The stamp, which features the Liberty Bell on it, will always cover the cost of mailing one ounce of mail in the United States, regardless of what you paid for it. So if you buy a Forever Stamp today at a cost of 41 cents, it will still work for mailing a letter years from now when postage is 79 cents per ounce. The idea is to eliminate the hassle of those 1 and 2-cent stamps you need every time the postal rate changes.
I won’t be stockpiling Forever Stamps. I mean, I may stash away one book, just… well, because. But I won’t be spending my tax refund on them, that’s for sure.
Here’s why: Since 1978, the postage rate has increased only 2.8 percent. This works out to a price increase of about .14 percent each year. Even if you put your money in a plain ordinary savings account, you will probably average 2 percent a year… put that same money in a good, growth mutual fund and you could be averaging a 7 percent increase or more.
You are better off saving your money than to sock it away in stamps. Your money will be relatively safe in a savings or money market account, whereas the stamps could get lost, stolen or destroyed before you can use them.
Another reason to forgo stockpiling Forever Stamps involves the ever-changing technology world. More and more companies are encouraging people to sign up for online bill pay. Most banks have an online banking option, too. I know that I save approximately $30 each year using the internet instead of stamps to pay bills and complete transactions. This is a trend I expect to see continue, especially as postage rates increase and people seek to conserve our resources.
I know that somewhere there is a guy out there with 500 books of Forever Stamps in a fire-proof box just waiting to make his fortune on Ebay some day.
But I think I’ll stick with the good ol’ savings. It just makes more cents.