Writing a check for the first time or for the first time in a long time? You may have questions such as where to sign a check and how to write a penny check. While you may not write many checks, it’s still an important skill to have. Let us answer your questions with a quick how-to.
Step 1: Date the check
Write the date on the line in the top right corner. This step is important so that the bank and/or the person you are giving the check to will know when you issued it.
Step 2: Who is this check for?
On the next line on the check, “Pay to Order,” write the name of the person or company you want to pay. You can also write the word “cash” if you don’t know the exact name of the person or organization. However, keep in mind that this can be risky if the check is lost or stolen. Anyone can cash or deposit a “cash” check.
Step 3: Write the payment amount in numbers
There are two points on a check where you write the amount you pay. First, you need to enter the dollar amount numerically (for example, $130.45) in the small box on the right. Write this down clearly so that the ATM and/or bank can accurately deduct this amount from your account.
Step 4: Write the payment amount in words
On the line below “Pay in order of,” write the dollar amount in words so that it matches the numerical dollar amount you wrote in the box. For example, if you’re paying $130.45, you’d type “one hundred and thirty 45/100.” To write a check with cents, make sure that the amount of the cent is greater than 100. If the dollar amount is a round number, add “and 00/100” for clarity. Writing the dollar amount in words is important for a bank to process a check as it confirms the correct payment total.
Step 5: Write a memo
Filling in the line that says “Memo” is optional, but it will help you understand why you wrote the check. If you are paying a check for an electric bill or monthly rent, you can write “Electricity Bill” or “Monthly Rent” in the notes area. When you pay a bill, the company will often ask you to write your account number on the check in the memo area.
Step 6: Sign the check
Sign your name on the line in the lower right corner with the signature you used when you opened the checking account. With this you indicate to the bank that you agree to pay the indicated amount and to the correct payee.
How to balance a checkbook.
Every time you spend money or make a deposit, you should record it in your checkbook checkbook, which you can find with the checks you received from Huntington. Your check register is designed to keep track of your deposits and expenses. All transactions must be recorded, including checks, cash withdrawals, debit card payments and deposits.
Record your transactions.
- If you are paying by check, write down the check number, which is located in the top right corner of the check. This also helps you keep track of your checks, making sure none of your checks are missing and reminding you when to reorder them.
- Be sure to save the date for your records. In the ‘Transaction’ or ‘Description’ column, describe where the payment was made or for what purpose. Then write the exact amount in the withdrawal or deposit column, depending on whether you spent or received money.
- Subtract the amount of checks, withdrawals, payments and bank charges or add deposits to the total amount in your account from the previous transaction.
Reconcile your bank statement each month.
When you receive your monthly bank statement, whether you receive it in the mail or view it online, take the time to balance your checking account. First, download our Balance Sheet. Then follow the prompts to enter your checkbook register information and bank statement, as well as unregistered deposits and open checks/withdrawals. When you’re done with the worksheet and match your custom checkbook and account balance, your checking account is in balance!
If there are any discrepancies, take the time to double-check your calculations, see if there are any outstanding checks that aren’t already on your statement, and double-check to make sure you haven’t missed a fee or transaction. If you believe there is an error on your bank statement, please contact Huntington as soon as possible.
Balancing your checkbook can seem outdated with online banking, mobile banking and budgeting technology. While your online banking history allows you to regularly check your account balance and track your expenses, there are still benefits to balancing your checkbook every month (or even every week).
For example, if you wrote someone a check and haven’t cashed it yet, that amount won’t be recorded in your online history, but it will be recorded in your check register. Accurate knowledge of the payments you have made can help you avoid overdrafts or return charges. Also, keeping a second record of your transactions can help you detect potential fraud.
All out of checks?
No problem! Easily order checks online from Huntington.