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Why donít people cash checks?
Old 07-07-2019, 12:38 PM
  #1

I rarely write checks anymore, but I still do for charities and for some labor at home. Whatís the point of not cashing my check? I really donít get itóand it annoys me because I canít see my actual bank balance (which I do manage online).

I cash the occasional check I receive in the comfort of my home by easy online banking. It takes 2 minutes max.

Is there a point to waiting? Am I missing something?

Three times recently Iíve had to email people asking them to cash my check. Two were services and the third was a charity I wonít be donating to again.

P.S. When I send checks to my adult children, they cash them in the blink of an eye.


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Old 07-07-2019, 12:42 PM
  #2

Yes, I agree. Our pool guy sometimes doesn't cash his check for a couple of weeks. I have a separate checking account just for household services, though, so it doesn't really mess up anything. I just don't get it.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:50 PM
  #3

That's why I don't write checks. I hate waiting for them to clear.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:55 PM
  #4

I'm a terrible check casher

There's no reason for waiting; it's just something that slips my mind. I've gotten better about it since mobile deposit became a thing, but if I can't do it right away for some reason, it becomes out of sight, out of mind.

I don't ever balance my checkbook, so uncashed checks don't really affect me, so I forget that others do care.
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We had someone do some
Old 07-07-2019, 12:56 PM
  #5

electrical work and he held the check for two months because "he had made so much money, he didn't want to put it in the bank until after the end of the year to save some on taxes."


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Old 07-07-2019, 12:58 PM
  #6

Quote:
That's why I don't write checks.
Iíd love to not write checks, but itís been the only way to pay many contractors. How do you get around it? Do you pay them cash? (My final installment to the window contractor was a check for $9,245. Cash???)
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:59 PM
  #7

Quote:
How do you get around it? Do you pay them cash? (My final installment to the window contractor was a check for $9,245. Cash???)
I pay everything with a CC and just pay off the balance each month.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:00 PM
  #8

I get them so rarely that I tend to honestly just forget about it. Earlier this year my school sent me to this PD in another area of the state and I was given a paper check in my school mailbox to pay for travel expenses (everything else is direct deposit). I threw it in my (giant) school bag and forgot about it until an HR person emailed me a month later and asked why I hadn't cashed it . Several others got the same email so I wasn't the only one!
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:09 PM
  #9

Quote:
I pay everything with a CC and just pay off the balance each month.
Okay, deep breath, let me clarify what Iím asking. I mostly use my debit card. When I recently made an in-home purchase from 3-Day Blinds, they took my debit card. BUT the painter, the window guy, the electricianóthey donít have the means to accept a card. Iíd love to give them a card.

I do understand those of you who forget about a small check, that makes sense, thanks.
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Well Amiga....
Old 07-07-2019, 01:09 PM
  #10

I don't have that kind of money to WRITE those kind of checks so no worries there!

Larger stuff I pay either with my debit card or direct transfer from my bank acct but contractors probably wouldn't be set up for that. The biggest payment I make is my house payment and I do it directly from my bank acct.


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Old 07-07-2019, 01:31 PM
  #11

Most banks have apps where you can deposit by just taking a picture of the check. If I get a check, itís deposited that day.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:41 PM
  #12

Someone who accepts $9000 payments doesn't take credit cards?

I wouldn't pay cash or check that amount because you lose the consumer protection that paying with a card offers.

And just curious, why the deep breath?
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:43 PM
  #13

I have the app and am much better about it these days but if I donít do it right away I forget. I just realized I currently have a birthday check sitting in my wallet so thanks for the reminder, Iím depositing it now!

I donít understand businesses not cashing checks though, Iíd think they would have stricter bookkeeping standards.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:49 PM
  #14

Gromit, many businesses (especially smaller businesses) won't take a credit card because the credit card company takes a percentages. We pay our DD's apartment with automatic check transfer because they would charge us a fee to use a credit card.

