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I own a checkbook ... some place. Honestly, though I don't use it on purpose. I have the same box of checks from 8 years ago when I opened my account and was given a free box. While checks were once a matter of convenience for most people, like a paper IOU with bank backing, in today's society they should be obsolete.
Why I'll never write another check
As an individual I won't accept checks for work provided or goods sold because I've been burned before by bounced checks. It is no fun to think you have money in your account only to check back in and find a negative balance thanks to a returned check and a whole slew of insufficient fund fees you incurred as a result. In my experience, many businesses follow my logic to the point they also do not accept checks. Even many of my local utility companies won't take them.
Many checks I've written are also not cashed in a timely manner. While it may be reflective of my book keeping skills, it can really mess up a budget when someone chooses to wait, oh say, 6 months to cash a check, by then I've entirely forgotten I wrote it. Checks also make it easier for people to spend money they don't have, which is not helping our nation's credit issues. Checks are like a wicked step-sister to credit cards.
What I'll use instead
I stick to cash or my debt card. A big advantage of cash or debt card use is that the money is instantly gone. You can look in your wallet or at your account and know how much is there without remembering what isn't really there anymore, and when you take cash or an instant transfer you know that money isn't going to randomly disappear. Debt cards also allow a great way for couples to both have access to their money without having to cart around a big bulky checkbook and pen. For every application personal checks were once used for, there is a far better alternative these days. If you want to not carry cash you can use a debt card. If you want proof you paid, you can get a receipt or use a money order. There really is no reason these days to use checks and that's why they should be obsolete.More from this contributor:
- personal checks