just save your receipts and fax or mail them in with the required form and you'll get a check in the mail or have the reimbursement deposited into your bank account.
Savings: Vary depending on your tax bracket.