Here’s Where to Buy Stamps for Cheap

Fewer people are sending items by mail these days opting instead for online bill pay, email and social media. But some prefer the traditional feel of mailing cards, bills or letters, or trust the postal service more than the internet with their correspondence.

If you use a lot of stamps, the cost can quickly add up. As of March 2021, U.S. Forever stamps cost 55 cents each. The great thing about Forever stamps is that they don’t list a value on the stamps themselves, so you can stock up and still use them even if the value of a Forever stamp increases.

But you can get postage stamps for cheaper than face value if you know where to look. Here are a few options to get you started.

Best Places to Buy Stamps at Discounted Prices

Buy Discounted Stamps on eBay

If you’re buying stamps in bulk, eBay can give you a great deal on stamps.

You’ll see hundreds of auctions on eBay for unused postage stamps. Like most eBay products, they’re cheaper than the retail price.

Most stamp auctions on eBay come in rolls of 100 Forever stamps. If you need that many, you can get them for as little as 40 cents. That’s a 27.3% discount on the retail postage rate.

Even if you don’t need 100 stamps, you could still save by going in with a friend (or several) and splitting the roll between you. If you have five friends who mail things, your cost for 20 stamps (the size of a book) would be $8 compared to $11 if buying directly from USPS.

On top of these savings, when you buy stamps (or anything else) on eBay, you can enroll to earn eBay Bucks on qualifying purchases.

Check Stamp Dealers For Discounted Postage

Stamp collecting is a big business. Dealers make a lot of their money buying and selling stamps from collectors, but they also make money selling mint stamps at a lower cost than their worth.

Stamp collectors often buy unique stamps when they come out, thinking they may become valuable someday. But often, they don’t grow in value, and the collector may sell stamps to a dealer at a discount. The dealer then sells these stamps to you, the consumer, at a low cost.

Buying stamps this way might mean you have to use several stamps of random value in order to get to the 55 cents required for regular postage, but it can save you money (and make for a unique envelope to the recipient of your mail).

Look for Deals on Amazon

At first glance, postage stamps on Amazon seem to sell for the same price as at USPS, and in some cases they are more expensive. But if you have patience, you can find good deals on stamps on Amazon.

For example, I stumbled upon a listing selling a roll of 100 stamps for $50.35 on sale, which works out at just over 50 cents per stamp, or an 8.5% discount.

You’re not guaranteed to find cheap stamps on Amazon, but if you can find them it might be worthwhile — especially if, like me, you have an Amazon credit card that earns you points on your purchases.

Sign Up for a Stamps.com Account

If you listen to podcasts at all, chances are you’ve heard of Stamps.com in an ad. They usually offer a free trial period that includes freebies like postage, so you can try out the service before paying for a subscription.

Stamps.com is currently offering First Class (i.e. Forever) stamps for 51 cents each, saving you 4 cents per stamp, or 7.3%.

Membership is $17.99 per month (plus applicable taxes), but that includes a free digital postal scale when you sign up, plus the four-week trial that includes $5 in free postage. You can cancel anytime, as there are no long-term contracts. If you do a lot of mailing and shipping, a subscription should pay off in the long run.

Check Out BuyDiscountStamps.com

Another online option is BuyDiscountStamps.com. You can get a roll of 100 stamps for $49.50, which works out at 49.5 cents per stamp, or 10% off retail price.

In addition to rolls, you can also buy sheets of 20 stamps for cheaper than at USPS. At the time of writing, you could buy a sheet of 20 Arnold Palmer-themed stamps for $9.90, which is also 10% off retail price.

BuyDiscountStamps.com advertises no taxes and free shipping on all orders.

Buy Stamps Directly from the Post Office

For smaller orders of stamps, buying directly from the United States Postal Service can be a good option. USPS also offers a wide variety of stamp designs, whereas buying them elsewhere usually limits you to the traditional American flag design.

USPS makes stamps in many different designs to celebrate holidays, public figures, seasons and more.

Buying postage stamps directly from the post office means you will pay the going rate for a Forever stamp, but it does give you more options than any other seller.

