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Check Writing Tips
In the
U.S., you write a check using your checking account. You can write a check up
to the monetary balance you have in your account. However, if you have overdraft protection,
you may be able to write a check for a higher amount. 

Bouncing a
check (having it returned due to insufficient funds) is an offense in the USA. The merchant
(to whom you wrote the check) may charge you around $30 to $35, and your bank
may charge you another $25 to $70. If the amount is large, the recipient may take legal action
against you, take you to court, and you may end up in jail.

It is absolutely fine to write a check for small amounts, like $2. Most
people in the U.S. carry little or no cash with them. Most of the payments are
done either with a credit card or check. However, it is still recommended to to carry some
cash (around $20) at all times, just in case. Of course, if you are writing checks
for small amounts, you will want to keep your checkbook with you all the times.

Check Writing Steps

1. Date:
Date format in the U.S. is month/day/year. You can write it out in one of several formats,
such as 11/19/2007, Nov 19, 2007, or November 19, 2007.

2. Payee:
Write the name of the person or company to whom you’re paying money with the check.

3. Amount in Numbers:
the amount in numbers., e.g. 127.89. Note that the $ sign is already pre-printed. Therefore, you don’t have to
write it again.

4. Amount in Words:
This will be the same amount that
you wrote in step 3, e.g., One-hundred twenty-seven and 89/100.

5. Memo:
An optional description of the nature of
the payment. You can write something like "phone bill," "rent," etc. If you have an
account number with the payee, you should mention that account number here. That way if
the check and payment stub are separated at the company, they can keep track of whose account
to apply the payment to.

6. Signature:
Your signature, the same way you wrote it when you opened your
bank account. If you have a joint account, and if there are multiple signatories, any authorized person
can sign.

After you write the check, remember to write the date, check number, payee, and the amount in the
check register located at the front of the checkbook.

Check Information
The order of these numbers may differ on your check and may include some special symbols different than those shown.

7. Check Number:
Each check has a different check number. Please
note that the check number appears twice on the check – once at the top right corner and once at the bottom center.

8. Routing Number:
This is the routing number of the bank that facilitates electronic clearing of the check. This number will
be the same for many account holders at your bank.

The routing number is always nine digits and begins with a 0, 1, 2, or 3. On a check, this number is always bracketed
by this special symbol:

9. Account Number:
bank account number. This number will be the same on all of your checks.
On a check, this number is generally accompanied by this special symbol:

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