Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Yay, Dividends!

If you're a resident of the State of Alaska, you know that the Permanent Fund Dividends were deposited today for early bird applicants.


The Permanent Fund was established through a constitutional amendment approved by Alaska voters in 1976. The constitutional amendment and its supporting statutes set aside at least 25% of certain mineral revenues paid to the State for deposit into a public savings account to be invested for the benefit of the current and all future generations of Alaskans. Part of that is given to each eligible Alaskan Resident every year. I've been getting them since they started.

"They" try to take it away from us from time to time, wanting that money for more government. So far the voters have always given them a resounding no. I do wonder about our elected officials who can't remember the definition of "permanent". Maybe they're thinking about hair treatments.

Anyway, Regular Readers here know that money's tight for my family. Sure, lots of Alaskans use the PFD's to make major purchases, but a lot of people use them to keep their heads above water. Unfortunately it's easy to fall into the habit of making purchases and saying "We'll just pay it at Dividend time." I'm pleased to say I've broken that habit.

With our PFD's we're making necessary repairs to Hubby's vehicle (about $900, but the thing will last another 5 years when we do), and we paid off some high-interest debt we had floating around. Then we have a nice little chunk left over for a bill buffer, so I no longer have to carefully time when I pay bills with when the paychecks hit. That alone is going to take a huge amount of stress off me. I hate paycheck to paycheck bill juggling.

Of course, as soon as Murphy knows you have money something will happen. You know, never mention in your vehicle that you've got extra money, it will find a way to burn it up. So far I think we've got it under control (please don't tell Murphy!).

But we can't help wanting to get us a goodie. We work very hard to live within our means, and that means not getting "gimmees". But being frugal is like dieting. If you don't treat yourself now and then you'll blow it all in a splurge.

We've grasped new monitors for our PFD treat. These are about 5 years old and mine's starting to loose color quality. Naturally we want the new fancy LCD monitors. We picked a budget, and a couple of 17" would fit... so naturally we are gazing longingly at the 19". And bigger.

My tech friends have recommended a couple of brands, and so far no one has reported a bad experience with any particular brand. The major recommendation is to buy the 3 year warranty as pixels can and will die on the monitor. The major measure of quality seems to be response time. Since we play high-end internet games, we want something zippy, like 8ms response time.

We'll see what happens, we're still bargain hunting! But I want to wait, just a little, to make sure that Murphy doesn't figure out we've got money...

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