If you’ve always been baffled with the idea of how to fill out a check, then this guide is for you.
Every morning, Jack asks Alexa to brew his coffee. He then signals the thermostat to lower the temperature and asks Cortana about his appointments today. He suddenly remembers that he had to pay the plumber. He draws out his checkbook and starts filling it out. While he lives among the latest tech performing all his tasks, Jack keeps a checkbook because it gives him a sense of security and convenience than that of the advanced payment methods.
Writing a check is one of the most common methods of payments used across the globe. This manual method of payment is still a critical part of the financial system. While the idea of digital cash is taking over the world, most people still struggle when they come across a situation where they need to write a check and hand it over.
As intimidating as the task sounds, it’s quite easy once you get familiar with it. Like Jack keeps using tech and traditional methods alike, we’re here to show you how you can still live in the modern world and figure out how to fill out a check without embarrassing yourself in front of anyone. In this complete guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about filling checks to taking the necessary precautions about it. So, let’s start with why you need to learn to write checks.
Why Should You Learn To Write A Check?
The reason why people use checks is that it gives them a sense of control. When you write a check and sign it personally, it means that you are aware of funds in your account. These checks also help companies document the payments in ways that may not be supported by several advanced mechanisms.
Writing checks allows you the convenience of ditching the cash. For instance, if you have to pay the plumber like Jack and haven’t got the money on you, you can simply write a check. Once you have handed it over, but if you think you committed a mistake, you can stop the payment process at any stage.
In case of personal checks, these offer a way to discipline your expenses and can help you overcome the cash-spending craze. On a relevant front, learning how to fill out a check gives a peek into your financial knowledge. The more you are aware of how finance methods work, the better you will be able to plan your budget, expenses, savings, and debts.
However, here are a few more advantages of checks that make them essential:
- Checks can be safer when crossed
- One can draw checks at any time
- Fewer risks are involved
- Checks can also be post-dated
- They can also be tracked, if lost
- The customer is provided a statement for the checks he has used.
Since learning to write checks can leverage several advantages, the account holder should be aware of the disadvantages, which are listed below:
- Checks hold no value if your account has no funds
- These are not legal tenders, and some creditors might not accept them
- Checks are unsuitable for small transactions
- You may have to pay back charges if you run out of checks
- People without bank accounts might find crossed checks inconvenient
Where To Get A Checkbook?
To know how to fill out a check begins with your checkbook. If you’re an account holder, you are automatically eligible for a checkbook. Your bank will provide it to you for free. You may also find cashier checkbooks that retailers like Walmart or Costco offer. While you can also get custom checks online, we suggest you go with the one provided by the bank, because they are secure and authentic.
How To Fill Out A Check In 7 Steps
There’s no big secret on how to fill out a check, nor is there a rocket science. All you have to do is to note the number of fields that you have to fill. Here is a step-by-step method of writing a check, because it could be nerve-racking at times. Knowing how to fill it will give you confidence by the next time you have a blank check in hand.
- Notice The Check Number
The number you see at the lower right of the check is the check number that indicates the check’s usage and purpose. In case if something goes wrong, the check number allows you to track the payment. You can tell the bank to cancel or stop the payment using the same number.
- Enter The Date
The date is located on the upper right hand corner of the check. You need to jot down the date on which you’re writing the check. Make sure you enter the date in the correct format because sometimes such details could slip out of the mind if you’re not paying attention. Make sure you’re entering the present date as a date in the future might create trouble for the receiver.
- Add The Name Of The Recipient
The name of the payee comes next. It could start with something like ‘pay to the order of’ with a line where you’ll enter the recipient’s name. You only have to fill the first and last name of the person or the name of the company you’re depositing funds to. Be sure that the name you input is correct as a misspelled name can be the reason for a check bounce.
- Write The Amount You’re Paying In Numbers
It’s a box on the top right of your check. You only have to write the numbers. For instance, $5,500. Sometimes, the dollar sign is already present, so you don’t have to write the numeral correctly. Also, just be sure to double-check the amount you wrote, where you may match the digits with the words you wrote for the payable amount.
- Fill The Amount You’re Paying In Words
Since you’re writing the numbers, why is it necessary to rewrite that in a different format? This part may be a bit weird, but it’s mostly there for security reasons. If you’re writing a dollar amount in words, the amount in cents should be written in fractions. For example, if you’re paying $800.50 for your rentals, you’ll write it as ‘Eight hundred dollars and 50/100.”
- Add The Purpose
The purpose of the check entails what it’s about. It could also be presented as an optional memo line that is present at the bottom left of the check. Since it’s optional, leaving it blank won’t have any effect on your check’s credibility. To be precise, it’s a better idea to write a brief description of the purpose of the check so the recipient may know.
- Sign The Check
The line at the bottom right is where you will leave your signature. It’s an indication that after you sign, you are bound to pay the written amount to the recipient. Make sure that your sign your name correctly and that it should match the one you have on your identity records. It’s also a good idea to have a consistent sign, so you don’t have any doubt when signing.
Things To Consider After Writing A Check
As much as these checks are convenient, these can be dangerous if you’re not taking precautions. You may first consider keeping it in a safe place. Rendering the security concerns, never write a blank check. Always make sure you are filling the amount and the payee to avoid inconvenience.
If you’re managing your budget, we suggest you use the checks sparingly, while you can use other payment methods like cash or card. Relatively, if you are filling a check, use a pen, not a pencil. We strongly recommend that whenever you opt-out a check, keep carbon copies of the check you filled and keep the record in a file. If something goes wrong, you will have a record to look into.
Knowing how to fill out a check is a handy method that guarantees secure payment when done correctly. While today’s world has Alexa and voice command, you can still use checks in a variety of situations. You only need the right guidelines and precautions like the one mentioned above.
There’s also another way you can use to keep track of your jobs. You may use a professional budget tracking app like My EasyFi as your electronic cash register to never miss a date before. This will help you stay on track with your due dates.
So, would you like to use paper checks in today’s electronic world? If yes, let us know your way of how to fill out a check your technique.