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How to Write a Check

I remember walking into the school book fair with a blank check from my parents. The purpose of the oddly shaped paper was unknown to my 8-year-old self, but the value was priceless to me. After having my teacher assist me in writing all the necessary fields, I gave it to the cashier and left with my new arts and crafts book.

Fast forward, I was writing my first check. Without a teacher looking over my shoulder, guiding me through the lines. It was one of the most stressful “Adulting” acts I had ever experienced. The priceless thrill I felt as an 8-year-old turned into fear as I understood now that in this single rectangular piece of banking perforated paper, I was giving someone permission to access my money.  

As most companies nowadays rely on technology for money transfers, it should come as no surprise that recent reports show that checks have been declining significantly in the United States. While this lost transaction art has been felt as early as the 2000s, when more than 40 billion transactions took place with checks to only 20 billion as of October 2012, there is still a need for the paper bank money order.

Fun fact for all of you wire-transferring app-tapping users out there: the decrease in check usage has been tied to a rise in Google searches for “how to write a check.” Regardless of the cause of declining check usage, it is a required and necessary life-skill to properly write a check and understand the required lines.

Junior Achievement is here to help you (and your student) to understand how to fill out a check. Don’t worry, I will be explaining it in the same way my third-grade teacher taught me.

Check writing 101


 

The check example used above is a check from Junior Achievement’s program JA BizTown®. Through this program, students practice how to (responsibly) keep a checkbook through deposit tickets, recording deposits and of course, the dreaded personal check writing. To give your child the skills they need to succeed, please contact your local Junior Achievement office.

Phillips, Matt. "The Spectacular Decline Of Checks ." The Atlantic. N. p., 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2018.

"Where Americans Don’T Know How To Write Checks." Washington Post. N. p., 2018. Web. 14 Mar. 2018.

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