Does the Forever Stamp Make Cents?
The United States Postal Service announced that they may issue a "forever stamp" - that is, a stamp that you can buy now, at a given price, that will be good into eternity. Like all hedging, this sounded like a good idea at the time, but fortunately, there are people much smarter than me out there to crunch the numbers.
I tend buy stamps in bulk and then get seriously irritated when the rates go up a couple of years later and I'm forced to buy all those one and two-cent stamps to supplement my original purchases. So, on the surface, the forever stamp sounds like a good deal - spend $0.41 per stamp today for hundreds of stamps, and those stamps will be good for as long as they can still stick to an envelope!
However, according to The Simple Dollar:
In other words, when the “forever” stamp goes into effect, buying a bunch of stamps just before a rate increase is a very effective way to save money. You can easily outpace inflation with this “investment” and even outpace a lot of other investments, including money market accounts. Of course, over a longer period of time (a period of two stamp rate increases or more), the price increases begin to match inflation, and that’s not a good investment.
You can use and inflation calculator to determine the buying power of a any money from past to present here.
Does anyone even buy stamps anymore? I try to do all of my bill paying online, since the last time I paid my mortgage with an actual paper check, the bank had no idea what to do with it, and called me, asking why I hadn't paid my mortgage like I always did.
Random, slightly pointless, and obscenity-filled rant about cent-stealing stamp machine at the post office, anyone?