Stamp Price Increase Coming – Why to Buy FOREVER STAMPS and How to Save Money

by Darwin on July 6, 2010

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel July 7, 2010 at 8:29 am

I’m not sure it’s a great investment decision, although it is more convenient. I think that you could do a little better than a couple percent on your investment.

Assuming that there is a similar increase every 1.5 years, the return on your investment is about 3% per year. And for every stamp you lose…well that’s just bad news.


Darwin July 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Yes, this was certainly a convenience/money saving tip, not necessarily an “investment”, especially since it’s not like you’re going to buy thousands of dollars worth at a time. But surely, people waste a couple bucks a year each increase in lost stamps and trips to the store. Time is money…


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