Do you still write checks?
Whenever I mention the (seemingly) ancient are of check writing, I always get a few comments from readers who have long since quit writing checks.
As much as I’d like to join the ranks of the non-check-writers, we still have a number of instances where we need to write a check. Note that I’m talking here about the physical act of writing a check, not using online billpay to send a check.
More often than not, our check writing needs stem from the fact that we have four school age kids. Thus, we write checks for fundraisers, to put money in their lunch accounts, and so on.
While we’ve been able to automate many of our check writing tasks through our bank, there are still numerous instances where we have to dash off a check for one thing or another — again, mostly kid-related.
Anyway, I thought this might make for an interesting poll topic, so… Here goes. Please keep in mind that I’m asking below about how often you actually grab the checkbook and physically write a check.
As always, please feel free to post a comment adding some context to your answer.
Interestingly, as recently as 2007, 54% of people were paying their bills by check.
28 Responses to “How Many Checks Do You Write?”
I hardly ever write checks….no one really ask for one. I mostly pay bills online or use my debit card.
I only write checks for irregular payments or for things that charge a “convenience fee” for other payment types. For example, I write a check for my property tax, because my county charges 2.5% for credit cards, and $3.00 for an e-check. I don’t use my bank’s billpay for this because I need to include the tax assessment slip with the payment if I send a check. Otherwise, I risk the payment not being properly applied. I owed the tax board, and they also charge a convenience fee; so, they got a check. My friend gets a 75% discount on FedEx, and I write him a check for reimbursement when I ship stuff. For the past five years or so, I write about 5-6 checks per year.
On one of our accounts, I just wrote the 10th check in 6 years.
On our primary checking, we lost the book somewhere in the house for 2 months. At least, that was how long it had been since we needed it and didn’t really worry about knowing its location.
All but one of our monthly bills get debited directly to our credit card. That makes it so much easier every month. (The one bill we have to actually pay is our electric bill b/c while they used to allow direct debit to credit card, they now charge a “convenience” fee for that. Unacceptable!) But we pay our bills with online bill pay. We don’t write many checks. Lately, we’ve been writing more checks b/c we recently hired a cleaning lady, so we pay her by check. Otherwise, checks are just antiquated and inconvenient.
I use checks for setting up direct deposit, paying for some work-related stuff for my wife (that only takes checks), and paying for occasional frozen grass-fed meat delivery that doesn’t accept credit cards.
Floating checks is not really feasible anymore. I put a check in the mail, and it posted to my account 2 days later after traveling half a state away. With the electronic check clearing house, they can scan a check at a cash register and it can draft your account within hours.
When you do decide to order checks, check out http://www.slickdeals.net and search the forum for checks, I did that when I switched my bank account and got ~200 duplicate checks for under $10. That should be enough to last me a decade or so.
It’s weird, in third grade I learned to write a check. Now I’m in college, and I’ve never written a check. I have two checking accounts and a couple check books, but I’ve never actually written a check.
Whatever – Technically I’m saving trees right?
I use chase online bill pay which is fast and free. I don’t have to pay like 50 cent for stamps
Simply put: it’s expensive. There is a monthly fee in addition to a per-transaction fee. At this point, I’m not generating enough business to take on more expenses. I don’t think the business I might lose from not taking plastic outweighs the cost. Similar but not exactly the same for debit.
@Heather, why is it that small business don’t like to take credit, I have heard that before. Is it the same for debit?
We have no kids, but my therapist only takes cash or check, and cash, in this case, would be a PITA.
There are occasionally others â€” typically home repair people. In that situation, I’ll use plastic if they take it â€” I’d rather give out my credit card number than my bank account and routing numbers â€” but often they don’t. (Since I’ve just started a small business and am learning more about the service provider side, I can see why many don’t take plastic!)
Well…. I kind of got into trouble with checks, so luckily I am out and have not reordered. I tend to write checks and “float” them and then they catch up with me and all h**l breaks lose. So If it weren’t for that I would probably write them just for rent becuase the landlord is still old fashioned and comes around to collect, needless to say she gets confused as well. But as comment #3 states, that is fradulent and wrong, so that’s why I haven’t ordered anymore, because I know I have a problem with finances which is why I subscribe to this blog and many others. Whewwwww!!!! P.S. Because of my finances I don’t have any money to order checks anyway, because at my bank the cheapest pack is $27.00 and i don’t see that in my budget right now being it’s not a neccessity and will probably cause more financial problems. So I will get money orders or keep up with reciepts from the landlord.
