Author Topic: wife insists on getting checks  (Read 24009 times)

frugalnacho

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wife insists on getting checks
« on: August 21, 2014, 09:48:49 AM »
she wants to be added to my checking account so we can ditch her checking account and not keep the minimum required balance in her account.   She used to get free checks with her PNC account, and has a full check book with nothing used out of it because she doesn't ever write checks, because who still writes checks?  I never bothered to get checks with my account because they charge like $18, and I have never written a check since i've had the account, because who still writes checks?  So since she will be ditching her account she insists that we order some $18 checks for my (I guess "ours" now) checking account.  I think it is silly as I don't write checks, and never anticipate needing them ever again. 

All of our bills are automated and get paid electronically.  Everything else we use a CC for.  In the rare instance a place doesn't accept any CC then we have cash.  I can't imagine a scenario where we will ever write a check again, and I feel like the $18 just for her peace of mind is a waste of money.  I told her we can just get a few "starter checks" for 25 cents a piece if she feels like we really need to write a check at some point in the future, but now she is imagining a scenario that we not only need to write a check, but it will be to someone who won't accept a starter check.

How do I reason with her?  Also, am I overlooking some scenario where I will legitimately need to write a check?  I fully anticipate never needing checks again.

Gin1984

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 09:52:15 AM »
The only times I write check is to utilities because they charge me to pay by cc and my water won't agree to be paid via ACH and my other two require ACH payment through their website and after one screwed up, I just went, ok paying by check.  You might once in a while use it and it makes her happy?

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 09:59:37 AM »
The only times I write check is to utilities because they charge me to pay by cc and my water won't agree to be paid via ACH and my other two require ACH payment through their website and after one screwed up, I just went, ok paying by check.  You might once in a while use it and it makes her happy?

All of our utilities either accept CC for free or have automated ACH.  They have been running smoothly for years.  Unless I move to a different municipality that requires payment with checks (at which point we can always order some checks) I don't think we will ever use them.  I think she is just a worrier and wants to plan to every possible scenario.  I like to plan for scenarios when it makes sense, and the idea that we will some how be in a jam and need to write a check RIGHT NOW, and don't have the time to go to the bank to order checks or get a starter check (AND if they will accept a regular check, but NOT a starter check)...just seems extremely unlikely.  I don't ever see that happening.  Absolute worst case scenario I see is that at some point in the future we legitimately need to start writing checks, and we order them from the bank and get them in less than a weeks time (or more likely just buy some starter checks for 25 cents and use them immediately).

Gin1984

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 10:04:25 AM »
The only times I write check is to utilities because they charge me to pay by cc and my water won't agree to be paid via ACH and my other two require ACH payment through their website and after one screwed up, I just went, ok paying by check.  You might once in a while use it and it makes her happy?

All of our utilities either accept CC for free or have automated ACH.  They have been running smoothly for years.  Unless I move to a different municipality that requires payment with checks (at which point we can always order some checks) I don't think we will ever use them.  I think she is just a worrier and wants to plan to every possible scenario.  I like to plan for scenarios when it makes sense, and the idea that we will some how be in a jam and need to write a check RIGHT NOW, and don't have the time to go to the bank to order checks or get a starter check (AND if they will accept a regular check, but NOT a starter check)...just seems extremely unlikely.  I don't ever see that happening.  Absolute worst case scenario I see is that at some point in the future we legitimately need to start writing checks, and we order them from the bank and get them in less than a weeks time (or more likely just buy some starter checks for 25 cents and use them immediately).
I hate you.  I really do.  :P  Could you order a couple starter checks, agree to get a certified check (and have the pricing for her) if she needs it and if you start using checks to order them (and have proof that they will come in that time)?  Could that be a compromise?

Noodle

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 10:05:03 AM »
1. I use checks to pay medical bills and occasionally small businesses or one-time payments. My hair stylist doesn't take credit cards, for instance. I also use checks to settle up with friends or family members for group gifts or purchases. Some child cares only take checks.
2. It happens often enough that it would be more of a hassle to work around not having checks than to just buy them.
3. You can can order checks for half the bank's price, if not better, from other vendors like Current. I have never bought bank checks in my life.
4. I get minimizing useless purchases, but it seems like a lot of controversy over $20, one-time. In the worst case, you buy a box and they last forever from being so seldom used.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 10:11:07 AM by Noodle »

Frankies Girl

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 10:05:38 AM »
We still have to write checks occasionally (like 99% of our bills are online bill pay) but the accounts we have do offer free checks.

At least if you do have to get checks, it is $18 and you may never have to buy any again, since she technically won't ever use them all up. Keep in mind, she's got her own rationalizations for wanting them, and even if it is just emotional.