Buy Stamps at Other Retailers

The post office is the most obvious place to buy stamps, but it can be inconvenient. You can find postage stamps at full retail price at several different types of retailers that you probably frequent often, which can save you the additional trip even if it doesn’t save you money. Generally, anywhere that sells mailing supplies will also sell stamps.

Office retail suppliers such as Office Max and Staples usually sell stamps at retail price. In addition to office supply stores, you can buy stamps at the gas station, the UPS store, chain stores like Target and Walmart, pharmacies and grocery stores.

How to Save Even More

Rebates and rewards are two more ways to save money on postage stamps.

Check Rebate Sites

For additional savings, check Cashbackholic to find the best cash back deal when buying stamps through eBay. Those amounts vary from day to day.

Once you find the best rebate site, search for Forever Stamps on eBay through that site to earn your rewards.

At 5% cashback on that $40 auction, you’ll 32% on a coil of 100 Forever stamps. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that.

Use a Rewards Credit Card

This is one of the best deal-stacking tips. With a cash back credit card, you get money just for purchasing things you would buy anyway.

If your card offers 1% cash back, you’ll save an extra .4 cents per stamp on that coil of 100 Forever stamps, bringing your cost down to just 39.6 cents per stamp, or $39.60 for the coil.

That’s more than 15 cents savings per stamp — or, around the cost of a stamp in 2007.

You might not think to look for rewards and discounts on items like this, but think about the money — and hassle — you can save! How much first-class mail do you send each month?

One hundred stamps could go pretty far — you could be set up for months for about $40.

Catherine Hiles is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

Save Money and Time With a Loan From LendingClub

When you need a loan, finding one — and getting approved — can bring as much anxiety as the thing you need the loan for. Whether it’s for debt consolidation, medical expenses or big home projects, waiting weeks just won’t cut it. On top of it all, big banks may charge you insane rates after making you jump through qualification hoops.

There’s another option, though. If you need to borrow up to $40,000, a website called Fiona can help you get a loan through a company called LendingClub. You can save an average of $1,000 on interest payments1, plus, you could get your money in only a few days — talk about relief!

Fiona will also show you additional offers from other lenders — because comparing your quotes can help you save even more money in the long run.

How to Borrow up to $40,000 and Pay Off Debt Faster

Getting started is simple. The application process only takes a few minutes, and you’ll see your loan offers immediately. Once you choose your loan, you could see your money in just a few days.

It costs nothing to apply, and it won’t affect your credit score, either. And by the way, your information is totally safe — the website uses higher encryption security than many banks.

Interest rates with LendingClub start at 8.05% — way better than the 20% or more your credit card is charging you — and many people may actually improve their credit scores when they take out a personal loan and make their payments on time each month. These lower rates can save you an average of $1,000 in interest payments and help you pay off your debt faster.

If you have a credit score above 600 and need a loan, let Fiona find your offers in only a couple of minutes. You can get approved and see your money in just a few days.

1 On average, personal loans from LendingClub Bank are projected to be offered at an APR of 15.99% (based on loan approval amounts in aggregate) with an origination fee of 5.30% and a principal amount of $13,411 for loans with term lengths of 36 months, based on current credit criteria and an analysis of historical borrower data between September 2020 and October 2020. For credit card purchases made in October 2020, the average APR was 20.23%, according to publicly available information published by TheBalance.com. If you pay off a credit card balance of $12,700 with an APR of 20.23% over 36 equal monthly payments, you will pay $4,345 in total finance charges. If you obtain a loan with a term of 36 months and an amount financed of $12,700 (principal amount of $13,411 with an origination fee of $711) at 15.99% APR, you will pay $3,372 in total finance charges over the term of the loan, a savings of $973 as compared to the average credit card.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

It’s Financial Literacy Month! Brush Up on Your Money Smarts

What do you know about money?

Just enough to pay the bills? Are you puzzled at where all your money goes each month, or are you confident about the financial decisions you make?

April is Financial Literacy Month, a perfect time to reflect on your money knowledge — and build upon it.