I maybe write a total of five checks a year, and all for weird irregular expenses. I have to write one to pay a late fee for my taxes because funds didn’t transfer correctly to my account when I paid them originally (on time.)
Other than that, just expenses for my sons school stuff – book orders, photo orders – that kind of thing.
I write a check when I pay my gf for our joint cell-phone plan. That’s the only check I write commonly. I’ll write 2 checks today for junk yard parts for my truck and some wheels to put snow tires on. Other than that I may write a check every 3-6 months.
I pay our phone bill the old-fashioned way because they so routinely mess it up; also various donations; and our daycare.
My son starts school next week and they have an online pay system for school lunches so the kids never have to carry cash or checks.
4 manual checks in the past 3 months: maid, vet, dentist, maid.
stuff i still pay by check:
– rent, landlord lives downstairs
– petsitting fees weekly (3-4/mo, written out either every week or every other)
– my gas bill; the company’s made it a giant pain in the ass to register for online bill pay – I have to *mail* in a form?
We gave up on check bill pay a couple years ago when three of our checks disappeared in the mail (probably lost in the bowels of the USPS somewhere, but we put stop payments on them to be safe. Didn’t realize until the next day that stop payments on three checks = $90 in fees, ugh). The only thing we use the checkbook for now is church-related stuff (looking into changing to electronic for that too though) and the occasional donation to kids we know who are fund-raising for school.
Another benefit of online bill pay is not having to buy stamps. I hardly ever send mail anymore.
I write 3-4. Some I could do bill pay like my student loans (except I have trust issues with Sallie Mae) or have my bank send a check to my dentist but it’s easier to mail a check. My rent in particular it is so much easier to just write a check than have my bank send one since my landlord owns a business on the first floor of my building, I can just walk downstairs and hand it to her and I know for sure it’s on time.
I write 1 maybe two a month. This is mostly for things like the baby sitter when I have no cash or to pay for shipping personal packages at work.
Did you know the UK is trying to eliminate check writing in it’s entirety?
Also one of my biggest pet peeves is when I am in line at the grocery store and when it comes time to pay, the person in front of me flips out their checkbook and starts writing a check! Luckily that is becoming rarer and rarer but it irritates me to no end.
Between the debit card and online bill pay, I never write checks anymore. The last time I opened my checkbook was 6 months ago, to void one for setting up direct deposit.
When I pay my rent to my roommate, I give her a check. I could go off online and have one sent, but I see her practically every day, so it is just easier to write a check with a breakdown of any expenses against the rent. Other than that, I write one to the state for registration of my vehicles as they come due.
I write at least 4-5 per month. It is still the easiest way for church offerings as I don’t like to carry cash.
My Pain Management doctor isn’t on board yet with regard to accepting plastic. I am not used to that but was certainly happy I had my checkbook with me last Tuesday when I paid my co-pay at my appt.
Otherwise, I use bill pay and plastic as much as possible. Before Check 21 was passed into law, I used to write checks when funds were low and I was still a few days away from “Payday.” The float days helped a lot; however, now I no longer do this, plus it’s disingenuous and fraudulent. I just wait…
Our little corner store in the very rural town I live in doesn’t accept plastic either….just checks and cash. Keeps the costs down, “down” being relative nowadays….
I still have at least 1 check that I write each month to the lawn-care kid. He’s a trust-worthy person, but I need to be able to track the money I pay him. So, I can’t pay him with cash. And he obviously doesn’t take credit cards.
“More often than not, our check writing needs stem from the fact that we have four school age kids.”
DITTO here! Except we only have three kids. I always bring the checkbook to orientation and end up writing anywhere from 3 to 7 checks for various items – from “required” magazine subscriptions…to class shirts (none this year – YET. very odd!)…to school lunches. It’s the only reason I have a checkbook! Oh, and the place where they take gymnastics requires a check attached to the renewal forms every semester (will not take cash or credit – has to be a check! hmph – what else would you expect from a city-owned facility?!?!) I have been informed there is now a way to track the kids’ school lunch balances AND PAY online! It’s on my to-do list to check this out…that would be 3 less checks I would have to (physically) write every month! (and I wouldn’t have to worry about them losing checks on the way to school!)
I can’t get my husband on to the online bill pay wagon – I’ve set it up on our main/house account, but he won’t make the plunge. So he writes checks for all our bills every month (mortgage, utilities, church and credit card – which we pay off every month).