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How to Write a Check


Not everyone uses checks on a frequent basis, so sometimes it helps to have a refresher on how to fill them out, just to make sure you get it right.

What is a Check?

Checks are a form of paper payment. They are a document that allows a bank to take money from the account of whoever wrote the check, to pay whoever is depositing the check.

Checks are a very useful financial resource. They come with their own unique properties and safety measures that make them a useful money tool to use more often.

How to Write a Check Out

check example

Listed below are all the different fields found on a check. You need to understand the purpose of each section in order to know how to fill each field out properly.

Field #1: Date

In the upper right hand corner you’ll find the date line. Usually you’ll just write the current date, but one of the great things about checks is that you can post-date it. This means you write a future date on the check to ensure it can only be deposited after the date you mark down.

So if you need to pay someone, but need them to wait until payday to deposit the check, you can still hand them the check now and just write a date after payday.

Field #2: Pay to the Order of

This line is where you write the name of who will be receiving the check. This might be the name of a person, or the name of a company or organization. For example, if you’re using a check to pay for groceries, then the name you’ll put here is the name of the grocery store.

Field #3: Dollar Box

In this box, you write the monetary amount of the check in numerals. So instead of writing “one hundred dollars” you write “100.00.”

Field #4: Dollars Line

Then there’s a line with the word “Dollars” at the end of it. Here is where you write the monetary amount of the check in words. So instead of writing “100.00” you write “one hundred and 0/100.”

Field #5: Memo Line

The memo is where you write a note about the check’s purpose. You can fill out this section for your own files, so that the check stub has what the check was used for written down. The memo section can also let the person receiving the check know what the check is meant to be used for.

You don’t have to fill out this section but it can be helpful to not forget why you wrote out the check in the first place.

Field #6: Signature Line

Here is where you sign the check.

Field #7: Numbers

The numbers at the bottom of the check are divided into 3 sections and show 3 different numbers. The first set of numbers is the routing number, the second set of numbers is the account number, and the final, shorter section of numbers is the check ID number for that individual check.

*Keep the check stub and use it for your files. The check stub is the thinner paper copy behind the check that gets written on as you write out the check. This gives you a hard copy of the check you wrote for your own checkbook.

How to Write a Check Amount

So how do you write numbers in words on a check? If you have any questions about how to write your specific amount you can take a look at the chart below. A printable number chart is also available by clicking here.

number to words conversion chart

Let’s quickly go over some frequently asked numbers to words questions:

How to spell 90: ninety

How to write a check for 1,000 dollars: In the Dollar box write, “1,000.00” and in the Dollars line write, “one thousand and 0/100.”

How to write a check for 1,500 dollars: In the Dollar box write, “1,500.00” and in the Dollars line write, “one thousand, five hundred and 0/100.”

How to write a check for 100 dollars: In the Dollar box write, “100.00” and in the Dollars line write, “one hundred and 0/100.”

How to write a check with cents

A lot of people have questions about how to write out cents for a check, but have no worries! This is the easiest part of the check because you can still write the cent amount out in numerals on the Dollars line:

After you write out the dollar amount in words, write “and” and then write the number of cents in numerals over 100. For example, if you want to write a check out for $100.50, you would write on the Dollar line, “one hundred and 50/100.”

How to Balance a Checkbook

checkbook example

In the back of your checkbook there is a check registry—extra pages with a chart to record key information from each transaction. Whenever you write a check, keep the check stub. This will make it easier to fill out the check registry later.

Field #1: Write the date on the check in this column.

Field #2: In the description column write the same thing you would write on the “Pay to the Order of” and the memo line. This column helps you know who you paid and why.

Field #3: In the “Payment/Debit” column write down the amount you paid.

In the Deposit/Credit column record deposits to your own bank account. Keeping track of both payments from your account, and deposits made to your account, will help you keep track of how much is in your bank account at all times.

In the Balance column keep track of your total account balance, adding deposits to your account, and subtracting transactions you’ve paid.

