How to Write a Check

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Learn how to write checks and tips on reconciling your checkbook and maintaining personal finance in these free how to video clips.

Part of the Video Series: How to Balance a Checkbook
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Video Transcript

Hi! In this clip we’re just going to give you an example of how to properly write out a check and record it in your register as well. So the first thing you want to do is if you’re writing a check for payment is make it payable, so basically on the line where it says pay to the order of you’re going to write in who you’re paying, so in this example we’ll just say grocery store. The next thing you want to do is write in the date, this is very important it seems simple enough but you want to make sure that you’re writing in the correct month, the correct day and the correct year even if you postdated by a couple of days for example if today was the 6th if you accidentally wrote the 8th on that check that store legally cannot deposit that check until the 8th so you want to make sure you’re writing the right month and the right day as well and the right year, a check is usually valid for 6 months. So the next thing you want to do is write in the actual dollar amount that the check is for, so we’ll say that this check is for one hundred and fifty dollars, you want to make sure that when you’re writing that you’re writing very legibly a lot of times working at a bank for many years we see checks where there’s a discrepancy between what that person saying the check is for and what the actual words are showing if it’s written unclearly sometimes we may not be able to take that check and then you also want to write in the numerical amount and then of course you want to make sure that corresponds to what you had written in the written amount and then you just want to make sure that you sign it. And on this example we have the carbon so you just want to double check to make sure that when you wrote the check it then printed on the carbon so you have that for yourself when you’re balancing your checkbook. So after you write that you want to go into your register and again write in how we had talked about before, so I’m just going to go ahead and write in the check number, the date, the transaction description so in this case it would be who the check was payable to, grocery store you want to write it in the debit column as a payment and then later on we’ll actually go through and subtract that out from what our previous balance was. So that’s basically how you would write a check and record it in your register.

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