And also ask yourself: is saving $18 worth the battle and hurt feelings?
(not that I don't agree with you, but sometimes people can be irrational creatures, and that's a cheap price to avoid a headache)


Gimesalot

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 10:07:20 AM »
You can buy cheaper checks online.  Just google. 

Bonus:  They come in awesome designs

rocksinmyhead

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 10:07:44 AM »
I write checks, only very occasionally, but I do write them. Like Noodle said, settling up with friends and family is a common one. Also I go to professional luncheons that are $20 and I'm terrible at having cash on me so I often have to use checks for those. I also agree with Noodle that you should look into ordering them cheaper from somewhere else!

soccerluvof4

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 10:12:13 AM »
If 18$ put her mind at ease why fight it? Happy Wife Happy Life! and who knows someday you might surprise yourself and use one. I get you dont want to waste the money but if it eases her mind its worth it! And as others had mentioned you can get them cheaper than that!!

frugaliknowit

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2014, 10:16:10 AM »
Echo Soccerlove.

Also, if possible just order one book from Supervaluechecks.com for a couple of bux.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2014, 10:20:02 AM »
We still have to write checks occasionally (like 99% of our bills are online bill pay) but the accounts we have do offer free checks.

At least if you do have to get checks, it is $18 and you may never have to buy any again, since she technically won't ever use them all up. Keep in mind, she's got her own rationalizations for wanting them, and even if it is just emotional.

And also ask yourself: is saving $18 worth the battle and hurt feelings?
(not that I don't agree with you, but sometimes people can be irrational creatures, and that's a cheap price to avoid a headache)

I'm not out to hurt her feelings, I am out to convert her to my line of thinking. 

It's not so much about the money, $18 is nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Hell she spent more than that on sushi this month.  It's about not wasting that money, or any money. I just don't see the value in buying something I am almost certain we won't use.

I will be checking into ordering online checks tonight.  If we can get them for half price I may just let it go and order then via that route if she still insists.

How much do you guys pay for a book of checks?  I believe my wife said it was $18 through the credit union, but I haven't investigated it myself.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2014, 10:21:14 AM »
I write checks, only very occasionally, but I do write them. Like Noodle said, settling up with friends and family is a common one. Also I go to professional luncheons that are $20 and I'm terrible at having cash on me so I often have to use checks for those. I also agree with Noodle that you should look into ordering them cheaper from somewhere else!

Some how I am always the one that is owed, so I accept a fair number of checks, but never seem to need to write them myself.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2014, 10:24:22 AM »
Wal Mart also has cheap checks. My DH writes a check to get his hair cut once a month. I can't think of the last check we wrote otherwise.

Fuyu

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2014, 10:26:13 AM »
Capital One 360 offers 50 checks for $5.00 and the first 50 checks were free for me.

I would wait until Black Friday to sign up for a bigger bonus if you do sign up though.

innkeeper77

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2014, 10:37:41 AM »
I use ally bank and they send me free checks if I ever ask. (I had to pay rent by check until recently, so this was nice!)

I honestly don't know why anyone would actually pay for checks, since accounts with free options exist. Of course, I am the person who technically had four banks.. (I stick with ally for the most part, but have an old chase account, a credit union account because they are my employer, and some accounts purely for investing purposes)

cynthia1848

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2014, 10:39:26 AM »
Dude, just get the checks.  We use checks for our babysitter, utilities (the ones with fees or no electronic payment option), tuition for preschool, etc.

iampatriciag

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2014, 10:40:43 AM »
When we switched to our local Credit Union, I fretted about not getting a legit check book too but it turns out I can just walk in, request a check or two (for free!), and be done with it.  I think I've used 5 or 6 in the last 2 years. 

partgypsy

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2014, 10:41:51 AM »
I wanted to change to all electronic, but was not able to. Most of our recurring bills are by debit, but some will not allow (local utilities). For medical bills until just recently our health system was set up, if I was paying by eft, it was not specifying by particular bill even though I would enter that info, and all kinds of mistakes were happening (sending me refund checks at the same time I owed on other accounts). The only way to avoid that was by mailing checks with the relevant info in the memo sections. We also have many one-off expenses for our kids in school, where often they prefer check because it shows proof of payment (versus cash).
And yep I still send checks to family members for b-day presents at times.

I don't think this is something to really fight about, the $18 should be a one time expense if she is not really using checks as you say she is. I'm impressed that you have been able to get to 0 check usage.

Dee18

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2014, 10:43:32 AM »
I have accounts with two banks and they both provide free checks.  Might look around.

Russ

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2014, 10:46:44 AM »
it's $18, and if you really do never use them then you never have to buy them again. It seems to matter to your wife, so get over it. I mean, if you can get them for free or cheaper somehow that's great and all, but the nice thing about saving a significant proportion of your income is you don't have to worry about little stuff like this.

rugorak

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2014, 11:01:26 AM »
You can get run of the mill plain old checks for cheaper. I think I paid maybe $12 including shipping for a box with carbon copy a year ago.

