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Alaska Chat for October

post #1 of 203
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. Can you believe September is gone?

PFD MONTH!!!
post #2 of 203
Back to the vitamin D discussion...

Its wise to supplement D in Alaska year round because we can't make it at our latitudes EVER. So unless you eat alot of raw fish or sea mammals (not reasonable), or drink a ton of fortified storebought milk (blech for so many reasons), or travel down south for substantial amounts of time... you.are.low. And vitamin does not travel well in breastmilk so your babes are likely low too. Low is less than 50 and you want to shoot for a level of 100. My two year old gets 2000 IU daily and I often take 50000 daily. D is important for hundreds of functions in the body, but especially for gut health and immunity and mineral absorption.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

YAY FOR WINTER!
post #3 of 203
subbing, thanks for the thread, Purity.
post #4 of 203
Re: vitamin D
there was a study that came out this summer that said that most kids in the country are vitamin D deficient (too much TV, too little time outside?!). I agree it's an issue here where we get so much darkness--and even when we have sun it's at such an angle that we don't get the full benefits--but I think vit D is becoming a concern all over the country.
post #5 of 203
am I the only person who has figured out what to do with every penny of the PFDs...three times over?! (Maybe it's because it's our first year getting them? Or do you do it every year?!)
post #6 of 203
Thread Starter 
Well, I've lived here since 2004, got my first PFD in 2005. My first child was also born that spring, my second child the next summer.

I don't remember what I did with my first PFD, but likely it went toward my auto loan and the rest into savings.

I opened up a CD and have deposited all my daughters' pfd's into that account. They have over $4000 already between the two of them. I'm not sure the exact amount since the account is in my mom's name for safe keeping (so my husband cannot withdraw it or talk me into withdrawing it).

That money is theirs and I plan on it being there for many years to come.

This year, my husband talked me into using all our PFD's to pay off our auto loan. There is $4000 left on our auto loan and we pay $275 a month on it. Other than our lot rent, it is our highest bill. It has the highest interest of any bill at 5.9%. So, looks like that will be gone.

My husband wants to get an eye exam and new glasses. He gets optical insurance for the two of us through his work (as well as dental, but not medical) and it covers the annual exam and a very small portion of the lenses and frames. We both just got exams last year along with new glasses. The last time I was examined and bought new glasses was 8 years ago and my prescription has barely changed. I think the eye exam and new glasses is a waste of time/money after only one year. Oh well.

The last two years, we prepaid our lot rent 6 months in advance scoring one free month. We won't be doing that this year. It actually made things more stressful having to not worry about rent *our largest monthly bill* for 6 months, then having to rework our budget and adjust our spending once we needed to start paying it every month again. So I'm glad we're not doing that again.

Other than our utilities, we have our credit card which is fixed at 2.9% interest and has about $5500 left on it from the $10000 it started at 4 years ago. That card is solely the place I put all my husband's bills that he had from before we met. It's all his debt in one place. Except $400 he has to pay off by the end of this year for something else.

We have a few stray medical bills as well. His last two trips to the hospital (Nov 2008 and Apr 009) were covered by Providence charity, but the other stuff (radiology, outside doctors, outside clinic, etc) are not covered, which is about $1200 or more total between them all.

Other than our auto loan being paid off right away, I know my husband will want to pay off his $400 debt and buy those darn glasses. I don't think there will be anything left after all that, and if there is, it will go toward medical bills. Nothing fun happening here with the money, that's for sure.
post #7 of 203
Ours will be gone soon too.

We put half of each kid's dividend in thier college account- so that's quite a chunk right there.. then I am paying 2k for a year's worth of karate lessons for them..

Dp and I need to pay down my one credit card bill... I was hoping to put 2k on it, but it might end up 1k so that we have some Christmas money (I need a new tree this year for one thing)
post #8 of 203
DD's usually gets put into savings. She has $4K in a CD right now and parts of others have paid for camps/karate/preK. This year the whole PFD will go to karate and will cover almost the whole year. DS is getting his first this year and it will go into a CD since we won't be paying for anything for him for about 2 more years.

My PFD will go into savings until we decide what we're doing with it (usually goes to plane tickets once a year). DH's will go into his account for our emergency fund.

As for Vit. D, DS, DD and DH drink plenty of milk (DD and DS organic whole). I drink a decent amount and take a prenatal.

Jenn
post #9 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabrog View Post
As for Vit. D, DS, DD and DH drink plenty of milk (DD and DS organic whole). I drink a decent amount and take a prenatal.
I love milk, and take a prenatal daily, but my D levels were still "abnormally low"... so now I add another 2000 mg of D per day. I think in my case it is because I go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark and spend the sunny parts of the day cooped up at work.