I'm sure that's true for many contractors, if they had the ability to accept credit cards (many don't), they would have to charge you extra to use the card so they don't get paid less (by the % the credit card takes). That's why a company would take a $9,000 check and not a cc.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:57 PM
  #15

I save checks for awhile and then go to the bank. I love the ritual of it really and I'm not sure why. I only use my debit card at the bank and would never use it anywhere else. I write one check per month for my health insurance and could sign up for automatic payment but do not.
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:58 PM
  #16

For large amounts I either get a bank check or pay cash. I paid $7345 for new HVAC and was given a discount for paying cash. Yes, I did pay cash in 2 in 2 installments. I never write checks.
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Checks
Old 07-07-2019, 02:05 PM
  #17

The only bills I have left that I have to pay with a check are my rent and the service that mows my lawn.

My landlord's office is three blocks away and also has an off-hours drop box. That check is always cashed the business day after the rent is due, so it is easy to keep track of.

If it wasn't that convenient, I would look into doing online bill pay where my credit union sends a check or online transfer to the landlord.

The lawn guys can sometimes take up to six weeks to cash my check and often send out invoices that do not reflect my checks. Since it is my only bill that is like this and only a seasonal bill it is not that big of a deal for me to keep track of at this point.

I write checks to pay medical bills that I do not need to pay the day of the visit or procedure. Everything else is on a credit card I pay off at the end of the month.

My debit card is also my ATM card. I never use the debit feature as I know too many people that have had their debit card second-swiped or hacked.
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Checks
Old 07-07-2019, 02:52 PM
  #18

When i was teaching, I held on to my tax refunds because I wanted that money for the summer, was afraid something might come up where I'd spend it.

Other checks I cash very quickly. Your post reminded me of a time years ago when i lost my checkbook. I contacted all the people and businesses I remembered I had written recent checks to at that time (no online banking back in the day, unfortunately. You can imagine our mutual embarrassment when months later, the older teacher who handled the school's Sunshine Fund came to me to tell me that my check bounced. Of course it did, I had written it so far before the loss of the checkbook I never remembered that one.

Now, I have a debit card and while I still write checks for certain monthly bills, I don't pay by check when I'm in the grocery store or other businesses any longer. I also use the debit card instead of credit cards many times, so I am looking at fewer bills being mailed to me.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:58 PM
  #19

What about a cashiers check? The funds are deducted when you get it.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:04 PM
  #20

This drives me crazy too. A lot of contractors do have the ability to take a credit card but charge a 2.5% fee. I guess because of charges they incur. We had our gutters cleaned and he waited 3 weeks to cash the check. The boarding kennel we use does not accept cards. I can figure out what we owe and get the cash. They took forever to cash checks.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:18 PM
  #21

I'm one of those people who don't cash checks right away. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is. If you're trying to balance your account and you know you wrote a check for that amount, why don't you just automatically subtract the amount from your balance until the check clears?

When I used to write a lot more checks, I would just subtract them and then act like the money wasn't even there any more. I paid attention to my balance, not the bank's. I never had any problems.

My dad is the opposite way, though. He used to get mad because he'd give me a check for my birthday and expect it to be cashed in a day or two. Now he just gives me cash!
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:31 PM
  #22

Our housekeeper does not deposit checks immediately. Her husband also owns a lawn company. They hold checks until they get a enough to go to the back and cash them or deposit them. They are just too busy on a normal day to deposit checks when they get them- work until after the banks close too.


It did bother me, but I have to remember not all people do it the same way.
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:58 PM
  #23

Quote:
I'm one of those people who don't cash checks right away. I guess I just don't see what the big deal is. If you're trying to balance your account and you know you wrote a check for that amount, why don't you just automatically subtract the amount from your balance until the check clears?
Because I don't balance my checking account on paper. I get a balance update or check online daily. Most of my bills are paid electronically. Having a check out there uncashed is a pain. I have to remember to deduct it from the balance.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:35 PM
  #24

Quote:
Because I don't balance my checking account on paper. I get a balance update or check online daily. Most of my bills are paid electronically. Having a check out there uncashed is a pain. I have to remember to deduct it from the balance
Well, I rarely write checks anymore but I still write everything down in a binder and balance my checking account every.single.month. Most of my stuff is on auto pay and direct deposit, but I still want to be sure I know exactly what is going on every month and that everything is legit. Maybe it is my middle age
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:08 PM
  #25

I'm pretty sure checking your totals online counts isn't what "balancing your checkbook" means. That's just checking your account balance.

