Thursday, May 12, 2005

Vanishing Checks

Does anyone write checks anymore?

Linzy would, if we didn't get free money for running all our purchases through a credit card. I, on the other hand, never liked filling out checks and moved to plastic/online bill-pay as soon as it became practical. But I didn't realize just how few checks I write these days.

A few nights ago I was entering a check into Microsoft Money that I wrote to Sam's Club for the party. The check before that was written way back on January 4th. I've been on this book of checks since December of 2003, and likely won't finish it this year.

Over the last year or so I've been noticing more and more places sporting signs saying they are no longer taking checks, and even my hair-cut place takes credit cards now. Nearly all the checks I've written out of this book are to:

  1. Sam's Club (who doesn't take Visa credit cards)
  2. Small local companies that probably can't afford to pay for the machine and per-transaction fee (like the dog training place for Pippen, or the place that fixed my garage door springs)
  3. Things where I had to mail in a registration form (Convergence, TCOUG, etc)
  4. Individuals I owed money to (like Linzy's Grandma for the snowblower)

Pretty much everything else we pay through online bill pay, or with the credit card. That seems pretty amazing, because for the most part I imagine I'll probably always have to pay these types of things with checks.

If I was in the check processing business, I think I'd be looking to get out.


McBrideFarm said...

I always wonder about this when the person in front me at the grocery store is writing out a check. It seems so bizarre when debit cards are free and credit cards are all about the rewards.

I also am flabbergasted by those folks who carry wads of cash around, when I'm charging my $1.29 at the gas station (gotta get those ThankYou points!).

Pete said...

I'm surprised you didn't write a check for your membership into the elite History Channel club. I would think that you would want to hang the cancelled check on your wall as a memorial to that great day.