Royal Mail may increase stamp prices

post box

post boxThe cost of everyday essentials can soon add up if you don't budget for them.

And with the cost of living continuing to rise, Royal Mail has brought some unwelcome news for families by announcing plans to hike the price of second class stamps.

The national postal service is awaiting the outcome of a ruling by Ofcom which will decide whether it is given more freedom to set its own prices for first and second class stamps.

Under the plans, a second class stamp could go up from 36p to at least 50p from April, which could serve to further decrease the amount of letters we send each other nowadays, with text and email so dominant.

The number of letters delivered fell by 22 million between 2006 and 2010, with more customers are also opting to post second class, causing Royal Mail to lose £120 million last year.

Ofcom says the UK's first class stamp price of just 46p is among the lowest in Europe and has failed to rise in line with inflation for almost two decades. So maybe we're not getting such a bad return on our money?

A Royal Mail spokesman said the company was awaiting the outcome of Ofcom's consultation before announcing prices for 2012.

He added: "No final decisions have been made on stamp prices. We will of course inform customers of any changes to stamp prices as soon as we are able to."

If you're struggling to stretch your household budget this month, why not take a look at these top tips to save money?