Field #7: Write out the check ID number. It’s the last couple of numbers at the bottom of the check.

Common Questions About Checks

If you don’t use checks very often you probably have more than a few questions about checks and how they work.

What are the fees for cashing checks?

If you cash your check at Check City, then our fees are based on the type of check that is cashed. Our rates start as low as 1.99% for in-state payroll and government checks. That means for payroll and government checks it only cost about $2 per $100.

What information do you need to cash a check?

We have you fill out a quick application and you need a photo ID.

Do I have to wait for the check to clear to get all my cash?

No, once we have verified the check we give you all your money right then.

Is there a limit to the check amount?

No, as long as we can verify it, we can cash it.

When do you use a check?

You can use a check anytime check payments are permitted. If it is a personal transaction, you can always ask the recipient if they are ok with receiving their payment in the form of a check.

Where can I get checks?

You can get checks from almost any bank or credit union where you have an account.

How to write a check to yourself

Sometimes when you need to transfer your own money, you’ll need to write yourself a check to yourself. Writing a check to yourself is super simple. You just write your own name on the “Pay to the Order of” line.

Hopefully checks don’t feel as unfamiliar to you now as they did before reading this article. As you can see, checks are very simple to use, and easy to fill out correctly. You just have to know the purpose of each section on a check and you’re good to go!

Learn more about the benefits of checks, “6 Advantages of Using Checks.”

See how cashed checks can actually help your finances, “Cashed Checks Improve Your Financial Situation.”

6 Advantages of Using Checks

checks are better

Lots of people are still using checks and for good reasons.

Checks actually have their own unique advantages and features that you may be missing out on if you only use cash or cards. Here are the 6 main advantages of using checks:

  1. Checks are safer to mail
  2. Checks can’t be used by thieves
  3. Checks are traceable
  4. Checks aren’t deposited immediately
  5. You don’t need a bank account to cash checks
  6. Checks make budgeting easier

Lots of people are still writing checks. Writing checks may seem old-fashioned, but there are many advantages to writing checks instead of using cash or credit cards. Using cards and cash might be quicker and easier, but checks have features and security that cash and cards just don’t have. Below are some of the main reasons you want to start making good use of checks.

#1: Checks are safer to mail

Sending a check in the mail keeps your money a lot safer than sending cash through the mail. When you have a check inside an envelope it can be very difficult for others to tell there is even a check inside. But if you put cash in an envelope it can be much easier for others to tell there is money inside since bills have their own distinct shape, material, and color.

#2: Checks can’t be used by thieves

Checks are also less attractive to thieves than cash. Checks cannot be cashed by just anyone, and that is too much of a hassle for a thief. Thieves want quick cash and forms of money that are untraceable, and checks are neither of those things. Also, when you carry checks you don’t have to carry cash or cards on you, making you less of a target while you are out.

#3: Checks are traceable

This is another reason why checks are safer than other forms of payment—they’re traceable. When you use a check the bank makes a copy so you can easily prove the payments you’ve made. All the information you would ever need about a payment is also written on your check and the underlying copy. With each check you can know how much you spent, who you paid, when you paid, and even what you were paying for.

#4: Checks aren’t deposited immediately

Another attractive thing about checks is the timing. It usually takes businesses a day or two to actually cash the check that you’ve written for them. This means that you have a day or two to make sure you have the money in your account to cover the check. This can be risky to do, but as long as you handle your checks wisely, then you should be able to use this feature to your advantage.

checks are better

#5: You don’t need a bank account to cash checks

When you get paid through direct deposit you need to have a bank account set up. But if you get paid with checks then you don’t need to use direct deposit or a bank account. If you get paid with checks then you can just cash them, you don’t have to deposit them into a bank account or deal with electronic funds.

Check City offers convenient check cashing services for all of your check cashing needs. If you’ve been paid with a check you can come to any convenient Check City location and get that check cashed immediately. Check City will cash payroll checks, cashier checks, counter checks, government checks, insurance checks, money orders, tax refunds, personal checks, and even out-of-state checks. If you have a check, it is likely that Check City will be able to cash it for you.

