You get your paycheck every week of the game, but we haven’t asked you to write out a physical check yourself. These days, most transactions in a “Checking Account” come from debit cards or other direct withdraws. However, there are still some situations where you might need to write a physical check to make a payment – and you’ll need to know how to do it right!
Parts of a Check
If you’ve received a paycheck, you already know what parts are there. But when you write out a check yourself, you’ll need to pay attention to where everything goes:
Your printed name. This goes in the top left corner. If you received blank checks from your bank, they usually printed this in for you already.
Your signature. This goes in the bottom right. No check is valid unless it is signed.
The person or company you are paying. This goes in the space for “Pay To The Order Of”.
The date of the check. This goes in the top right. You can even “Post-Date” checks, or put a date at some point in the future. Then whoever receives your check will not be able to cash it until this date.
The amount, written out in words. This is one of the original anti-fraud measures; writing out the actual amount in words makes checks harder to modify by whoever receives them.
The amount, in numbers. The amount in numbers must exactly match the amount in words, or else banks will refuse to cash the check.
Your routing number. This is a unique number of your bank, found at the bottom near the middle. When another person goes to deposit this check, the other bank uses this number to find your bank to start the transfer of funds.
Your account number. This is on the bottom right. This the ID number of your specific bank account. This is what banks use to identify your specific bank account to authorize the transfer of funds to whoever you’re paying.
Checks can also optionally include a memo, which is a note to remind yourself or the person you’re paying why you wrote this check. The Memo is found on the bottom left of the check.
Your bank will either mail you back your cancelled checks after they were cashed, or you can see scans of them online, so the memo can be a good reminder of what the payment was for.
See if you can identify how to properly fill out a check. In this example, your name is Mark Brookshire, and you are writing a check to City Cable Company on April 18, 2019 for $142, to pay for your March bill. Drag the elements from the right side onto the place on the check where they belong.