When Was The Last Time You Wrote A Check?

With all the automation in our lives, we barely interact with our monthly bills, and almost all payments are made online these days. I have a checkbook, but it gets used very rarely. I greatly prefer to pay via credit card because that way everything is tracked online (plus I earn cash back on purchases!)

About 2 weeks after every check I write, I see an uncategorized transaction in my Mint.com account. I have to think back to what I paid and when, and it always takes a few minutes to figure it out. Occasionally, I’ll have to ask Lauren to refresh my memory about who we paid and why.

My Most Recent Check Transaction

It’s been quite awhile since I wrote a check to someone. But the last check I wrote was for $50 to the captain of my softball team. Despite being a spry 30 year old, he is beyond technologically illiterate. I kid you not, he gets his news from a newspaper.

For most payments to friends, a PayPal payment is easiest and takes just a few seconds from wherever I am. But he does not have a PayPal account (which reminds me to make sure he opens one so he can send me money for the baseball game we went to a few months ago) and he has no desire to open one.

I can only give him so much grief because he did manage our team to the league championship this year and we have a 3 foot tall trophy to prove it. Money well spent.

Why Nobody Uses Checks Anymore

One of the biggest reasons I’m opposed to checks is that you have to have one with you to use it! For mobile payments, you just need to whip out a phone, tap a few buttons, and voila! Money sent.

I can’t imagine carrying around a checkbook just in case I need it. As it is, I keep my checkbook hidden until the moment I need it, then run upstairs when I need one and find the checkbook and make out the check. It’s just so much of a hassle and as a society, we’ve moved well past not having everything at our fingertips.

I Rarely Receive Checks, Too

Even rarer than writing a check is receiving one. I have friends PayPal me if they owe me for (just remembered another friend owes me money. I am not good at collecting on debts, I guess.), but usually I’ll just have them pay for dinner or drinks the next time we go out. I would never request a check unless I knew the person wasn’t going to pay for a long time another way or is still stuck in 1998 technologically.

Do you give or receive checks regularly? Does anyone actually prefer them to online payment methods?

18 Responses to When Was The Last Time You Wrote A Check?

  1. Michelle says:

    I haven’t written a check in years. The last time was probably when we bought our house. I do receive them occasionally though.

  2. MonicaOnMoney says:

    Wow! I love this articles because my co-workers were JUST making fun of me for saying that I forget how to write a check. Actually, I do remember but it’s been a LONG time. I wrote a check to myself to deposit into a different bank account. Does that count?

  3. I hate checks. I hate writing them and I hate receiving them. I do get about 2 a month from companies that I work for on a freelance basis, but that is because they don’t want to pay me via Paypal. I maybe write one check a year, maybe!

  4. We have to write checks to our local water and sewer authority because they don’t accept internet payments or credit card payments. It stinks, but it is what it is.

    Other than that, I’ll occasionally write checks to my mom if I owe her money, she doesn’t like the electronic pick up through Capital One 360.

  5. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    Saturday. I had a carpet cleaning done at our house. The business took credit cards but preferred a check to avoid the fees. I didn’t mind writing one because they’re a local small business.

    But other than that, it’s usually months in between using them. Our rent must be paid by check but our bank auto-wrote and -mailed those for us so we never had to deal with it. I did recently need a cancelled check to set up direct deposit of my paycheck (because as I use an internet bank I couldn’t use their alternate verification process).

    • @Emily @ evolvingPF, Yah, with small businesses, I’m more likely to pay with debit or cash so that they get to keep more of the money. Having the bank auto-write and mail checks makes live that much simpler!

  6. Susan says:

    I still write cheques fairly often and have been paid money owed just once via PayPal. I don’t even know how to “get” that money from PayPal that I was paid. Haha! Just this month I wrote 10 post dated cheques to the piano teacher and the karate instructor for the year ahead in lessons for the kids…and this was the requested method of payment! And I live in a big city, not a little country town! Haha! Guess I’ve not wholly embraced modern technology yet!

  7. Last week! My city’s water suppliers still have not set up an online automatic bill pay system. I suppose I could set up bill pay through my own bank…

    • @Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans, Wouldn’t that save the time and effort of doing it via snail mail? Plus the cost of stamps and stuff? You’d set it up once and then each month just plug in the amount you need to pay and voila!

  8. krantcents says:

    Although I issue about 50 checks a month using online banking, my wife does write about 1-2 checks a month. I wish all my checks were online.

  9. Our last check was to our preschool for tuition, and before that it was to the guy that we use to wash our outside windows. We get one check per month from my in-laws who are on a shared cell phone plan with us and pay us their share by writing a check.

  10. Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter says:

    September 18 for $3800 of dental bills. Before that it was September 9 for $8100 of estimated quarterly taxes. And I am sending one tomorrow for lawn services. We still use checks 2-3 times a month on average.

  11. Kevin Watts @ Graduating From Debt says:

    I wrote my last check last year when I bought my own car. I don’t like writing check. While writing a check for some reason I don’t fell confidence.

  12. Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    My wife writes several checks throughout the month. They are typically to pay for something at our kid’s school. The school likes checks, and we don’t mind. We actually write checks for all charitable donations. I do not want to use a credit card that will charge the charity a 3% transaction fee. Besides, the canceled check is a receipt for the donation that I can put into our files. Looking at last month’s checking account shows a total of 5 checks. I didn’t write any of them. Three to the school, one to our gardener, and one to my wife’s parents.

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