Hardly anyone I know uses paper checks unless it’s absolutely necessary anymore. In fact, it takes me several months to use a pad of 30 checks even though I have many regularly occurring monthly bills to pay. Despite my only occasional use of paper checks, I don’t think they’ll be going away entirely anytime soon. Here are a couple of reasons why the paper check isn’t dead yet.
Floating Your Account
Lots of people, myself included, use paper checks to “float” their account for a day or two. The time between when you write and mail, or hand over, a check to when the transaction is recorded to your checking account can be as much as 5 business days, or more if it’s somewhere that doesn’t deposit to the bank very often.
This can be helpful if you have a troublesome monthly cash flow. For instance, most people’s home mortgage is one of the biggest bills they pay and it’s due on the first of each month. But some employers pay bi-weekly rather than on the first and fifteenth of each month. This means that sometimes people haven’t gotten their paycheck yet when their mortgage is due. If payday falls only a day or two behind the first of the month, they can usually successfully float their account while still having paid their mortgage bill on time.
A Paper Trail
Some people prefer to have an exact paper trail to follow for all of their transactions. Writing paper checks is a good way to create a paper trail that you can follow later, especially if you have duplicate checks. Duplicate checks allow you to have an automatic copy of every check your write. They also allow you to wait before recording your transaction on your check register without having to save your receipt or remember the exact total you spent.
Now that you know why paper checks can still be helpful from time to time, let’s talk about how ordering checks online rather than through your banking institution is something to consider.
I no longer order checks directly through my banking institution because they are very limited in what designs you can choose for your checks. I like to have fun printed checks that allow me to express myself every time I write one. There are also checks you can purchase to help support various charities or causes you believe in. Sometimes banking institutions don’t offer all of these choices.
Price and Speed of Delivery
Another reason I choose not to order checks through my bank is because they are way more expensive than when I order checks online through a check printing company. Oftentimes these companies offer special discounts for ordering multiple boxes of checks, or they throw in some free return address labels that match your new checks. Plus ordering checks online seems to get them to my home faster than when I order them through my bank, which is great if you procrastinate and wait to order until you are nearly out of checks.
Do you still use paper checks? Where do you order yours from?