I HOPE it made a difference, but I haven't gotten "post" bloodwork done yet.. If I get a bfp soon, though, I will be doing the bloodwork stuff again since my progesterone was so low last time- and I am sure they will run that one again.
post #10 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
I love milk, and take a prenatal daily, but my D levels were still "abnormally low"... so now I add another 2000 mg of D per day. I think in my case it is because I go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark and spend the sunny parts of the day cooped up at work.

I HOPE it made a difference, but I haven't gotten "post" bloodwork done yet.. If I get a bfp soon, though, I will be doing the bloodwork stuff again since my progesterone was so low last time- and I am sure they will run that one again.
This was me. I was chronically low, no matter how many supplements I took. That is when my doc tried the tanning experiment. We've just discovered that my body does not absorb it well through ingestion, but I absorb it fantastically through topical measures. I think it's important to monitor your levels, and treat accordingly.

As for the PFDs. Ours always seem to just get thrown onto one debt or another and our daughters goes into her 529.
post #11 of 203
Vit D

Admitedly, I have never worried about this but maybe I should.
Is it just a simple blood test? I would like to have my thyroid checked so this can just be added to that.
What symptoms can we look for if we are low?


PFD ~
Well, we had to fight for ours again this year but once again we beat them and won! Ha! In your face PFD lady!
We are definitely buying a wood stove but just looking around for a good one that does not cost a fortune.

Started scouting for tickets to Hawaii and found some incredible deals! So who knows.
post #12 of 203
Vit D....We don't supplement. Just regular vitamins for the kids, and sometimes for me, and lots of sunshine. I breastfed all of them, and never gave D supplements. Don't know what their levels are, but they all seem to be pretty ok.

PFD...I must be the only one who doesn't put her kids' dividends into an acct for them. Wish we could, but the $$ goes to 1) pay the taxes associated with it, 2) heat the house, whether w/ wood or w/ heating oil, 3) buy healthier foods than we'd otherwise manage, 4) sometimes get us on a trip, and 5) help with other costs associated w/ parenting and a large family, such as new sheets, blankets, SOCKS (my goodness, they're expensive!), wanted but not necessarily needed items like arts materials, camps, etc.

Wish we could write the $$ off and stick it in a bank acct., but fiscally it just ain't happening. And we are VERY frugal.

love, p
post #13 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfamily6now View Post
Vit D

Admitedly, I have never worried about this but maybe I should.
Is it just a simple blood test? I would like to have my thyroid checked so this can just be added to that.
What symptoms can we look for if we are low?
I have no symptoms and I was "dangerously low" (whatever that means- that's what my doc said). Yes it was a blood draw, and I had it done at the same time they were checking my progesterone, so I don't see why they couldn't do it while checking the thyroid..
post #14 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
PFD...I must be the only one who doesn't put her kids' dividends into an acct for them. Wish we could, but the $$ goes to 1) pay the taxes associated with it, 2) heat the house, whether w/ wood or w/ heating oil, 3) buy healthier foods than we'd otherwise manage, 4) sometimes get us on a trip, and 5) help with other costs associated w/ parenting and a large family, such as new sheets, blankets, SOCKS (my goodness, they're expensive!), wanted but not necessarily needed items like arts materials, camps, etc.

Wish we could write the $$ off and stick it in a bank acct., but fiscally it just ain't happening. And we are VERY frugal.
I would love to bank the kids' money too, but like you it's not financiallly realistic right now. We have debt and expenses from having relocated this summer (stuff like having to buy all new beds because it was cheaper than moving the old ones we had). We figure as we clear debt it's giving us more money in hand each month (almost all of which will continue to go to debt until it's gone *sigh* but at least we'll make progress faster!) Hopefully a couple of years from now we'll be able to start banking some and then take the family to Hawaii for Christmas or something, but for now it's all bills bills bills...

How bad are the taxes on PFDs? I had totally not even thought about that
post #15 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icequeen_in_ak View Post
This was me. I was chronically low, no matter how many supplements I took. That is when my doc tried the tanning experiment. We've just discovered that my body does not absorb it well through ingestion, but I absorb it fantastically through topical measures. I think it's important to monitor your levels, and treat accordingly.

As for the PFDs. Ours always seem to just get thrown onto one debt or another and our daughters goes into her 529.
What kind of supplements were you trying?
I ask, because the body does not accept Vitamins that are not naturally occuring. Take for example, fortified milk.
The milk is highly processed, killing off the natural D ( as well as everything else) hence the need to fortify it with vitamins from a lab.
Due to laws that allow deceptive labeling, they can use the word natural, or naturally occuring.