Balancing your account is crosschecking your checkbook total with your statement total, and you balance it by accounting for uncashed checks. Then you check for errors in the statement. I half remember a trick that if you were off by 9 or a multiple of 9 or something like that, it meant you probably transposed a number somewhere.

I remember having to do this once a month (but in reality only doing it once every few months ).

If uncashed checks are a big problem, I'd just send one via online bill pay. The money is put into a kind of escrow and taken out of your account instantly.

If the person/business doesn't cash it in some amount of time, you get sent a notice asking if you want to send a reminder or cancel the check.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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Well, I guess the receiver must be doing well enough that they are not in desperate need for the money! Or, if a business, perhaps they donít have an efficient accounting system or staff to handle their record-keeping in an organized and timely manner.

Iím old fashioned and have a checkbook register booklet where I record by hand all my debits and credits and do a monthly reconciliation to the penny. Iím probably overly obsessive about it, because it makes me nuts if it doesnít match up. I put a strip of a bright post-it by a check that hasnít cashed at the time of my reconciliation so I can easily spot it for the following month. Itís embarrassing how much satisfaction I get when Iím done and all is in order, lol.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:52 PM
  #27

Quote:
If uncashed checks are a big problem, I'd just send one via online bill pay. The money is put into a kind of escrow and taken out of your account instantly.
That's a good idea. That's how most of my checks get written. It might not be feasible in every case, I know.

I'm much more likely to cash personal checks quickly than those given to my business. I can do personal checks for free via the phone app. I can't do that with business checks and get it into my business account. I get charged a stupid fee for trying to deposit remotely into my business account and I'd rather not lose money when I don't absolutely have to.

So I am sometimes late for a few reasons. One reason is because I forget about it (most clients pay via credit card-- and I do lose a chunk of money because of cc processing fees each time). That second is because I have to actually get to the bank to deposit it and, for reasons I won't go into, it's not always easy to get to the bank.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:54 PM
  #28

Well, what I meant is I don't balance my checkbook in the register. I pay most of my bills through bill pay. So I know exactly how much is in my checking account at all times and check my accounts daily. So yeah, I count that as balancing my checkbook because I've accounted for everything.
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Old 07-08-2019, 03:33 AM
  #29

Want to know how long the person can wait before cashing your check?
Call your bank and explain the situation to them. Ask them how long before your check will expire. That will give you some idea as to how long some people might be finding it acceptable to wait before cashing your check.

Some businesses wait until they receive a number of checks from doing work/providing services. They wouldn't consider each and every person who wrote them a check to be so special that they would stop and run to the bank in the middle of a work week or two to cash the check!

Some banks say 6 months...Ö how long has it been since you wrote the check? "Take your deep breath" , call your bank for some information and relax . If your check hasn't been cashed after a more reasonable time, take action and inform the business of your bank's rule. I doubt seriously that this business is going to let you slip by without collecting their money.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:47 AM
  #30

I mean...if I had a check for 9,000 I'd be depositing that baby as soon as I got in the car.

I guess it depends on how much you need the money!
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:10 PM
  #31

I'm just going to give a different perspective than what I've seen written. My DH sometimes gets paid with personal checks and I think he feels like he looks too greedy or desperate for money if he immediately deposits them. I think this is especially true for how he feels when he does work for people who are not well-off.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:33 PM
  #32

tyrex, thank you. A new and sensible perspective. Iíll bet your DH is a nice guy.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:45 PM
  #33

I had to laugh at your first post when you said your adult kids cash your checks in the blink of an eye.

My adult kids do the same thing! Now that I'm doing my parents finances, my siblings do the same thing too! It can be like pulling teeth to get paperwork signed, but checks get cashed swiftly! I do it too, so it's not a negative judgement, just a hilarious observation of how much we love money.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:00 PM
  #34

Just send me the check, Iíll for sure cash it within a couple days!
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