Rushing to save one cent per envelope


First class postage is going from 41 cents to 42 cents for a regular sized envelope on Monday. And the U.S. Postal Service is selling tons of "Forever stamps" to people who want to save a penny. I'm all for being frugal, but rushing out to buy special stamps that will save me a penny per envelope isn't high on my priority list. (Especially since I use so few stamps these days thanks to online bill pay.)

Since the Forever stamp was created, the USPS has sold about 6 billion of them. The stamps are sold at the current postage rate, but can be used at any time in the future. So you can buy them today for 41 cents each and still use them when the rate goes up to 42 cents or higher. And there are lots of people doing just that this week.

I guess it makes sense. That penny you save is 2.4% of the current postage rate. Depending on when you use a Forever stamp, that could be considered quite an investment. But I'm not impressed enough to go buy any. I probably mail about 5 envelopes a month. I'm not wasting my time going to the post office to buy special stamps just so I can save 5 cents a month. I'll leave the Forever stamps for the other postal customers who are excited about them.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.