Finances & Money

Using Even Fewer Checks

Almost a year ago, I wrote about our declining check usage due to our increased use of online billpay through our bank. Back then, I expected our check usage for 2007 to be under 30…

Wanna guess how many (or few) we used? Here are our totals from prior years:

2004: 95
2005: 96
2006: 41

2007: 19!

Wow, only 19 checks used last year! Here’s a breakdown of those checks:

  • 4 for Stacie’s work (malpractice insurance, holiday party tickets, licensure, conference fees)
  • 4 for birthday/wedding gifts
  • 3 for the city’s water, sewer and trash collection (when will they move from paper bills!?!)
  • 3 for charities
  • 1 for a, um, vehicular matter
  • 1 for a CMS coupon book
  • 1 for an opening deposit on a new bank account
  • 1 for my in-laws to repay for new suspension on our Pontiac
  • 1 for my master’s degree application fee

Obviously, we can’t get away from using checks completely. There are just some people and institutions who won’t accept online checks because they need part of the statement sent with it, or they need something in-hand more immediately. However, dropping from almost 100 for years down to less than 20 is a pretty amazing change. Just think of all those stamps we saved by having the bank mail them for us!

Have you done this type of analysis? What have you noticed with your check usage?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • We still write them for rent, water, and cable/internet. We pay the cell bill online but the first one doesn’t have that option, the second and thirds have made it difficult when we tried to set up accounts.

  • I write 2 checks a year…..both for property taxes. I would charge the amounts (for CC reward points) but my local country passes the transaction costs for CCs on to the homeowners and I can’t justify an extra $75 per payment just to get $100 in rewards (principal payment on my mortgage).

  • I have to use checks for my mortgage, tithes and garbage/sewer/water.

    I can cut out 12 a year once I start the online bill pay. It was just recently that I realized that you could have the bank “write the checks”. Imagine that…

  • If it weren’t for our kids, we’d hardly use any checks at all. But we have to write checks for school lunches, various fund raisers, etc. And because these checks are sporadic and for varying amounts, we can’t easily schedule them via online billpay.

  • You can use your bank’s online billpay to pay the City of Rockville (and really anyone with a mailing address) so that you don’t have to write your own paper check. We have zero recurring bills that we don’t pay through online billpay.

  • Punny, I thought they required the receipt (the part you tear off the bill). I guess I just didn’t want to test it or bother calling them. Well, that’s 4 less checks per year now!

  • I only write checks for my rent, anytime I have to pay something to DMV, and to the college. I think my checks for the year around around 15 or so.

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