Financial literacy, by definition, is understanding essential financial concepts and having the knowledge and skills to use money in a positive and effective way.

Financial Literacy Month evolved from Youth Financial Literacy Day, an awareness day created by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) over two decades ago.

NEFE passed the responsibility for promoting Youth Financial Literacy Day over to the Jump$tart Coalition, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving financial literacy. In 2000, the coalition expanded the one-day awareness to a month-long celebration. It later dropped the “youth” label, and Financial Literacy Month became a time for Americans of all ages to reflect on financial literacy.

In 2004, Congress passed a resolution designating April as Financial Literacy Month.

Although we, at The Penny Hoarder, want folks to learn more about money year round, we hope you’ll spend some extra time this month brushing up on your financial knowledge. You can start here!

6 Stories to Read During Financial Literacy Month

Check out the following articles to learn more about financial literacy and basic money concepts. Then test your knowledge with our financial literacy quiz.

Uncovering America’s Financial Literacy Problem

If you know enough about money to get by, you may be wondering what’s the big deal about financial literacy.

The Penny Hoarder conducted a survey of more than 1,500 adults in 2019 and found out that those who lacked financial literacy earned lower incomes and saved less money than those who grew up discussing money topics at home or in school.

Having a solid grasp on money concepts can have a real impact on your household’s financial bottom line — which is exactly why we champion increased financial literacy this month.

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Give the Next Generation the Gift of Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy Month is no longer just targeted to young people, but they stand to learn a lot about personal finance.

If you’re a parent (or have nieces, nephews, grandchildren or other children in your life), take the time to teach your kiddos how to use money wisely. Here is our guide for teaching kids about money management.

Once they know those basics, level up the lessons and teach them how to build wealth. Use these clever tricks to get your kids excited about investing.

Be the Boss of Your Money

Stop letting money slip through your fingers. Tell it what to do… with a budget.

A budget is your blueprint for how you want to use your hard-earned cash. Here’s a step-by-step guide to budgeting your money.

Become a Super Saver

Putting aside some of your income is great, but knowing how to accelerate your savings growth is even better.

Money that earns compound interest will result in more savings than just stashing cash under a mattress. But what is compound interest and how does it work? We explain.

Get a Handle on Your Credit Score

Your credit score is like a grade for how responsible you are when borrowing money. This score comes into play when you apply for a credit card, get car insurance and buy or rent a home — so it’s pretty important.

So how do you build up to a great credit score? These five factors are what matters when it comes to your credit.

Test Your Money Knowledge With Our Financial Literacy Quiz

1. True or false:

Learning financial literacy from an early age generally leads to earning more and saving more as an adult.

2. Children can learn about money management by:

A. Using money jars for spending, saving and giving.

B. Having an allowance.

C. Comparing the prices of items in the toy aisle.

D. All of the above.

3. Which of the following is an example of a budgeting method?

A. The 50/30/20 method.

B. The snowball effect.

C. The even-odd method.

D. The hexagon method.

4. Having a budget can help you with all of the following except:

A. Reducing frivolous spending.

B. Paying bills on time.

C. Negotiating your salary.

D. Reaching your financial goals.

5. True or false:

Personal finance is a required course at 87% of high schools nationwide.

6. Credit scores range from:

A. 0 to 100

B. 300 to 850

C. 200 to 600

D. A to F

7. When it comes to your credit score, this is the factor that matters most:

A. How much credit you qualify for.

B. The number of credit cards you have.

C. Making your debt payments on time.

D. Having a diverse mix of credit accounts.

8. Compound interest is:

A. Interest on interest.

B. What you get when you multiply the principal amount by the interest rate.

C. When your interest rate changes throughout the duration of the loan term.

D. Another term for simple interest.

9. This investment vehicle uses pre-tax dollars to grow your money:

A. Roth IRA

B. 401(k)

C. 407(b)

D. 529 plan

10. A fractional share:

A. Pays dividends 50% less often than whole shares.

B. Is only for minors who want to start investing.

C. Requires you to diversify the money you invest.

D. Makes it easy to invest small amounts of money.

Answer key:

(1) True (2) D (3) A (4) C (5) False (6) B (7) C (8) A (9) B (10) D

You’ve got 8-10 correct answers: You know your stuff! Hopefully you’re applying that financial knowhow in real life to build wealth. Join The Penny Hoarder Community to share your best money tips with others.