#6: Checks make budgeting easier

Every time you write a check you are simultaneously writing your own personal receipt to go along with that purchase. These slips of paper can make budgeting super easy as you can keep those in your checkbook, and at the end of each week or month you can see an overview of all your spending in one convenient place.

Check Cashing with Check City

You may be wondering why you should come cash your check with Check City instead of going to your bank. Well, there are several reasons.

#1: Open Late

One reason is that our locations are open later than almost every bank or credit union. We have extended hours so you can come cash your check after work, or almost whenever you’d like. This makes it so you can get your cash sooner rather than later.

#2: Fast and Easy

Check City also understands how important your money is to you so we want to make sure the process of cashing your check is fast and easy. Our personable staff will make sure your transaction goes through as quickly as possible. As soon as you come in, we’ll be ready to help you and get you on your way.

#3: Low Rates

Check City also offers extremely low rates when it comes to cashing checks. We will not charge you much to cash your check with us, and the convenience of coming to one of our locations greatly outweighs the amount we’ll charge you to cash your check.

You Need:

All you’ll need to come cash your check at one of our locations is your check and your photo ID.

You Do:

All you’ll do is walk into one of our many locations, fill out a quick customer information form, and walk out with your cash in hand. Check City has locations in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, and Maryland. At Check City, we want to make sure you get your money when you want it and how you want it. That’s why we offer convenient check cashing services that you are welcome to use anytime.

Cash Business Checks with Check City Too!

Check City also cashes business checks. This means that if people have paid your business in checks you can cash them easily here. In today’s credit driven economy, cash flow management is a challenging task for many small to medium-sized businesses. Check City has provided financial services to the public and its businesses since 1986 and we value the trusting relationship we’ve fostered with our communities ever since. Check City’s Business Check Cashing provides business owners immediate access to working capital by fast tracking the processing of checks to make your business funds available instantly. Cashing business checks at Check City is a great idea because there are 1) NO enrollment fees, 2) NO 3 to 10 day check processing holds, 3) the funds are available instantly, 4) gives your business the freedom to accept checks from your customers, and 5) we have convenient and professional locations.
Don’t waste your time thinking checks are a useless tool of the past. Checks are a useful financial product for personal and business use with their own unique features. Checks also provide a level of security in your transactions that cash does not. So don’t forget about this important tool in your financial arsenal and learn to use checks to their full advantage.

4 Popular Grants for School

There are more opportunities for college students today than ever before. Our world is encouraging everyone to go to school and receive an education. They see the rising generation as the ones who will advance the country. This matter is so important that they are offering students money to do it. What’s that? You didn’t know you could get money to go to school? Private funds offer scholarships to those who excelled in high school. Schools offer similar scholarships. Banks offer some loans as well. The government even takes a stand by offering loans and grants. There are several grants/loans available to people who are simply struggling to pay for their college education. A grant is money given by the government for an express purpose. There are many grants for school offered. Here are four of the most popular grants available to apply for that will provide financial aid for college students:

1. Federal Pell Grant

A Federal Pell grant is by far the most popular. You can receive anywhere between a few hundred to several thousand dollars to help pay for tuition, books and housing. The government affixes a base amount to be given to your college. Visit the financial aid department to find the Pell Grant requirements and how to apply. Applying early helps your chance of being approved and receiving financial aid, so get in there as soon as possible.

2. Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

These grants are between $100 and $4,000. They are reserved for the students in direst need. Your college’s financial aid department can help you determine if you qualify for this and will help you apply.

3. State Grants

Your state also gets involved and often sets aside money to help students. These programs differ by state, but you can find out more about them on your state’s student-aid or higher-education commission websites.

4. Institutional Grants

These are grants that the college grants itself. Again, these grants are based upon the good will and financial circumstances of your college. Defer to your financial aid office to find out what’s available to you in the form of an institutional grant.