Its the same with calcium in processed milk, or in things like tums. It cannot be assimilated by the body, because it is not in its natural state.
Most of what is clogging up arteries today, is unsaturated fats and processed or fake calcium.
Peer reviewed studies prove this, in case you are curious.

Our government stands behind fortified everything, and yet, tests are proving that this is not working, and in fact, is taking this backwards.

Going back to a more ancient way of eating and "supplementing" does wonders.
Raw milk, real cod liver oil ( not grocery store variety, with labels that say natural levels of vitamins) and stearing clear of fortified and processed, will usually solve deficiencies.

I had lots of winter problems, for several years after moving up here.
After making the above changes, all the problems disapeared!
post #16 of 203
Vit D - I got tested last winter and was at 24, I think...? So I supplement with fish oil and 5000 iu. caplets. I give the kids regular vitamins with D, extra calcium, and an extra 400 iu. D tablet. My 20-mo-old gets 400 iu. liquid. I tan a couple times a week, too. Helps with D, and my mild-to-moderate seasonal affective disorder.

I had my best winter ever, moodwise, last year, when I worked out 3-4 mornings/week, tanned 2-3x/wk, and kept up the Vit. D and fish oil!

PFDs- We tithe on them to our church, the kids get half of theirs in each of their savings accounts, and the rest is paying off our van!
post #17 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
How bad are the taxes on PFDs? I had totally not even thought about that
I pay someone else to do my taxes, but I thought that kids could earn up to $1500 per year before a tax was applied to the remainder above that amount.. so this year I don't believe they would get taxed on theirs (although they would have gotten taxed last year because the amount was larger) unless they earn money other ways in the year as well.

The college account we set up for our kids doesn't apply tax until the money is withdrawn, so the amounts for our kids is even less. We still file for them so there is a record (and yes, my accountant charges me more to file for the 6 of us rather than just the two of us, so there is some extra expense there), but I don't believe I have owed anything from my kids' pfds (well not since my stepson lived with us, and he had jobs as a teen- I remember paying a couple of hundred bucks on him one year...)

So mainly the pfd tax is what would come out of the adults' ones I think- and I am not sure how that is calculated.. it may be whatever tax bracket you are already in that would be the deciding factor on that.

We kind of got nailed last year on taxes- the pfds with the energy bonus were big- but the difference for us was getting back about 4k to getting back only 2k... I mean, we didn't owe, and that's good, but we usually get back much more than last year..
post #18 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
Vit D....We don't supplement. Just regular vitamins for the kids, and sometimes for me, and lots of sunshine. I breastfed all of them, and never gave D supplements. Don't know what their levels are, but they all seem to be pretty ok.

PFD...I must be the only one who doesn't put her kids' dividends into an acct for them. Wish we could, but the $$ goes to 1) pay the taxes associated with it, 2) heat the house, whether w/ wood or w/ heating oil, 3) buy healthier foods than we'd otherwise manage, 4) sometimes get us on a trip, and 5) help with other costs associated w/ parenting and a large family, such as new sheets, blankets, SOCKS (my goodness, they're expensive!), wanted but not necessarily needed items like arts materials, camps, etc.

Wish we could write the $$ off and stick it in a bank acct., but fiscally it just ain't happening. And we are VERY frugal.

love, p

I know! OMG, We have always wanted to save the kids PFDs but something always comes between us and savings.
post #19 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightonwoman View Post
I would love to bank the kids' money too, but like you it's not financiallly realistic right now. We have debt and expenses from having relocated this summer (stuff like having to buy all new beds because it was cheaper than moving the old ones we had). We figure as we clear debt it's giving us more money in hand each month (almost all of which will continue to go to debt until it's gone *sigh* but at least we'll make progress faster!) Hopefully a couple of years from now we'll be able to start banking some and then take the family to Hawaii for Christmas or something, but for now it's all bills bills bills...

How bad are the taxes on PFDs? I had totally not even thought about that
if I recall right, it seems to be around $150 per kid's PFD. We roll their money into our 1040 so we dont file a totally separate return for each child. With our tax refund, we have never had to pay out of pocket the taxes on the PFD.
We have not paid the taxes on the 2008 PFD as we got our's late. Which is totally gonna blow since we technically got 2 PFD's this year. And we will have to pay the taxes on last year and this year!

After reading pinoikoi's reply, I am not unsure. I though kids could make $800 tax free but up to $1600 with a low tax rate. Maybe they only got hit like $80 in taxes then?
It is not too bad but we usually get a return big enough to absorb this cost.
post #20 of 203
DS's pfd is going into an account for him. DH and I each get to buy one small "fun" item, and the rest goes towards buying tickets to WI for Christmas.

I can't even decide what my fun item is going to be.
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