You’ve got 4-7 correct answers: You’re growing your money knowledge. Try to hone in on what stumps you the most. Credit and investing can be tricky. If you’ve got a personal money dilemma bothering you, send your questions to Dear Penny — our financial advice columnist — for some wise feedback.

You’ve got 0-3 correct answers: You’re in need of a financial literacy boost. Fortunately, The Penny Hoarder has tons of articles covering a variety of personal finance topics. Follow our social media pages (you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for frequently shared articles and money tips.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

The 13 Best Money-Making Apps of 2021

11. Stash: Spend $1 to Own a Piece of Amazon, Google or Other Companies

Take a look at the Forbes Richest People list, and you’ll notice almost all the billionaires have one thing in common — they own another company. 

But if you work for a living and don’t happen to have millions of dollars lying around, that can sound totally out of reach.

But with an app called Stash, it doesn’t have to be. It lets you be a part of something that’s normally exclusive to the richest of the rich — on Stash you can buy pieces of other companies for as little as $1.

That’s right — you can invest in pieces of well-known companies, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and more1 for as little as $1 through a Personal Portfolio2. The best part? If these companies profit, so can you. Some companies even send you a check every quarter for your share of the profits, called dividends.3 

And for investors who want to be more hands-off — or just don’t know where to start — there’s an option to have Stash create and manage a personalized portfolio for you. It’s called Smart Portfolio4, and it aims to diversify your investments based on your risk profile, then automatically updates your investments to keep you on track. 

It takes two minutes to sign up, and your investments are protected. With Stash, investments are held by their custodian, Apex Clearing Corporation, which is a third-party, SEC-registered broker-dealer and a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) — that’s industry talk for, “Your money comes with protection.”5

Plus, when you use the link above, Stash will give you a $5 sign-up bonus once you deposit $5 into your account.6

1This material is not intended as investment advice and is not meant to suggest that any securities are suitable investments for any particular investor. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value. All product and company names are trademarks ™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

2This type of account is a Non-Discretionary Managed Account. This includes a self-directed individual taxable brokerage account whereby Stash does not manage this account on a discretionary basis.

3Not all stocks pay out dividends, and there is no guarantee that dividends will be paid each year.

4This type of account is a Discretionary Managed Account. This is a taxable brokerage account that Stash has full authority to manage according to specific investment mandate. Diversification and asset allocation do not guarantee profit, nor do they eliminate the risk of loss of principal.

5To note, SIPC coverage does not insure against the potential loss of market value.

For Securities priced over $1,000, purchase of fractional shares starts at $0.05.

6Offer is subject to Promotion Terms and Conditions. To be eligible to participate in this Promotion and receive the bonus, you must successfully open an individual brokerage account in good standing, link a funding account to your Invest account AND deposit $5.00 into your Invest account.

The Penny Hoarder is a paid marketing partner of Stash. 

This information is for educational purposes only. Investment advice is only provided to Stash customers. All investments are subject to risk and may lose value

Source: thepennyhoarder.com

8 Things You Need to Know About May 17 Tax Deadline Extension

If you haven’t gotten around to filing your 2020 taxes yet, you just got an extra 32 days to submit your return. The IRS announced Wednesday that it will extend the April 15 deadline to May 17. For residents of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, the deadline had already been extended to June 15 due to the severe winter storm in February.

Accountants had urged the IRS to push back the deadline. Tax season didn’t start until Feb. 12, about two weeks later than usual. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed in the middle of tax season, and the IRS has yet to give guidance on some of its provisions, making for an extra complicated tax season.

7 Things to Know About the Tax Deadline Extension

So what does the tax extension mean for you? Here are seven things you should know if you’re trying to decide whether you should take advantage.