Just get the smallest count you possibly can. Let them collect dust and hopefully they come in handy at some point. It isn't worth the argument over a small 1 time cost.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2014, 11:05:40 AM »
it's $18, and if you really do never use them then you never have to buy them again. It seems to matter to your wife, so get over it. I mean, if you can get them for free or cheaper somehow that's great and all, but the nice thing about saving a significant proportion of your income is you don't have to worry about little stuff like this.

But the flipside of that is that I am able to save a significant portion of my income because I scrutinize our purchases and eliminate frivolous shit we don't need.  Why not crank the AC down an extra degree?  Or turn the heat up 1 extra degree?  Or get that vanilla latte on fridays?

This isn't a knee jerk reaction.  I haven't used a check in years and don't anticipate us ever needing to write one.  This is about optimizing every dollar spent, and I don't feel this spending is optimized.  I think we will spend $18 and never use it.  I would rather convince her that we don't actually need it than give in and purchase it just to pacify her.

We aren't fighting about it or anything either, we are just having a civil discussion about it.  She thinks we need it, I don't think we need it.  We discussed it in the past and I decided it was a waste of money especially since she still has a check book with PNC, even though she hasn't written a check since that discussion.  She has been reluctant to ditch the PNC (and the required $500 minimum balance) because of the check issue (among other things).  I think that minimum balance could be put to better use as it is essentially costing us the opportunity cost of investing $500 to keep "free checks".   That opportunity cost is real, and will be worth me conceding on the issue and getting checks so we can invest that money.  I still think a more optimal solution is to close the PNC account and not get any checks at all, but ordering some cheaper ones online would be a good compromise.  The prices on supervaluechecks.com seem reasonable for a pack of 60 (which is about 60 more than I anticipate needing).

Bourbon

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2014, 11:06:20 AM »
We still have to write checks occasionally (like 99% of our bills are online bill pay) but the accounts we have do offer free checks.

At least if you do have to get checks, it is $18 and you may never have to buy any again, since she technically won't ever use them all up. Keep in mind, she's got her own rationalizations for wanting them, and even if it is just emotional.

And also ask yourself: is saving $18 worth the battle and hurt feelings?
(not that I don't agree with you, but sometimes people can be irrational creatures, and that's a cheap price to avoid a headache)

I'm not out to hurt her feelings, I am out to convert her to my line of thinking. 

It's not so much about the money, $18 is nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Hell she spent more than that on sushi this month.  It's about not wasting that money, or any money. I just don't see the value in buying something I am almost certain we won't use.

I will be checking into ordering online checks tonight.  If we can get them for half price I may just let it go and order then via that route if she still insists.

How much do you guys pay for a book of checks?  I believe my wife said it was $18 through the credit union, but I haven't investigated it myself.


I have used Carousel Checks in the past, around $5 for a small order of the basic design.

That said, the Checks I have are from two addresses ago, because no one uses checks.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 11:17:48 AM by Bourbon »

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2014, 11:10:19 AM »
You can get run of the mill plain old checks for cheaper. I think I paid maybe $12 including shipping for a box with carbon copy a year ago.

Just get the smallest count you possibly can. Let them collect dust and hopefully they come in handy at some point. It isn't worth the argument over a small 1 time cost.

I think there is a misconception about the amount of arguing going on over the issue.  We are simply discussing how to spend our money.  Don't you guys discuss financial matters and try to reason with your spouse? And maybe try to convince them that your way of thinking is correct, and you might be better off doing X (and vice versa - it does both ways)? Or do you just immediately throw up your hands and give in on all matters under a certain dollar value?

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2014, 11:11:03 AM »
The last time I ordered checks, I probably paid $5 or less for a box of checks.  Look for mailer coupons or online deals.  I would never pay more than $10 for a box.  I ordered 4 boxes last time and that will last me a decade.

Frankies Girl

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2014, 11:47:33 AM »
Absolutely nothing wrong in discussing, but you've stated your case and she's countered with her viewpoint and neither of you seems to be willing to budge. So it seems you're at a stalemate.

And as far as getting her to see you are "right"... well, you know your wife better than any of us. Will she come around if you keep discussing? Will having proof that for the last X number of years, neither of you have written checks phase her? Is it worth going over and over the subject just to persuade her that she is wrong? And how important to you is it to be "right?"  Sometimes people will never agree on certain trivial matters and even if it is a perfectly reasonable discussion with no fighting, you're still essentially telling her that her perception to have checks (want/need) is not as important/right as your viewpoint.

