How to Calculate Postage Rates A first-class postage stamp cost just 3 cents in 1957 — around 16 times less than today. What gives? Yes, inflation has shot up since the '50s, but other factors influence the price of sending a letter, too. Here's everything you wanted to know about the cost of stamps — and how you can avoid expensive price hikes. How are Postage Rates Calculated? The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) uses stamp sales to pay all the people who make sure your letter gets to the correct destination. These people might include mail carriers, mail sorters, delivery drivers and postal staff. The USPS has more than 640,00 employees — that's a lot of people to pay! Email, social media and SMS have exploded in popularity. As a result, a fifth of children today have never even received a letter. Fewer people send letters in the mail, and fewer people buy stamps. This means less revenue for the USPS. So, the cost of stamps has risen. If you think sending mail in the United States is expensive, things could be a lot worse. NASA says it will cost an astronomical $17,427 to send a letter to Mars! What Affects Postal Rates? There have been a few legislative changes in recent years that have determined postal stamp rates. On Dec. 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) into law. Since then, postage stamp hikes happen more frequently — usually in May every year. So, it's always a good idea to stock up on stamps in April! There was another big change in 2013. Congress now requires the USPS to set aside $5.5 billion a year to cover the healthcare costs of future retirees. The USPS also needs to pay for postal workers' pensions. With the rising cost of postage showing no signs of slowing down, myMailHouse offers businesses a unique opportunity. Gone are the days of wondering if you bought enough postage for your letter. myMailHouse takes the guess work out of postage pricing. Simply visit mymailhouse.net/pricing/calculator, select the mail class, print type, number of pages and the destination zip code and myMailHouse will tell you how much it will cost to send your letter. Click here to find out more!