How to Write a Check

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Write a Check

In the era of ATM check cards, online bill paying and credit cards, the art of writing a check may be lost. It is still a very effective way to pay for services and purchases, and to transfer funds. If you've never written a check before but want to start using them, here's how you do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculators
  • Personal Financial Software
  • Pens And Pencil
  • Checking Accounts
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    • 1

      Start by writing in the date using any format, as long as it's legible. Use either the current date or a future date for a post-dated check.

    • 2

      Write the name of the person or company receiving your check on the line that starts with "Pay to the Order of" or "Payable to."

    • 3

      Write the numerical dollar amount of the check in the small space that starts with a dollar sign ($) so that it reads like this: $25.63.

    • 4

      Write the same amount using words for whole dollar amounts, a fractional figure for amounts less than a dollar, and a straight line to fill up the remaining space on the line ending with the word "Dollars," like this: Twenty-five and 63/100 ------------- Dollars.

    • 5

      Sign the signature line at the lower right.

    • 6

      Note the check number, date, payee and amount on the check stub or in the check ledger at the front of your checkbook.

    • 7

      Subtract the amount of the check so that you will know how much you have left in your account.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep up with the balance in your checking account, because banks will fine you for bounced checks if you don't have funds to cover all the checks you write. Post all deposits, record all checks and keep up with the addition and subtraction.

  • Checkbooks that automatically make carbon copies of checks may be a good idea if keeping records up-to-date isn't your strong suit.

  • Bounced check charges aren't necessarily written in stone. Call or visit your bank and shed a few tears. A soft-hearted clerk may remove the charges, especially if you haven't bounced many checks.

  • If you are paying someone with a post-dated check, let them know so they aren't surprised when their bank doesn't credit the check to their account immediately.

  • Completely destroy any voided checks or unused checks and deposit slips so that no one can copy the MICRE code, the funny-looking computer numbers at the bottom of checks, for the purpose of counterfeiting.

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