The U.S. Postal Service ended 2005 with a record sixth consecutive year of growth and wiped out its debt. But beginning Monday, the cost of postage will go up anyway.
Mother Nature could have played a role with a rash of hurricanes in 2005, but mainly the operating costs are rising. Specifically, scanning the mail for safety.
"Also, the cost of operation is going up. The hurricanes along the coast cost the postal service money, and the Anthrax (screening) cost the postal service money," said Howard Mosley of USPS.
The rate hike is across the board. It will cost one cent more for post cards, two cents for regular stamps, and even more as you choose the more premium services.
"It will affect all classes of mail, from standard all the way up to Express Mail," Mosley said.
Not everyone is happy about the increased cost. Some people say that the level of service they are receiving is already overpriced.
Sherreaka Armstrong said she was expecting a package from a relative before Christmas, even after the new year, and it still hasn't arrived.
"I really didn't expect the stamps to go up. Not to be 39 cents. But since I can't do anything about it, I guess I have to deal with it," said Armstrong.
The postal service delivers more than 46 percent of the world's mail, equal to some 206 billion letters, advertisements, periodicals and packages a year. If you have a booklet of 37 cent stamps, two cent stamps will be available, so they don't go to waste.