Every year in October, every registered Alaskan get’s what’s called a PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend). You have to live in Alaska for one full calendar year (or be born in that year) before you can apply for it, and you have to apply for it every year, but once you do and you become eligible (living here makes you eligible- pretty simple) you get a PFD every year. Everyone in the family, even children. Joshua and Lucas both get one, even though Joshua hasn’t lived here a full calendar year, he was born in the year 2010.
I honestly don’t know too much about it since this is our first year receiving it. Actually, there’s a good chance I’m not going to be getting one at all this year because there is no proof that I moved here before the start of 2010. We moved up in November 2009. My husband has his proof from his employment but I don’t have anything with my name on it that says “I have the intention of staying in Alaska.” Apparently saying that I’m moving and living with my husband and child(ren) doesn’t count. I didn’t get a job or buy a house until 2010.
*** Update: Just found out I got denied. 😦 So lame!
On Tuesday, our governor announced that this years was PFD was $1,174. Apparently the lowest since 2006 and $107 lower than last year.
“Each person’s share of the state’s vast oil wealth was announced with much fanfare in Anchorage Tuesday, with Gov. Sean Parnell ripping open a gold-colored envelope to reveal the number. This day is so widely anticipated in Alaska that the announcement of the Permanent Fund Dividend amount was carried live on television statewide, and dozens tuned in to watch a live webcast by the governor’s office.
That is $1,174 per person, even children.
There can be a lot of controversy with the Alaska PFD. If you read comments on news articles, people are auguring about what they are going to spend the money on, or that they money isn’t enough, or that we should “cash out” now in case the oil production does decrease too low. Some people have a good point, in mentioning that we get this money every year, yet our food prices our much higher than most of the other states. (Which it is. If you want to eat healthy in Alaska, it’s going to cost you a penny or two.) But I have to wonder, I mean, every state has their pros and cons and every state has things that are more or less expensive than others. I feel like if you choose to live here, then cool. Take the money and stop complaining about it. If you don’t like it, move.
It makes me wonder why there are so many homeless people if we are giving out free money every year. I wonder if the homeles people register for it and get it? I wonder if people have more kids so they can get more money? Or, I wonder if some people move to Alaska just because of the free money?
It’s very interesting.
Anyways – it can be kind of confusing. Like I said, I don’t know a whole lot about it, other than we receive money each year because of the amount of oil we have. (Whatever that means.) This is our first year receiving the money, so it’s pretty exciting. Joshua, Lucas, my husband and hopefully myself will all be getting a check next month.
Now the question is, what do you spend the money on??
I’ve talked to and asked a lot of people. Some spend the money right away, some save it or spend it on bills, vacations or Christmas presents. (They are smart giving out money right before Christmas, huh?) I know a lot of people use it for daily things like buying food or buying winter gear. Putting it towards the mortgage, putting it towards a car payment, stuff like that.
We’ve already decided that Joshua’s and Lucas’s check will go into their own account. Personally, I feel like it’s their money, it should go in their account. I have thought about maybe spending part of it towards a family vacation or something like that, but I’m still not sure about that.
My husband’s check, and mine too (when/if I get one) will go into savings. It will probably be divided up evenly between our general savings account, savings for our family vacation next year and to my husband’s classes for getting his Masters in school. That is at least our plan for now. After all, we don’t know how else we’re going to pay for his school and plane tickets, so this seems like a pretty good thing to do with the money!
I know this is a total personal choice, but I’m curious if you would like to share…. What are you spending your money on and your children’s money on? If you don’t live in Alaska, what do you think you would do with the money?? Save it, spend it, put it towards bills, use it towards Christmas presents?? Do you think this is interesting that Alaskan’s get money like this every year? Crazy? Bad? What are your thoughts?!