There are also two extensions for the Federal Pell Grant you can apply for:

Academic Competitiveness Grant

Those going into math, science, or social science majors can apply for the Academic Competitiveness Grant which will give you up to $750 for the first year and $1,300 for the second.

National SMART Grant

You could also apply for the National SMART Grant. This grant can give up to $4,000 a year for the third and fourth year of college. These grants are available to math and science majors only, so if you fall under that category, see what you can do to take part in these grants.

People want to help students succeed which means there are a lot of people, schools, foundations, and the government who can help you with school loans and grants. At Check City we want to help as well, sometimes these grants can take some time to come in, so if you need a short term loan or a money order come visit us at any Check City location or our online department.

We hope you have gathered great information on grants for school. Thank you for reading!

4 Fall Vacation Ideas You’ll Want to Know

Fall Vacations

Fall vacations are a popular thing for families during this time of year. There are a lot of perks and advantages that come with doing a vacation during this time. It is a great way to spend time with family and build enjoyable memories for everyone.

Fall is a great time for vacations and there are many reasons why. First of all, a lot of kids and young adults in school have fall breaks to take advantage of. Having open periods of time where people wouldn’t have to miss school is a big deal, and it allows for fun without having anyone fall behind.

A lot of destinations are at the height of their traffic during summer and winter holidays. By going in the fall, you can avoid bigger crowds and have more options overall. For a lot of families, this is a prime benefit indeed. You want to have the best experience possible when you are on vacation, so consider changing up the timing away from peak seasons in order to have a great time.

You also may be able to have different experiences than you would have had during peak times of the year. Diversity of experience is a great way to make a memory truly unique in nature. It is also a good idea to consider the impact on cost that going in the fall would have. By going off season to different destinations, it should be less expensive overall.

The fall vacation is limited only to your imagination. Here are some great tips to consider when planning your fall vacations:


The StayCation is a great option and is very popular when looking for fall vacations ideas. With the StayCation, you have small road-trips, with the luxury of staying home or close by. With a StayCation, you can branch out, have a fun vacation and save money.

A fall trip your local National Park can be a great end of summer adventure. You can camp, stay in a hotel or simply make a day trip if you are close by. In the parks you can take hikes across beautiful country and refresh your batteries for the return to work.

For a fun-family vacation, look for a local festival. Most cities have fall fests and concerts to end the summer. For instance, you can find a Pumpkin Fest or Corn Maze to spend an evening with your family. In addition to fall fests, a local concert series is a great way to spend some time with your family and friends.

Repositioning Cruises

Cruise lines will reposition their ships in the fall to prepare for the next season’s business. Most cruise lines will offer steep discounts, even freebies for travelers on these repositioning cruises.
When you take advantage of a repositioning cruise, you will usually not return to the same port. For instance, you could cruise from the Caribbean to another location as the cruise line repositions its fleet. This can be a great way to save a lot of money on your next fall vacation! If you don’t want to find a cruise that repositions, that’s okay. This is still a great season to find great deals on cruises because summer is coming to an end.

Theme Parks

Theme Parks empty as school begins. You can find great discounts to Disney or Universal theme parks. You can usually find discounted tickets and no lines. If you book at the right time, you might even find your dining and entertainment discounted! Along with that, the weather will have cooled down a lot more, which will be very nice with all the ground you are covering. If planned properly, a cruise is one of the best fall vacation ideas.

Off-Season Locations

If you decide to travel farther afield, consider a trip to an off-season location, such as Hawaii. A house rental in Hawaii can be a great getaway for a week of relaxation and fun. You can spend time at the beach, city, or simply relax in your home away from home.

We hope you have enjoyed our fall vacation ideas. Thanks for reading!

Investing Wisely

Investing your money can be a scary thought. There are a lot of people that avoid investing because of the chance that they will lose the money that they have earned. When you are investing, there are some important steps that will help you have more success. Following these tips will not guarantee success while investing, but it will definitely increase your chances of success.

