The United States Postal Service will be charging you more to mail your letters and packages starting next week.
Unless you’re in the business of sending a lot of mail, most of us won’t really notice the postage increase from 44 cents to 45 cents to mail a letter starting January 22.
It’s certainly not worth rushing out to stockpile stamps.
But it does make you wonder if this increase is enough to help the USPS straighten out its finances. Many of us rarely mail anything anymore, preferring to pay bills online and finding ways to save on shipping.
Many companies are sending out less free samples and more coupons… or even skipping the mailing altogether by providing printable coupons and special offers online instead.
More magazines and newspapers are going digital. Greeting cards have gotten so expensive, that many people are looking for cheaper greeting card alternatives or skipping sending them altogether.
The way mail service is changing makes me feel a little nostalgic and sad. When I was a kid living in the country, riding my bike out to the mailbox was a highlight of my day. And now that I’m adult in the country, I still enjoy the walk, but there’s a lot less mail in the box.
I miss the sense of community at the town’s post office and knowing the mailcarrier by name. I miss getting handwritten notes from friends and family and the joy of sitting with a cup of cocoa and a new magazine.
I understand all of the reasons why sending communications electronically makes good financial sense. And I do my fair share of online bill paying and e-mail.
But I can’t help but miss the personal feeling of using the US Postal Service. The idea that someone took the time to write a letter, put it in an envelope, find a stamp, and drop it in the mail is uplifiting. To know that dozens of people handled that letter on it’s way to its destination, is amazing. Being able to hold onto that mail for a lifetime of memories, is precious.
No one sends letters anymore.
Maybe we should start.
A friend of mine from high school has a habit of sending someone she knows a handwritten letter every time she has to mail a bill. I like the idea of taking the unpleasant task of bill-paying and pairing it with a happy message to someone you care about.
That 45 cents could just be the best money you spend all week.