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Keep in mind that the cost for a first class U.S. postage stamp is about to jump from 44 cents to 45 cents beginning Jan. 22.The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service announced the price hike back in the fall, desperate to start making up for its staggering $8 billion loss in 2010.
The extra cent on stamps won’t do much to help the struggling agency meet its bottom line, but every little bit counts. The last stamp price hike came in 2009. (Get ready for more junk mail, too.)
The USPS is still the only federal agency required to pay $5.5 billion annually into a medical benefits fund for future retirees.
“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said in a statement. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.”
If you’re grumbling about losing an extra penny, remember that you can still buy “Forever” stamps. They’re good at the current postal rate and can be used at any time, even after prices go up. (See the app that’ll end your junk mail woes for good.)
Here are the other price changes you can look forward to on Sunday:
—Postcards will jump from 29 cents to 32 cents.
—Letters to Canada and Mexico will increase by 5 cents to 85 cents.
—Letters to other foreign countries will go up from $0.98 to $1.05.