Getting your first bank account opened and receiving a checkbook are perhaps the most glorious moments of life. The possession of a personal finance vault fills us with a sense of independence and self-sufficiency.
A majority of people feel rather excited to use a checkbook, and pay the expenses for the first time. It feels almost heavenly when you happily take out the glossy rectangular book and open it. You have a look at the very first page, and- oh no! You don’t know how to write a check?
Suddenly, your head is swarming with questions. What is the purpose of these numbers at the bottom? What is the right method to write the amount? Should you use figures or words? Hey, hold on for a second and calm down!
Undeniably, this confused state of mind is relatable to a majority of new checkbook owners. Are you doubtful about how to write a check? Well, worry no more because we have the solution.
In the article, you will learn all about writing a check from anatomy to things that you must avoid. Continue reading to unlock some key answers!
Reasons to use a Check
The checkbook is a long, rectangular paper book consisting of blank forms. Its owner has to fill in the required data to transfer money. It is a common possession amongst all bank account holders. It gets used all around the world, though some countries have replaced it with alternative cards. Still, it is largely a matter of personal preference, whether an individual wants to use a checkbook or a card. Here are the primary reasons to use a check:
- Cheap: Unlike cards, checkbooks are comparatively cheaper. Some banks charge credit and other cards that can be quite expensive in the long run.
- Safer to mail: At times, one may have to mail money to someone. Sending cash in the mail may attract the attention of thieves, though one would barely notice if a check is present in an envelope. Thus, proving the checks attract less attention and are safer to use.
- No minimum restriction: Some places or banks themselves place a minimum amount of restriction on cards. However, no such terms apply to checks, and you can withdraw or deposit as much as you prefer.
- Traceable: In checks, all the relevant data is present as to whom the check got issued and the date. But, in cards, there is no information. You only receive statements from the bank that bear the date and amount. Hence, you can trace the data and manage finances.
- Flexibility: Cards rely on machines, equipment, and power to get charged. At times, when a particular store does not have these resources, you cannot make a purchase. It shows the limited usage of cards, though checks are quite flexible.
Anatomy of a Check
Now, before we move onto learning how to write a check, let’s have a glimpse at the anatomy of a check. Similar to other documents, a check has certain components and features. Without them, a check will not get called a check. Here are the primary features to keep in mind:
- Date: It is present on the top right corner of the check. One has to use a check within six months of the stated date, or else it will become a stale check.
- Drawee & Drawer: The drawer refers to the person withdrawing the check. Whereas, the drawee refers to the bank of the drawer. Both the names of the drawer and drawee get printed on the check.
- Payee: The payee refers to the individual receiving the check. The top-most line of the check demands the payee’s name.
- Branch Code Number: It is present on the right-hand bottom of the check. It is an important detail that helps in identifying the specific branch.
- Account Number: The account number occurs at the bottom of the check. It is helpful in the automatic handling of the checks.
- Check Number: It is also present at the bottom of the check so that you can keep a record of expenses and money transactions.
- Amount: On the check, you will find two sections for the amount. One demands the amount in figures, while one demands the amount in words.
- Signature: In the end, there is space for the drawer to sign so that the check is official, and the transfer of money takes place.
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Writing the perfect Check
Only because you are new to the check-writing business does not mean that you will have to suffer the consequences of not knowing how to write a check. To make your check using experience pleasant, here is a comprehensive step-by-step instruction set to keep in mind. Read more!
Step1: Fill in the Payee details
On the check, there will be a section saying Payee or Pay to the Order of, where you will fill in the payee details. Write the complete name of the individual or entity that you are paying.
Step2: Mention the current date
In the top-right corner of the check, you will find a date section. Mention the current date on the check. You may make checks for upcoming dates, but it may give rise to safety concerns and may cause check clearance problems.
Step3: State the amount
Now, you will have to state the amount in two ways that are figures and words. When writing the figures, then make a line after the amount so others can not alter them. And, use capital letters when writing the amount in words, which makes it difficult to edit.
Step4: Write a memo
Now, some checks may have the section of memo or notes, while some may not have it. Instead of leaving it blank, write about the purpose of money transfer or payment. It is optional, but writing will help you keep a better record.
Step5: Sign like a pro
Once done, it is time to sign the check. Try to practice a few times before finally signing so that it comes out smoothly and professionally. A shaky sign may cause authenticity problems.
In a nutshell, checks are an effective way of transferring money to and from accounts. You can also use it to make payments at various stores. Also, it is a safer, cheaper, and convenient option.