Why Checkbooks Still Matter
Just a decade or so earlier, checkbooks were important financial instruments that most people used. Having them allowed individuals to make large payments without the risks associated with carrying huge sums of money.
With the rise of credit cards, mobile-based payments, and online payment gateways, however, checkbooks have taken a backseat to more modern payment options. This doesn’t mean that checkbooks from banks have become obsolete.
They may not be as in demand or as relevant as before but they’re still useful in many scenarios like making business payments, managing finances, and controlling spending.
If you’ve been wondering if it’s still worth it to get a checkbook, we’ll walk you through some of its biggest benefits. We’ll also explore how to use them safely and how to order checks online from Carousel Checks so you can enjoy all its advantages.
Banks & Checks
Banks offer different services to its customers. One of these services includes personal checks. A personal check is a type of check that is issued directly to the customer and not to a business.
These checks are commonly used by individuals who need to make payments without having to go through a third party. To use a personal check, the customer must have a checking account at that specific bank institution.
If they do not have a checking account, they can open one. But if you need to issue a check now and the bank has yet to print and mail your checkbook, they can issue temporary checks that you can immediately use.
Benefits of Using a Personal Check
There are several benefits to using a personal check over other types of payment methods. Here are some of the major benefits that people cite when using a personal check:
There are no fees associated with issuing a check. This means that if someone pays $100 with a personal check, the person writing a check and the person receiving it don’t have to pay any fees.
Easy to Use
Another benefit of using a personal check is that it’s easy to use. All someone has to do is write out the amount, specify the payee, and sign their name. After signing, the person can send the check to the recipient.
Quick Payment Method
Another benefit of using personal checks is they are a quick way to receive money. Because there are no fees involved, the person receiving the check will get the money as soon as the check clears.
Another benefit of using checks is they are low-cost. Most people think that using checks is expensive, but it is actually much more affordable than using credit cards. Retail businesses that accept credit cards have to pay a percentage of the charged amount which is oftentimes passed on to the buyer. This is why many retailers offer discounts for cash payments.
Safe and Secure
Checks are considered safe since they are backed by the government. This means that if something happens to the check, the person will still be able to get their money back.
Guidelines for Using a Checkbook Safely
Even if a checkbook is safer than other forms of payment, you still need to protect yourself from scams and other illegal activity. Here are some ways to ensure that your checks are used wisely.
Use the Right Check for Your Transaction
The first thing you should do before ordering a checkbook from Carousel Checks is to make sure you’re getting the right kind of checkbook! If you don't know what kind of checkbook you need, contact us today!
Here are the types of checks that are often used in bank transactions:
- Bearer Check - the payment is made to the bearer of the check.
- Check Order - a money order that can only be redeemed by the payee. The bank fills the “pay to” line to prevent scams and fraud.
- Crossed Check - indicates that the check can only be deposited into a bank account.
- Open Check - a signed check with no amount written on it.
- Certified Check - a type of check where the amount is guaranteed by the bank and the amount is set aside by the bank until it is redeemed.
- Antedated Check - a check that is dated earlier than the current date.
- Post-Dated Check - a check that is dated in the future and can only be encashed on that date or a date after it.
- Traveler’s Check - issued by financial institutions, it often uses the currency of the traveler’s destination and can be exchanged for goods, services, and cash.
- Cashier’s Check - offers extra security since the funds are guaranteed by the bank’s reserves, commonly used for major transactions like real estate purchases.
Keep Track of Your Checks
You should keep track of all of your checks and their corresponding amounts. Note how much money you spend on each type of transaction and where you spent the money. Maintaining a record will give you a good idea of how much you've spent on certain types of transactions.
Avoid Overdrawn Checks
An overdrawn check is one that was issued without sufficient funds to cover it. For example, you issued a check for $100 but only have $50 in your checking account. This will lead to an overdrawn account which may incur fines and interest charges.
To avoid this problem, always make sure you have enough cash in your account before writing a check.
Set Up a Budget
The first step to getting the most out of your checkbook is setting up a budget. You should have a general idea of how much money you spend each month before issuing a check.