1. Make sure that you are making your investment decisions with your logical side rather than with your emotional side. It can be easy to get caught up in the emotional side of the process. Rather than getting emotional and having a difficult time investing, make sure that you are looking into how each investment effects your big picture.
2. Instead of focusing on the short-term, it is important that everyone is able to look at the timing of the market and invest wisely. It can be hard to not get caught up in the investment options you think will do well right away.
3. When you get too excited about trading, you may find that you are trading way too often. The trading fees can be high and you want to make sure that you are aware of each of your fees before you start to trade consistently.
4. Understanding when to take risks and when to not take risks can also save a lot of money. Many people only take risks when they are comfortable and minimize their risks when they are not. More than likely, this means that you will be buying high and selling low, which will lose more money in the long run.

Investing can be at tricky way to make more money. Before you start investing consult a professional to see if you are headed in the right direction with your investment options!

How to Fill Out a Money Order


A money order is a great way to ensure that you are able to make a secure payment.

But there are still a lot of people that have a hard time understanding how valuable a money order can be. In our blog post today, we’ll go over the 5 main fields that you’ll need to fill out on a money order.

Explore this Guide:

What is a Money Order?

Money orders can also be referred to as a moneygram or a Western Union money order. Money orders are like a certified check or cashier’s check. Instead of writing out your own personal check, you can buy a money order at a place like Check City who has Western Union and they’ll write the check.

This secure, prepaid check can then be used to make secure payments, or send money to someone. A money order is a great way to ensure that you are able to make a secure payment. It’s also a way to use the security of a check to pay for something without having to wait for the payee to deposit the check later.

A money order is also more secure than sending or delivering cash. Like a check it names a specific recipient so no one can just take it and run because that person will have to endorse the money order (check) and show ID to prove that it’s really them who is supposed to receive it.

Money orders are commonly used to send funds rather than doing a digital money transfer, or sending cash or checks in the mail. Money orders are even more secure than personal checks because a personal check will have your account number on them. This is fine for some payments, but sometimes you’ll want to keep your payments more separate from your personal accounts.

How Do I Fill Out a Money Order?

When you need a money order you should make sure you know how to fill it out properly. Filling out the money order properly will ensure that you are able to make a secure payment via a money order without any hang ups from filling it out wrong. The way you fill out a money order is very similar to how you fill out a check. Below we will go over each of the 5 main fields you’ll need to fill out in order to fill out your money order properly:
money order example


First, you have to get the money order. You can do money orders anywhere there is a Western Union. After you have your money order, you will want to write the name of the person or company that you wish to pay on the line that is labeled “Payee” or “Pay to the order of.”


Some money orders will also include this section. If you have a specific account that you want credited for the payment then you’ll want to put that information here. Filling out this section will ensure that, when using money orders to pay your bills, the proper accounts get accredited.


You are the purchaser that the money order form is referring to on this line. Here is where you will put your address and any other important identifying information so that the recipient of your payment knows best how to contact you if necessary.


You will need to sign the front of the money order. Some money orders have spaces to sign while other money orders to do not. You will not want to sign the back of the money order, instead you will want to make sure that you leave that space open for the individual or the company that has received the money order to endorse it.

Field #5: DOLLAR BOX

In the box with the dollar sign before it you will write the amount you want on the money order in numerical form.

*Keep the Receipt!
You should also make sure that you keep your receipt. You want to keep the receipt to make sure that the transaction is as secure as possible. The more secure your transaction is, the more you will be able to trust the money order as a secure form of payment.

Common Questions About Money Orders

When do you use a money order?

Money Orders are accepted by almost any business, government agency, or bank. You can use a money order to pay bills like rent, or utilities, or to send money to someone you know. If you are interested in another convenient, low cost alternative to Checks or Money orders you might consider a Prepaid Debit Card.

Where can I get a money order?

You can obtain a money order at any Western Union location. Walmart, USPS, and convenience stores are some common places where you can get a money order, and many stores will also have Western Union services like Check City does. If you receive a money order, it is at these same places where you can cash a money order. Just stop by one of our conveniently located stores for any of your Western Union needs.

