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No checks? No problem!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
It used to be a ritual to sit down about this time each year and fill in the year on your blank checks so that when you wrote a check you would not put the previous year. That was then and this is now. I asked DW a little while ago where our checkbook was and she replied she had no idea, that we have had no need to write a check for years. So I started thinking about that and it is true; all of our bills are paid by automatic deduction from our bank account and of course everything else is handled by credit card.

I think checks are going the way of lighthouses.
post #2 of 29
I personally prefer not to have my bills paid by automatic debit. I want to know exactly how much I'm paying for each month's bills and since it can vary depending on usage (hydro/gas/telephone long distance), I would never be sure because I would probably end up not checking out the automatic debits each month. I still use cheques for certain things such as my hairdresser who does not have the facilities to use a debit card. Living in a small town, often the local businesses do not have debit card ability because of their cost involved in setting it up and monthly fees/transaction fees.
post #3 of 29
Most of my bill are set up to be paid throw the bank, but I still get to choose when and how much to pay which is great because I have had problems with automatic debits a couple of times. When I moved for instance, even though I phoned to have the account numbers changed for my new place almost a month in advance the still paid the old account and the new..I of course had the money returned however their excuse was I wasn't clear on what I wanted done with the old accounts...
I still pay my rent by check and have them in my wallet just in case I also had a couple of instances when the debit/credit card machines have been down and I don't usually carry much cash.
However I will say if you try to use one somewhere they almost ask you for a your complete life history, and a DNA sample
post #4 of 29
i ordered 200 checks about 10 years ago... still haven't used them all. i keep a checkbook in my purse, just in case i need it - but i almost always use my debit card. bills are paid thru the bank - some are automatic [mortgage, cell phone] the rest i pay via the bank when the bill arrives.
post #5 of 29
I pay nearly everything by card or cash anymore. I have a few things that are by check... and rent is not one of them. I go in and do my rent online each month... as well as everything else. I still know when it's happening... because I set it up.

From a retail perspective: I hate checks and wish people would just stop using them. We do ID number, etc... as well as running it through a service to make sure its a current and 'in good standing' account. There are jerks out there who will pass bad checks on purpose, hence the '3rd degree' when you write a check at a store. Once our customers see they have to sign the printout from the service, some comment, 'I should have just used my debit card.' Well, duh. I know in some areas it's more convenient as Yosemite said, but in larger metro areas like Portland, checks tend to be more trouble then they're worth. Some large stores (like IKEA) won't take them at all... I wish our store didn't. They slow the line down, and when I have five people in line at my register, I need to move fast.

Well, off to work now.
post #6 of 29
I live in a small town and most of the stores are set up so that once they've verified your checks/checking account it's in their system and they can put it through without all the rigamarole each time. I don't even have a debit card, not sure why but I think it wasn't offered at the time I opened my account 18 years ago and I never bothered later.

I do use online banking for all my bills except the mortgage. I pay extra on the principle every month and there's no way to specify that in automatic payments.
post #7 of 29
Cheque books are practically extinct here in the UK. Infact it's hard to find a shop that will accept a cheque now?.

It's mainly only buisnesses that use them, but then the majority of those do all their payments through what's known as a BACS transfer which is through the banks.

I have to admit i didn't like the idea of them fading out, but now that i use my card i find it a lot easier to check off all my receipts against the monthly statement, instead of having page after page from the bank of all the cheques i cashed

All of my bills are paid by direct debit as well (Straight out the bank at the same date each month)
post #8 of 29
I still use mine for some things, I pay my bills online, but not through automatic withdrawal as my cable company once got my account mixed up with someone elses and messed up the wthdrawals, taking over $500 one month then although I had a credit for many months, cancelled my service because I hadn't paid them in 3 months. So I just go online and put the bill payment through.

I use cheques for rent, memberships at various groups / associations and any donations to the shelter as I know they prefer cheques as the girl who does donations batches them and they have to remember to tell her every time they do one by debit as it has to be entered into our accounting system that day.
post #9 of 29
hmmmmm, cheques? What are those?

Very very few places accept them anymore.

Everything we do is done via online banking, automatic withdrawl for the bills that stay the same each month (we get a E-Bill for those ones) and credit or debit card. I very seldom have alot of cash on me but I try to keep a $20 on me at all times.... you never know when you might need it.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
I do use online banking for all my bills except the mortgage. I pay extra on the principle every month and there's no way to specify that in automatic payments.
I wonder why. We pay extra on the principle each month with our automatic deduction from our account. We told them exactly how much to take out each month and how much over the standard mortgage was to be used towards the principle. There have been no glitches, at least so far.
post #11 of 29
Has anyone else had problems getting automatic withdrawl set up? Our mortgage payment, water, electric, and one other bill all seem to be having problems - it's like no one bothers to set up our accounts for that at all.

We still use check for a few things, but usually use our debit cards.
post #12 of 29
I don't think cheques will ever be obsolete.

When I declared bankruptcy I had to give 9 post dated cheques to the trustee. And for automatic bank withdrawals you have to give a voided cheque.

That being said, I do my bill paying via internet and my other transactions either through interact or money order if I have to send something in the mail. I use money orders because the cost of them are included in my monthly banking fees. Plus I don't have to worry about keeping track of what has and has not come out of my bank account. With a money order the money is deducted instantly, so I don't worry about making a calculation error and ending up with an NSF cheque.
post #13 of 29
Dutch banks have stopped issuing cheques in 2002. We do fine without them.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Persi & Alley View Post
I wonder why. We pay extra on the principle each month with our automatic deduction from our account. We told them exactly how much to take out each month and how much over the standard mortgage was to be used towards the principle. There have been no glitches, at least so far.
I don't know, it was something about not having any place to specify where the extra money should be applied: principle, escrow, etc. Maybe if I call and talk to a real person I'd be able to set it up. Sure would make life easier.

