The time of year has come again when Alaskans are gifted the annual permanent fund dividend. Instead of splurging on the latest and greatest TV, video game, or vacation deal, here are ten ways you can spend your PFD on a healthier lifestyle.
- Re-Stock Your Pantry: Toss the old and expired foods, donate what you know you won’t consume before its expiration date and restock your kitchen with fresh, healthy ingredients. Replace what you can with higher quality or organic products to help improve and maintain your families’ good health through the holiday months. It might be wise to think ahead and set aside enough money for healthy, organic holiday feasts.
- Set up a home gym: Maybe you don’t have time or don’t like to go to the gym down the road; you’d rather just stay home to workout while watching Dancing with the Stars or being with your family. Take advantage of stores’ huge PFD sales and get that piece of equipment you’ve had your eye on. If you have a spare room you have been meaning to convert into your home gym, take some of your PFD money to get that work done.
- Medical Expenses: Have your kids had their flu shots; sports physicals? Copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses can be overwhelming. Set aside some of your PFD to pay off any unpaid medical bills, or prepare for the new years expenses. Having cash set aside for that trip to the Emergency Room could really come in handy.
- Plan ahead: Start setting aside portions or all of your or your kid’s PFDs for a college savings account. By the time your child is old enough for college there could be a good amount of money to help pay for college.
- New Bed: Has your back been aching? Are you always tired or feel like you aren’t getting good rest? It may be time for a new bed. Talk to your chiropractor about the type of bed or pillow that might best alleviate your sleep-related aches and pains.
- Relaxing Massage: The holiday season is right around the corner; avoid the stress this year by staying relaxed with a good therapeutic massage. Set aside part of your PFD for a good massage or two for you or your whole family. Relaxing and working out knots and tight muscles will help keep you and your family happier and healthier.
- Make Needed Repairs: Is there a nagging task around your house that you just haven’t found the cash to repair or do? Take care of that first before buying your new TV or video game console. Make sure your home life is comfortable, safe and ready for the winter. Take this money to winterize your house and cars.
- Pay for fall sports: Kids staying active through the fall and winter is very important for their mental and physical health. Assure that your kids can enjoy whichever sport they choose this fall by setting aside the needed money to cover the monthly expenses and gear. Sport clubs, teams and groups can get expensive pretty quick, so paying for them now assures that your kid can continue playing all year long.
- Ask your kids: Take this time of year to sit down with your kids and allow them to choose something to buy for themselves. Set rules that it must be something productive and something that promotes a healthy lifestyle. Talk with them about the importance of a healthy active lifestyle and help them learn to make good choices when it comes to their health. Maybe they want a new bike, or winter sporting gear.
- Join a Gym: Not all households have the room or desire for a home gym, so try out a gym membership. Get ahead of the holiday weight gain and worry by spending some money on those gym membership and enrollment fees, get yourself some great new workout clothes and sneakers so that you have no excuse not to utilize your new membership. Shop around find the best deal for what suits your needs.