1. You don’t have to do anything to get the extension.
Like last year’s extension, which gave taxpayers an extra three months to file returns, this one is automatic. The IRS won’t penalize you as long as you file by May 17.

2. The IRS is still processing returns as usual.
If you’re getting a refund and you don’t need more time to get your return in order, there’s no reason to wait until May 17 to file. Same goes for if you know you owe money and you can afford to pay it. Most online returns are processed within 21 days, according to the IRS.

But whatever you do, DO NOT file a paper return. The IRS is still working through a monstrous backlog of 2019 returns submitted by mail. If you file on paper, you’ll likely be waiting for them to process your return for months.

3. Waiting to file could delay your stimulus money.
If you’re eligible for stimulus money and you haven’t received it, your 2020 tax return could be your ticket to cash. If you’ve never filed before and no one can claim you as a dependent for 2020, filing a return could get you $3,200: an $1,800 rebate recovery credit from the first two payments of $1,200 and $600, plus the latest $1,400 stimulus check.

Parents of children born in 2020 will also get more money for filing. Those little stimulus babies will qualify for an extra $1,100 credit from the first two rounds on top of $1,400 for the third payment.

4. You get more time to fund your IRA and HSA.
Tax day is the deadline for funding an individual retirement account, or IRA. That means you now have until May 17, 2021, to max out your Roth IRA or traditional IRA contribution for 2020. The limits for both 2020 and 2021 are $6,000 if you’re younger than 50 or $7,000 if you’re 50 or older.

Ditto on your health savings account or HSA. In 2020, individuals can contribute up to $3,550, while families can contribute $7,100. Those limits rise to $3,600 and $7,200, respectively for 2021. People 55 and older are allowed to save an extra $1,000 for each tax year.

You can still contribute for 2020 even if you’ve already filed. This is easiest if you’re funding a Roth IRA. Your contributions aren’t deductible, so you don’t have to report them on your return. It’s more complicated, though, with deductible contributions to a traditional IRA or HSA. If you’ve already filed, you’d need to submit an amended return to take advantage.

5. Your state taxes may still be due April 15.
If you live in one of the 41 states with income taxes, your state taxes could still be due April 15. Check your state’s tax agency website to see if your deadline has been moved.’

6. Freelancers still need to make estimated payments by April 15.
If you’re a freelancer or you have a side gig that doesn’t come with a W-2, you’re required to make quarterly estimated payments by Jan. 15, April 15, June 15 and Sept. 15. These deadlines haven’t changed, so plan to pay your freelancer taxes for Jan. 1 through March 31 by April 15, as usual.

7. Your deadline will still be Oct. 15 if you file an extension.
You can automatically get more time to complete your return by filing for a tax extension, but the regular Oct. 15 deadline will still apply. Keep in mind that an extension buys you more time to file, but it doesn’t give you more time to pay. If you owe taxes, you’ll start incurring penalties after May 17.

What Should You Do if You Can’t Afford Your Taxes?

If you can’t afford your tax bill now, be honest with yourself. Do you think your financial situation will be dramatically different in two months?

If the answer is no, it really doesn’t make that much sense to put off filing. You can submit your return, even if you can’t afford to pay anything. You can typically qualify for an IRS payment plan online in just a few minutes.

Regardless of when you file, just know that the penalties are much steeper for not filing than they are for not paying. Fail to file a return and you’ll be charged 5% per month plus interest, up to 25% of your bill. Fail to pay and you’ll pay just 0.5% (or 0.25% if you’re on a payment plan), plus interest, up to 25% of the balance.

The bottom line: Whatever you do, never try to hide from the IRS.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected].

Related posts:

https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/taxes/stimulus-child-tax-credits/

Class of 2020, Here’s How You Can Claim Your $1,800 Stimulus Check

8 Reasons You Could Get More Stimulus Money When You File Your Taxes

If You Got Unemployment in 2020, the Stimulus Bill Has a Tax Break for You

5 Things You Must Know About Biden Stimulus if You’re Unemployed

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Source: thepennyhoarder.com