How To Write A Personal Check

How To Write A Personal Check

A check is a document printed by your bank that you can use to pay for items instead of paying with cash. The money is taken from the available balance that is in your checking account. You write the check and present it to the person or store who has the item. They take it to their bank or other financial institution and exchange it for cash or to deposit into an account.

Writing a check for everyday items is not a common practice anymore. However, it’s still important to know how to fill one out. There are six fields you will need to fill out. Follow the instructions for each image to learn how to write a check with cents.

Step 1: Enter the date on the top right. Insert the date in this field. You can write it out pretty much however you want but you must include the month, date and year

Step 2: Enter the payee on “Pay to the Order of line”

In this field, you will write the name of the company or person you’re writing the check to. Make sure to use the proper name so the person or business you’re writing the check to can deposit or cash it. If you are writing a check to a person, write their first and last name. If you are writing it out to a business, write out whatever the business has asked you to fill in.

Step 3: Write the check amount in numbers in the $ box

Here you write out the amount of the check-in numbers. For instance, you’d write “1,542.63” without the quotes for a one thousand five hundred forty-two dollar and sixty-three cent check. If you want to write a check with no cents or zero cents, simply put .00 after the dollar amount in this box.

Since the dollar sign is already printed on the check you do not have to write another $. Make sure that you put a decimal place in the proper spot. If the check is over 3 digits you can use commas as well.

Step 4: Write the check amount in words on the line that ends with “DOLLARS”

Here you write out the amount of the check in words. In our example above you would write one thousand five hundred forty-two and 63/100. Write out the dollar amount in words and then use a fraction to represent cents.

As a quick tip, I write a line through the rest of the empty space so people can’t easily add more words to the end to make the check worth more.

If you want to write a check with no cents or zero cents, simply put 00/100 or xx/100 in the place you’d usually put the cents.

This field should be used to determine the value of the check if there is a discrepancy between the numbers amount and the words amount.

Step 5: Write the necessary information in the “For” or “Memo” field in the bottom left corner

In the for or memo field, you can write whatever you want to help you remember what the check was for if the person or company you are paying doesn’t require something different.

Some businesses like you to write your account number or an invoice number in the memo field so they can keep track of what you are paying for.

Most banks return scanned images of your checks with your bank statements or at least offer you some way to view an image of a check so this might help you remember what it was for.

Step 6: Sign check in the bottom right hand corner

This is where you sign the check. The check isn’t valid until you sign it so make sure you don’t forget this crucial part. Never sign a check until all other fields are filled in.

If you do sign a blank check and someone finds it they can write out a check to themselves for the whole balance of your bank account.

Now you know how to write a check with cents

Here is a final version of what your completed check should look like after you have filled it out. 

Make sure you use the facts applicable to your situation though, not the example. I don’t think I’d want to pay Wal-Mart for $1,542.63 of groceries. The Hustle With Cents squad would like to send a shout out and a huge thank you to our friends over at Money Manifesto for this fun lesson on writing checks with cents!

Be sure to check out our Banking 101 section for tips on how to choose the best bank for your needs.

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