Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Time & Other Federal Woes

Conratulations on getting your taxes done and mailed (or soon to be mailed...right? Right?)!

Here's a tax joke for you to lighten the load:

The latest income-tax form has been greatly simplified. It consists of only three parts:
1. How much did you make last year?
2. How much do you have left?
3. Send amount listed in part 2.
Calculating taxes sucks and I'm glad it's over. Until next year. Ugh.

Wondering what to do with all the money the government owes you? Trying to decide on what to spend your hundreds and thousands of returned tax dollars that happen to be lying around? Can't think of anything exciting to blow your savings on? Look no further! Another federal institution already has plans for your hard-earned dough.

Postage rates will go up on May 11, 2009. Instead of paying 42¢ to mail an innocent little letter, (or say, an invitation or Save The Date) you will soon need to pay 44¢ for one ounce. This rate hike is going to be a headache for the next couple of months for those of us brides who plan to mail out RSVP cards which include postage. Why? Because the new 44¢ stamps won't be available until May 1 at the earliest. So our soon-to-be-mailed invites need a little extra tender loving care and thought from us before being gingerly dropped in the magic blue box.

Jake and I plan to mail out our invitations within the next week, and I have no idea when the guests will be dropping the responses in the mail. I add the additional 2¢ worth of stamps on our RSVPs and rest at ease knowing the Mayer-Stein guests have it easy, postally-speaking. It's not worth the 2¢ x 65 RSVP cards = $1.30 to worry about it. I suppose I could wait a few extra weeks, but once I get an idea in my head, it's hard to get it out. I want to get these things out already.

Another option is to use the Forever Stamp which costs 42¢ now, and will always be valid as First–Class postage on standard envelopes weighing one ounce or less, regardless of any subsequent increases in the First–Class rate. But hurry! Forever stamps are not available forever, rather only until--you guessed it--May 11, 2009. [For the mathematically inclined, enjoy an obsessive analysis of whether Forever stamps are worth stocking up on here and a simpler analysis here. The short answer = yes. And no. Depends who you ask.]

Unfortunately, this is not a viable or economic option for this blogger who ran out waaaaay early in the wedding planning process and snagged about a zillion (give or take) 42¢ love stamps while they were still available. I gasped when the Nice Post Office Lady calmly announced my total bill. Eek. Who knew you could spend so much on stamps? Alas, they sure are cute!My other option is to buy the 1¢ or 2¢ stamps to add to my 42¢ RSVP card, the combination of which can actually look pretty cool, unless you are a fanatic about matching colors/patterns etc., which I am not. So bring on either one Navajo Necklace:

Or two Tiffany lamps:
Or, if you really want to go hog wild, either one American Toleware or one Silver Coffeepot stamp will (more than) do the trick :

Especially, I suppose, if you have a retro-theme going...

Depending on your aesthetic sensibilities, rest assured, there lies a solution either here or at your nearest Post Office.
Luckily, I collect stamps, so whatever does not get used goes right into my super slick handy dandy stamp album.
So start spending those tax dollars, or go the technological route (evites, email, website RSVP) and stash your bills under the mattress for a rainy day. Which, hopefully, if you are planning an outdoor wedding like me, won't fall on your wedding day.
The good news? Some very cute, fun, and colorful 44¢ stamps on the horizon. Eat your heart out, post-May-1st-invite-sending brides:

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