What information do I need for a money order?

You’ll need whatever information you need to properly fill out the money order. You’ll need to know the name of the person or business you are paying and how much you want to put on the money order. In some cases it is also helpful to know the address of the person or business you are writing the money order for.

How should I deliver the money order?

You can deliver the money order by mail or in person, depending on how the recipient would like to receive your payment. You can also transfer money through Western Union directly and then the recipient can pick up the money at their own Western Union location.

Money orders are a great way make a secure form of payment. They’re easy to use and provide another level of safety and security for some of your more important payment needs. Stop by any Check City location to pick up your money order!
Stop by any Check City location to pick up your money order!

Protecting Your Skin in the Sun

The weather is getting warmer, and people are starting to spend more time outside. This is overall a good thing—staying active and soaking in the sun has many health benefits. However, since the sun can be so damaging to the skin, contributing to things like skin cancer, you need to protect your skin if you plan on being outside for an extended period of time.
Ever since you were little you (or your parents) probably lathered sunscreen on. After years of well-published research into the dangers of sunburns, most people are aware of the risks and take steps to prevent burning. But of course, it’s easy to let things slip, and sunburns are all too common.
Learning to care for your skin before you spend time in the sun will ensure that your skin is safe while you are enjoying warm weather. So to help you brush up on your skin protection basics, here are the best ways to save your skin from sunburns this summer.

Avoid being outside when sunlight is the most intense

During the hot summer months the sun can get pretty intense. In fact, if you live at a higher elevation your skin can start to burn in as few as 20 minutes during mid-day.
The peak hours during which you are at highest risk for sun damage is from 10 am to 4 pm. It is important during these hours to either stay out of the sun or protect yourself with sunscreen. Even with adequate protection, seek out shade and drink plenty of water.

Shade is your friend

It’s actually still possible to get a sunburn while in the shade (because of reflecting sunlight), but it definitely slows down the process. Shade not only helps protect you from the harmful rays of the sun, it helps you cool down when you might be at risk of heat exhaustion.
On especially hot days, it can be helpful to take frequent breaks from being in the sun. Have your kids come in for snacks, plan inside activities, or if you are out and about in the city, step in an air-conditioned store every 20 minutes or so. This will help keep you cool and protect your skin at the same time. Shade will ensure that your skin is safe while you are enjoying warm weather.

Cover up

Certain parts of the body get sunburnt more often than others. This includes the face (particularly upper cheeks, nose, and forehead), ears, shoulders, and arms. By wearing a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt, you can reduce eliminate the risk of sunburn on much of your body. If you’re going to be out in the sun a long time, you may still need sunscreen on your face, since reflected sunlight can still burn your skin.
On hot days it may not be practical to wear a long-sleeved shirt. Just remember to use sunscreen responsibly, and practice cooling techniques so your body doesn’t overheat (such as dabbing your forehead with a wet cloth, drinking plenty of water, and seeking out shade).

Lather sunscreen on you and your children

Sunscreen of at least 15 SPF is a great tool to use for preventing sunburns. You’re never too old to use sunscreen, but babies and young children may require special sunscreen that is hypoallergenic. For infants under 6 months old, the Mayo Clinic recommends keeping them out of direct sunlight and covering them up with protective clothing, rather than using sunscreen.
For best protection, apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before going out into the sun. Re-apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day (at least every 2 hours that you remain in the sun), and be diligent when it comes to hydrating yourself and your children.
If you are going to be getting wet or swimming, then a good water-proof sunscreen will do the trick. Just remember to apply it 15 minutes before getting in the water. If you are wearing a swimsuit, then don’t forget to cover all your skin that is exposed to the sun (which could take a lot of sunscreen).
All it takes is a few sunburns to increase the chances of getting skin cancer. Protect yourself and your children by using sunscreen and protective clothing, and by avoiding being out in the sun during peak sunlight hours.

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