When I was in kindergarten, I remember taking a shiny quarter to school one day. I was so excited. That was the day we got to write our moms and dads letters about how much we loved them and what we were learning in school. Of course, this was a couple of decades before instant communication techniques such as email and text messages.
I remember I got the quarter for postage from my brother who is ten years older than I am. I made him PROMISE not to tell mom and dad that I was writing them a letter because it was a surprise. I remember waiting almost impatiently for my parents to acknowledge my letter. It made my day when my message got the most prestigious award offered by my house: a spot on the refrigerator door. Paper 2 cents. Envelope 3 cents. Postage stamp 25 cents. Having your letter showcased on the refrigerator door: priceless.
There’s something about receiving a letter that to this day is so very special. It is even more so special now than it was in the past. Knowing someone somewhere took the time to write you a letter is … wonderful. However, these memories are coming with a continually increased price. 2017 is no exception – postage rates are going to rise to 49 cents. Let’s explore some ways to mitigate your exposure to continually increasing postage prices.
What This Means For International Mail
As Canadians, what affects the U.S. typically affects us too. Being their closest neighbor and trade partner, many political decisions they make affect us significantly. Even when something as small as a postage stamp goes up in price, we see an adverse impact on our economy. For example, every year millions of Canadians send postcards and letters to friends and family living in the United States. Similarly, millions of Americans communicate these same well wishing to their families who live in Canada. Every time there is a slight postage cost increase, some goods traded between private individuals goes down equally slightly.
That’s why we suggest everyone pick up the new Forever postage stamps. They are super convenient and pack a ton of value. Which is a great segway into our next section!
Forever Postage Stamps
I have a friend that is a lot cheaper than I am. When the forever postage stamp first hit the market, she bought them up like they were going out of style. I told her she was nuts – who spends $400 on postage? She retorted that I was the one who was nuts for not snatching up some of these attractive investments. She looked me square in the eye and said “Megan – do you ever think postage will go down? Think about it. Postage is only going up. For me, they will stay the same.”
She had a point. If you are reading this on Sunday, May 10th – it’s too late to snatch up some Forever Postage Stamps at the 42 cent price. However, buying the forever postage stamp at 44 cents may not be such a bad thing. Click here for a list of locations where you can purchase stamps.
Send Correspondence via Email
I try to send all the messages I can via email. Right now, it’s free. Plus it’s so easy. I spend all my time at a computer writing or working, so taking three minutes to type up a quick email is convenient. Of course, receiving a letter is always appreciated so I will send cards or letters for special occasions.
Pay Your Bills Online
When I first started dating my husband, he still paid all his bills the old-fashioned way. He would write out the checks, attach them to the remittance advice, put them in an envelope, slap a postage stamp on them, and drop them off at the post office. I begged him to try online bill pay, but he liked doing it his way. He got super busy with work one time, and I had to write out his checks and get everything around. He had to sign the checks because we weren’t married yet. He forgot to sign half of them, so he sent off a bunch of unsigned checks that weren’t even written by him. Lucky for us, they still cleared the bank. However, this could have been a costly error.
We got married. I introduced him to bill pay. To date, we never mail any of our bills. If a vendor doesn’t have a website, we just use our bank’s bill pay service. You can even set up your bill pay to send out bills on their due date. What a wonderful thing! We estimate that we save at least $100 per year in postage costs alone.
This isn’t the first time our postage rates have increased – and I can guarantee you that it certainly won’t be the last postage increase, either. You can mitigate your exposure to high postage by buying forever stamps, sending email, and paying your bills online. Honestly, the postage rate increase won’t affect me too awful bad. I have only posted about five letters this year, and three of them were mother’s day cards.