Alaskans finding ways to spend their PFD
It's the day many Alaskans have been waiting all year for. Thursday they woke up with some extra money deposited into their bank account. KTVA's Patrick Moussingac spent the day finding out how some Alaskans are finding ways to spend this year's $1,100 dividend.
Almost from the moment, the Best Buy store on Old Seward Highway opened for business, shoppers wasted no time splurging on the latest electronics. For some, like 13-year old Jayden Benson, it's Christmas in October and the sky is the limit. Well, at least a limit of $1,100.
"I'm hoping for a video game, and a new tv," said Benson as he was shopping with his father.
Robert Gutierrez was busy looking for things to buy in another aisle of the store.
"I'm gonna go buy myself a new truck. Get some pipes on it today. It's already planned out," Gutierrez said. "Put some subs (subwoofers) on it and probably going to get a new stereo too."
The Alaska Permanent Fund was created in 1976 when Alaska voters approved a constitutional amendment. Alaskans didn't start collecting dividend checks until 1982. However, for the past two years, the dividend has been cut roughly in half to help ease the state's budget deficit. First, by Governor Bill Walker, and this year, by the Legislature.
Christian Diaz, an 18-year-old from Anchorage has no problem receiving half a check.
"I'm okay with it just cause it's, I mean, you can't complain with what you get," Diaz said as he was shopping for a new car stereo. "It was given to us, and it nice that the state does that."
Bristol Bay resident Jason Ayojiak, who wasn't shopping at Best Buy, says he isn't happy about getting only half of his dividend.
"My family, they come first, so yeah, and I do have a son," he said. "So yeah it hurts."
Back at Best Buy, Anchorage resident Cherilee Demintieff was shopping for a computer monitor.
"It's better than getting nothing," she said. "It's way better than, sure, two grand, $2,200 would be nice, but you know it's definitely better than nothing."
Glass half full, or half empty, that's the $1,100 question. Thursday is the day Alaskans can debate it with a little more money in their pocket.
Below is a KTVA 11 News Facebook post with responses on how others are spending their PFD checks.