1. Money

5: Sign and Write a Memo

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At this point you sign your check, and you can write a memo if you like.
At this point you sign your check, and you can write a memo if you like.
Sign your check legibly, and use the same signature that they have on file at the bank.

If you like, you can also write a memo (your checks may say "For" instead of "Memo"). You might want a reminder of when and why you made this payment. The memo can help you with that. In addition, your service providers might ask that you write something there. For example, they may ask that you include your account number in this space.

A Better Way?

Before you sit down to write a check, consider whether or not you really need to do so. Checks are a fine way to pay, but there are alternatives that might be faster, more convenient, and cheaper. For example, you can:

  • Pay bills online (and even tell your bank to send a check automatically each month). You won't need to write the check, pay for postage, or get the check in the mail
  • Get a debit card and pay with that instead. You'll pay out of the same account, but you'll do it electronically. No need to use up checks (which you'll have to re-order), and you'll have an electronic record of your transaction.
  • Set up electronic payments for regular payments like utility bills and insurance premiums. There's generally no charge, and it makes your life easy. Just be sure that you've always got enough cash in your account to cover the bill.
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