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Personal Checks: Paper Checks are Still Useful

Checkbooks. Not just for a man on the make in the financial world of the 1930s, personal checks have a myriad of uses for the average person in 2019. You may be cruisin’ for a bruisin’ if you find yourself without proper payment, but you’ll have it made in the shade if you keep your financial ducks in a row. Keen to find out more? Read on, chap.

Okay, that’s enough with the twentieth century slang. The slow-mo debit cards of the day, checks can seem a bit dated when you consider the quick payment methods that are available. We all know that checks can take a few days to clear, and we know that checks aren’t a catch-all payment method suitable for every situation. But, there are still situations which call for payment with personal checks, and there are several pros to keeping that checkbook around. Don’t throw your checks out just yet.

Many landlords, especially private landlords or real estate brokerages, prefer to accept checks or only accept checks. Digital payment methods often carry a fee, which can be passed on to the renter directly, but many apartment communities will accept personal checks with no additional fees. Some small businesses still only accept cash or check, choosing to avoid credit card fees altogether. Additionally, paying with checks can help you be more disciplined in your spending, since a wise check writer typically keeps a detailed transaction log in the ledger of their checkbook and tracks their balance and spending throughout the month. For these reasons alone, it’s useful to have at least one small checkbook available for your personal use.

Even amidst the many electronic payment methods, such as PayPal, Venmo, and credit cards, personal checks still have their place in the world of finance. A few more reasons to love checks:

  • You avoid the convenience fees of many digital payment methods. (After all, that 2-8% adds up!)
  • You gain old-school security. If you lose your wallet or your purse gets stolen, you can kiss your cash and any valuables goodbye. But, someone would be hard pressed to use your checks, which must be signature verified. And, you can cancel checks if they’re lost or stolen.
  • Checks work offline! Payment systems down? Checks will still be reliable. And, according to Pew Research Center, 10% of US adults don’t use the internet at all. Checks can be a convenient option for them to make payments for major bills like rent.

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