When I lived in Austria 20 years ago EVERYTHING was done by direct transfer: rent, bills, magazine subscriptions, whatever. They looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about a checkbook.
post #15 of 29
We pay for most things on-line or with a debit or credit card.

That being said, there are still things that we need to pay for by check. For example, our GP now takes credit cards but my psychiatrist does not. My hairdresser can take credit cards but she get charged a fee that she can live without. I would have to tip her extra and while I love her, I prefer to give her a check. Also, the check actually gets posted to her account faster.

I pay the lovely young woman who cleans my house with a check. She was born here, but she is not set up for me to pay her by credit/debit card.

Lastly, I have been in my favorite stores when the lines for the debit/credit cards went down. It was cash or check only or come back later. I keep a check with me for that reason because I keep only $40 or less with me, mostly less. I will say that in my favorite grocery store I could have walked out without paying because they know I will be back. I did pay by check that day and they didn't ask me for any info.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimosa View Post
Dutch banks have stopped issuing cheques in 2002. We do fine without them.
It's the same here in Germany. Personal checks were done away with when the euro notes and coins were introduced. Most regular payments are made by direct debit mandate or standing order. One-time payments are rendered by credit transfer.

If you don't want to pay cash at stores, you use a debit or credit card. A lot of vending machines only accept debit cards nowadays.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
I don't know, it was something about not having any place to specify where the extra money should be applied: principle, escrow, etc. Maybe if I call and talk to a real person I'd be able to set it up. Sure would make life easier.
on my online banking, i can write stuff in the 'memo' area if i want - maybe write it there?
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
Cheque books are practically extinct here in the UK. Infact it's hard to find a shop that will accept a cheque now?.
Pretty much the same here, my first job 15 years ago was as a cashier and we rarely saw cheques. When we did it took 5-10 minutes to verify the cheque before putting it through - hardly convenient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
And for automatic bank withdrawals you have to give a voided cheque.
We just need to give the bank branch number and acct. number.

I do all of my banking online, but the only bills that come out automatically are my internet and mobile.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I personally prefer not to have my bills paid by automatic debit.

I'd rather pay my bills by check, too. It's easier to keep track of everything that way, and if I forget to deduct from my debit card, my balance doesn't get messed up. I also have a carbon copy for a receipt.

So far, I haven't had any problems forgetting to write in the correct year.
post #20 of 29
The only thing I write a check for is the rent. Everything else is paid online or through automatic debit. Groceries, I use my debit card
post #21 of 29
What are cheques???? They are so ancient history!

Well for everyone except my Nana. Actually heaps of people still use them here and we have to pay by cheque for cat shows - so I pay $5 each time to get a bank cheque!
post #22 of 29
Am I the only one who still pays with checks? My ex boyfriend tells me I am old-fashioned and hold up the lines at stores when I write checks. I don't trust the internet and don't want my bills to be deducted automatically. My roommate experienced some problems with this and it took months to get sorted out.

Besides, I love ordering fun check designs!
post #23 of 29
It's about time the US got with the times!!!

When we moved here we had to Google for how to write a check! I have never in my life had checks, neither has DH - nobody uses them in Australia, and nobody accepts them. We have a much more secure banking system (nobody can steal your money with your account number, they can only put money into it, which they are more than welcome to!).

We only use checks to pay our rent, because the complex allows you to pay online, but charges a $25 "convenience" fee
post #24 of 29
I hardly ever write checks either, I have a couple things I do and I will occasionally write a check for groceries, but other than that I pay my bills thru auto deduction, especially at the places that give me a little bit off the bill like my cable or I pay them online
post #25 of 29
I only use checks to pay our rent, student loans, and my fiance's tuition bill. Everything else we pay online. I still have checks from when I was in college, almost 3 years ago, and I just cross off my old address and write my new one in. I'll probably have those still when we move into our own house.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
It's about time the US got with the times!!!

When we moved here we had to Google for how to write a check! I have never in my life had checks, neither has DH - nobody uses them in Australia, and nobody accepts them. We have a much more secure banking system (nobody can steal your money with your account number, they can only put money into it, which they are more than welcome to!).

We only use checks to pay our rent, because the complex allows you to pay online, but charges a $25 "convenience" fee
Sarah, it's obvious you've been in the US for awhile. Check versus cheque. Usually only US folks use "check".
post #27 of 29
I just wrote a check today to the guy who fixed my washing machine. I don't like paying cash for things like that. I really only write a few checks a year though.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
on my online banking, i can write stuff in the 'memo' area if i want - maybe write it there?
I used to be able to do that, but only for the ones that were getting paper check mailed to them, not for electronic transfers. My bank recently redesigned their website and now even that option has disappeared. I may be able to set something up if I call the mortgage company and talk to a real person, but I'd hate to try it without having a guarantee in writing that the extra payment would actually go where I want it to.
post #29 of 29
We are the old folks here who pay all bills by check. With the big payroll check only once/month we don't want to get caught short in our checking account. I pay my business bills mainly with check as well as most do not accept debit or credit cards and I get a discount with a check!! My business insurance for instance is with a major us company and I do not have the option to set up for auto-withdraw from my account.
I do use my debit card (maybe too much!) alot.

At my pt job many people pay with checks-esp the senior citizens. My mom pays everything with checks-she doesn't have or want a debit card.
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