stamps http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1741/all en-US New Postal Rates Are Coming, Should You Stockpile the Forever Stamp? http://www.wisebread.com/new-postal-rates-are-coming-should-you-stockpile-the-forever-stamp <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-postal-rates-are-coming-should-you-stockpile-the-forever-stamp" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/forever.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On May 12th, 2008 the United States Postal Office will be raising the following postal rates:</p> <p>• First class mail one ounce or less: Up one cent to 42 cents<br />• Post card: Up one cent to 27 cents<br />• Large envelope, 2 ounces: Up 3 cents to $1.<br />• Certified mail: Up 5 cents to $2.70<br />• First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico: Up 3 cents to 72 cents<br />• First-class international letter to other countries: Up 4 cents to 94 cents</p> <p>Going forward, the postal service will also adjust the rates every May according to inflation rates. They only have to give a 45 day notice as long as the changes are within the rate of inflation for the previous 12 months. As a result, millions of people are stocking up on the Forever stamp, which is currently priced at 41 cents. The Forever stamp&#39;s cost also rises to 42 cents on May 12th, but Forever stamps purchased at the 41 cent rate can still be used as a first class one ounce stamp without adding postage.</p> <p>So should you grab as many of these stamps as you can? Well, I think it really depends on how much postage you spend in a single year. If you are only an occasional mail customer like me then purchasing Forever stamps will only save you a few cents a year. However, as Julie Rains points out, you can use the Forever stamp as a 42 cent stamp on mailings costing over 42 cents so stacking the stamps on more expensive mailings could save you a little more. For example, international rates are going up 4 cents to 94 cents so it is possible to use 2 Forever stamps and a 10 cent stamp to cover that cost. The problem with stacking Forever stamps is that it takes a lot of time to save a few cents. </p> <p>I read a story sometime ago about a man who purchased <a href="http://foreverstamps.com/2007/man-buys-8000-worth-of-forever-stamps/" target="_blank">$8000 worth of Forever stamps </a> as an investment, and I thought that was rather silly because it is probably better to just put that money in a mutual fund or even money market. For the past 36 years postal rate hikes have been lower than the inflation rate. Since the whole point of investing is to beat inflation, betting on Forever stamps is not a very good strategy. Going forward, since President Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006, it is guaranteed that postal rates will not go above an inflation-based ceiling. </p> <p>Basically, I think that buying too many Forever stamps is probably not a good idea. They are easily destroyed or lost and you cannot deposit them like money. You could easily estimate how many letters you send a year, and multiply that number by five and ten. That would be the max number of Forever stamps I would buy because you would be set for five to ten years. I am sure most of us probably do not need more than a few hundred stamps. Now if the government introduces a Forever gas stamp that guarantees a gallon of gas for today&#39;s price, then I would definitely stock up $8000 of that stamp.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xin-lu">Xin Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-postal-rates-are-coming-should-you-stockpile-the-forever-stamp">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">The Real Value of Forever Stamps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-proverbs-about-money-and-personal-finance">Chinese Proverbs About Money and Personal Finance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance General Tips information investment money postage stamps Tue, 29 Apr 2008 07:41:56 +0000 Xin Lu 2049 at http://www.wisebread.com Does the Forever Stamp Make Cents? http://www.wisebread.com/does-the-forever-stamp-make-cents <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/stamp_small.jpg" alt=" " width="255" height="169" /></p> <p>The United States Postal Service <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/03/AR2006050301039.html">announced</a> that they may issue a &quot;forever stamp&quot; - 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 <a href="http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2006/05/the_forever_sta.html">much smarter than me</a> out there to <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/02/27/usps-announces-the-forever-stamp-is-it-worth-your-039/">crunch the numbers</a>.</p> <p>I tend buy stamps in bulk and then get seriously irritated when the rates go up a couple of years later and I&#39;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!</p> <p>However, according to <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/02/27/usps-announces-the-forever-stamp-is-it-worth-your-039/">The Simple Dollar</a>:</p> <blockquote><p class="blockquote">In other words, when the “forever” stamp goes into effect, <strong>buying a bunch of stamps just before a rate increase is a very effective way to save money.</strong> 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 <em>not</em> a good investment. </p> </blockquote> <p>You can use and inflation calculator to determine the buying power of a any money from past to present <a href="http://www.westegg.com/inflation/">here</a>. </p> <p>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&#39;t paid my mortgage like I always did.</p> <p>Random, slightly pointless, and obscenity-filled rant about cent-stealing stamp machine at the post office, anyone?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-the-forever-stamp-make-cents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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