How Far Should you Drive to Save a Stamp?… Rob writes –
The price of US postage stamps has been going up, but at 44 cents, they remain an amazingly good value.
Using a single stamp on a regular envelope, you can send your rent check to the landlord down the block, or to Florida.
The other day, stuck with some leftover Simpson’s stamps, I got to thinking, “What is the break-even point? At what distance is it cheaper to mail the check versus delivering it yourself in the car?”
It’s a fairly simple calculation. Take the price of gasoline and divide it by your car’s rate of fuel consumption to obtain your price per mile. For example, if gas is $4.30 per gallon, and your car gets 28 miles per gallon, your price per mile is $4.30/28 or 15¢ per mile.
Next, divide the price of a first class stamp by your price per mile (in this example 44¢/15¢) or 2.8 miles.
2.8 miles is the total distance you can drive for the price of a stamp, but of course, you will have to make a round trip, so the maximum distance driven to deliver a rent check should be half that distance, or 1.4 miles.
This would make an excellent question on a math test 🙂 Total cost of ownership of car, your time, etc, etc.