postage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6745/all en-US The Real Value of Forever Stamps http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/forever%20stamp.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;m horribly unorganized to the untrained eye.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;m a &ldquo;stacker&rdquo;, which means that while I know the general vicinity of any given piece of paper, it must be culled from a heaping pile of similarly-group items before I can use it.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s my own method of organization, one that gives my husband the heebie-jeebies.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It&rsquo;s also the reason that just recently I&rsquo;ve vowed to forever and always purchase the forever stamps.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">What are forever stamps?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>For those who don&rsquo;t know, they are first-class postage stamps that never decrease in their supposed value.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If I buy them today at 42cents, they are good for first-class letters.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If I keep them until the price of sending the letter goes up to 43cents, they are still good for first-class letters &ndash; no need to hunt down those pesky penny add-on stamps to legitimize my mailing.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Are they a good investment?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>There&rsquo;s much debate to this topic.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Financial experts claim that it&rsquo;s an investment better made in something else (like <a href="../../../../../../huge-tax-free-investment-returns">canned goods, maybe</a>?)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I agree that postage stamps probably <a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2166475">won&rsquo;t be the next big investment vehicle</a>; they only earn you something when you don&rsquo;t use them, and then the price of postage goes up enough to justify buying scads of them in the first place.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you&rsquo;re not a heavy mailer, you&rsquo;ve really saved nothing.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">But if you are a hopeless paper-collector (like myself), they may have a value above and beyond what can be measured by your annual postage budget.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>There is a certain &ldquo;I did it again&rdquo; factor that can be completely avoided by buying these puppies.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Here&rsquo;s how it works:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I am searching frantically for a stamp.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Any stamp will do.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(It doesn&rsquo;t have to have Disney princesses or the latest wildlife habitat to tickle my fancy.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It just has to be worth 42 cents.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The mail is arriving in 10-20 minutes, and since I&rsquo;m located 6 miles from the nearest civilization, I&rsquo;m hoping to find precious postage that will keep me from having to make the drive to town.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Back in the golden days, I could put an unstamped letter and pocket change right in the mailbox, and my postman would mail it for me.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>After finding a crumpled-up sheet of stamps, I realize that I don&rsquo;t know how much they are worth.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They simply say &ldquo;First-Class&rdquo; but don&rsquo;t have a monetary value printed on them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I head to the USPS website and do a search on their online store for a stamp that looks like mine, only to find that it is worth 41cents (or possibly even 40cents.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I continue rummaging through my files to find a 1cent stamp that I remember buying just a few months ago.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Nothing.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Why o&rsquo; why didn&rsquo;t I just buy forever stamps?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>(Or maybe you&rsquo;re wondering why I don&rsquo;t put my stamps in a special place where I can always find them.)<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Since it&rsquo;s easier to change one purchasing habit than it is to reprogram my filing style, I have vowed to do just that.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>There is one catch:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Some post offices are reluctant to sell them.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They won&rsquo;t deny them to you.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They just won&rsquo;t offer them, either.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Similar to other forms of cheap postage (like parcel post), they won&rsquo;t suggestively sell this budget-friendly option.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>When I ask to buy a book of stamps, they whip out the beautifully-rendered holiday nutcracker stamps or my weakness, the Jim Henson Muppets series.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I usually don&rsquo;t even consider asking for &ldquo;forever stamps.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">But all that will change.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>While many New Year&rsquo;s Resolutions involve vows to eat less carbs, I&rsquo;ll promise myself to always buy forever stamps.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It will save a few pennies here and there, but it will also save some face.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>I&rsquo;m investing in my self-esteem here.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-value-of-forever-stamps">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/tips-for-increasing-your-financial-literacy">Tips for Increasing Your Financial Literacy</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Life Hacks Budgeting General Tips Investment forever stamp investment postage Tue, 06 Jan 2009 15:27:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2711 at http://www.wisebread.com 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="/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-2"> <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/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> <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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</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/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</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