The US Postal Service just announced the latest increase in the cost of a stamp. They’ll go up 2 cents to 46 cents in January, a 4.5% increase. This, in an economy where deflation is the more prevalent concept over inflation and we’re seeing wages drop, not increase. Consider also, that in 2001 a stamp cost 34 cents and next year, it will be 46 cents, a 35% increase. While this averages out to a low single digit amount annually, it still seems to be well above the published government inflation rate and it’s evident such above-inflation increases will continue since the government is not known for keeping costs down. In fact, they’re projecting a multi-billion dollar deficit for next year even the increase.
Why Buy Forever Stamps?
The real reason the typical American should buy forever stamps (they were good forever at whatever price you paid when you bought them) is less financial and more of a practical matter: It’s simply a huge hassle to go out and buy those 2 and 3 cent extra stamps each time the USPS increase the postage rate! First of all, you’ve gotta remember to buy them, then you have to use them and match them up with your remaining old-denomination stamp, then you surely lose or throw them out when the new higher priced stamp comes into circulation. The answer is to simply buy the Forever Stamp. As I mentioned, since stamp increases continue to exceed inflation, it’s not like it’s a “bad investment”, especially considering what you spend on stamps annually.
How to save Money on Stamps
A common method I use for my stamp purchases is to simply buy them at the grocery store with our food at the checkout counter and use a cash back rewards card. It’s the only way to actually get a discount on stamps, rather than paying full price using cash or check. This type of transaction is part of my personal financial plan. Even at just 1% back, if you mail a fair amount of letters or even say, run a small business and utilize a ton of stamps, the combination of Forever Stamps and cash back will at least save you a few bucks a year for ZERO added effort. Little wins like that add up over time, no matter how trivial.