If you don't know where your money goes, you won't know which expenses you need to cut back on and you may not have a good idea of how much you have left in your checking account.
Start by listing all your monthly bills and expenses. Then, calculate how much you spend on groceries, utilities, gas, and other expenses.
Once you have a rough estimate of how much money you're spending each month, you'll be able to set up a realistic budget and will be in a better position to issue valid checks.
Pay Bills Online, Instead of a Check
When it comes time to pay your bills, you might be tempted to sign a check and mail one in. However, doing so can cause problems down the road.
First, mailing a check could result in late payment penalties since it takes time before your check reaches your payee. Checks also take time to process. This additional time could result in late payments and late fees so it’s better to pay online for time-sensitive remittances instead of a check.
Second, you could accidentally send the wrong bill or check. In response, the bank might limit your access to your checking account which could take some time to correct. If this happens, you risk losing access to your funds when the due date arrives.
The most convenient and quickest way to settle bills is through online payment methods. This will keep you from missing payments, incurring late fees, and being disconnected from vital services like electricity and internet services.
Know Your Limit
Before going shopping, know your spending limit and how much you can pay with a check. If you exceed those limits, you could face hefty fines and negative consequences.
For example, if you overspend $500 on clothing items, you could be charged with fraud. The higher you overspend, the bigger your interest rate and fines.
Managing The Risks of Using Personal Checks
Knowing about the risks of using personal checks is important because it will help you manage your expectations and encourage responsible use.
Here are a couple of risks you need to be aware of:
Checks Are Used for Scams
Because checks are accessible and easily convertible to cash, they are often used for fraudulent activities. To prevent this from happening, keep your unused checks in a safe place. Used and canceled checks should be disposed of responsibly. Consider using a paper shredder or tearing them into small pieces and scattering the strips across different waste bins.
Personalized Checks Cost Money
Though some banks offer free checks, other banks charge you fixed fees for each booklet, especially if you have special requirements. Checkbooks typically cost $15 to $20. Since each checkbook usually has 100 checks, each check costs $0.15 to $0.20.
Some banks may also charge monthly service fees.
Processing Checks Can Take Time
When you hand over a check as payment, it will take time before your payee receives the amount. Most checks take 2 business days to clear although it can also take up to 5 business days. Some banks offer to clear checks in a few hours, however, they are still in the minority so manage your expectations accordingly.
You should also consider that any erasures or inconsistencies when you write the check can prolong the process. The same happens if you write an overdrawn check. In some instances, you may have to physically visit the bank to verify your check’s validity and clear things up with them.
How to Get a Bank Checkbook
If you want to get Bank checks, you need to open a checking account first. This means getting certain documents together to verify your identity and validate your transaction.
Different organizations will have different requirements, but here are some documents that are usually required by financial institutions:
- Valid identification (government ID, passport, Social Security card, birth certificate)
- Proof of address (lease documents, mortgage contract, utility bills)
- Opening deposits (cash, debit card, automated clearing house transfers)
Now you can order your bank's checkbook from Carousel Checks! If you buy our personal checks priced at $8.99 or higher and you will get the 2nd box for only 99¢ and with free shipping! Ensure our coupon code “PPCBOGO” is used at checkout to take advantage of this offer. Value Priced Checks are not eligible for this offer and free shipping is available only on personal checks.
What are your options for personalizing checks?
If you want to personalize a checkbook for individual use, check out Carousel Checks, a company that lets you order legitimate checkbooks with customized designs. Their checkbooks are automatically linked to an existing checkbook that you specify upon ordering.
Customized Checks Add to the Security and Safety of Your Checkbook
Finally, if you want a checkbook that reflects your personal style, interests, hobbies, or nature of business, you could go to a site like Carousel Checks. They will give you a checkbook that suits your preferences and design ideas.
You don’t have to wait a long time to issue your first check, and your check will be uniquely yours, increasing the security and safety of all your financial transactions.
Using personal checks are a great way to make payments. Not only is it convenient, but it is also affordable. Checks are still a viable form of payment, and they can offer every person the convenience and safety they need for all kinds of bank and payment transactions.