She doesn't want to give up the $500 minimum account to move to yours without having checks.  So if nothing you've said so far has changed her mind - no matter what evidence you've shown that you don't need checks -  then compromise would be the next solution logically.

And to be fair, you're actually talking about buying some checks for under $10 (if you get them from one of the online check places) vs. $500 being held in that account as the minimum, so the cost factor isn't just "throw up your hands and give in on a tiny amount" it's freeing up $500 vs. by spending $10 as a compromise.


Me personally, I do the same thing - I will try to get the spouse around to seeing my way, and most of the time it does just take a little explaining and examples and he's good. But he does dig in his heels sometimes, and yes, I've compromised. It's not about a dollar cost average either; it's a give and take. But I definitely would not have an issue on this particular example even if the checks cost $20, because I can still see your wife's side of things.



iris lily

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2014, 11:55:37 AM »
she wants to be added to my checking account so we can ditch her checking account and not keep the minimum required balance in her account.   She used to get free checks with her PNC account, and has a full check book with nothing used out of it because she doesn't ever write checks, because who still writes checks?  I never bothered to get checks with my account because they charge like $18, and I have never written a check since i've had the account, because who still writes checks?  So since she will be ditching her account she insists that we order some $18 checks for my (I guess "ours" now) checking account.  I think it is silly as I don't write checks, and never anticipate needing them ever again. 

All of our bills are automated and get paid electronically.  Everything else we use a CC for.  In the rare instance a place doesn't accept any CC then we have cash.  I can't imagine a scenario where we will ever write a check again, and I feel like the $18 just for her peace of mind is a waste of money.  I told her we can just get a few "starter checks" for 25 cents a piece if she feels like we really need to write a check at some point in the future, but now she is imagining a scenario that we not only need to write a check, but it will be to someone who won't accept a starter check.

How do I reason with her?  Also, am I overlooking some scenario where I will legitimately need to write a check?  I fully anticipate never needing checks again.

There are plenty of places that require checks (or cash) with no other method of payment available.  Examples of checks I write each year:

1) Lily society plant sale, and membership, and occasional donations
2) iris society sale  "       "        "          "
3) small antique dealers who do not have charge account mechanisms
4) Library fines
5) payment to a friend for something or other, often a reimbursement for something they've paid for and we are splitting cost
6) gifts for wedding, birthdays, graduations

And then, DH is always paid by check or cash. He has a small handyman/carpentry business. He does not accept charge cards.  Actually, as I think about it, any of the work We've had done is paid for with check or cash.

So I guess that you don't need checks if you are willing to pony up cash for all of those things above. The ones on the list 1 - 6 are small potatoes costs, under $250.00 But to hire a workman and pay for tuckpointing, new roof,  a major paint job, etc--that goes into the thousands. Not sure I'd like to use cash for that.

I would get cheap checks and let her find out how many she uses annually. Personally, I hate carrying big wads of cash. Hate it, and in my near ghetto 'nabe it's not safe. I find that my charge card carries me though 95%% of my purchases. But sending cash through the mail (to the 1 -6  purchases on my list) and cash gets lost and etc--that is a problem. 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 11:59:05 AM by iris lily »

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2014, 12:00:47 PM »
Sometimes she is rational and logical and I can talk to her and convince her, and other times she is not.  I don't know how this one will play out - probably some compromise to order cheaper checks online.  I agree shutting down her account and moving that $500 over to an investment account is in both of our best interests, and the gain from that will probably outweigh the cost of the checks in the long run even if we ordered the $18 ones.  There were other factors involved other than the check issue though, but now it appears she is ready to make the leap and combine to a single checking account. 

I guess I just don't understand her view because we don't use checks.  And if we do need them, we always have the option to go and purchase them at that time.  It's not like this is a now-or-never offer that we must seize; checks will always be available for purchase in the event we need them.   I haven't presented any evidence to her because there is none, I don't have a checking history.  I closed my last account years ago and switched over to a credit union and I have the same thought process then as I do now: I don't currently need checks, and I don't anticipate needing checks, and the option to buy them in the future is there so I will hold off until I need them.  I haven't needed them yet.

Prairie Stash

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2014, 12:06:33 PM »
I think you're having a fun civil conversation with your wife. I applaud you in taking time to care about what your wife thinks. The amount of money isn't relevant, I think your interest in her feelings is all that's important here.

I would make a deal with my wife in a similar situation.  If she needs a cheque within one year you have to do something nice for her(she picks the penalty). If she can't find any reason then she gets to do something for you. Let her prove the need and offer her a reward if she proves her case, my wife would especially love getting a foot massage just because she proved me wrong.  If I won a bet like this I would insist on a Blizzard from DQ, paid for by her (it's symbolic since its joint money) and a walk around the block while we enjoyed them.  We like to compete on the little things, its harmless fun. The trick is it gives both people time to prove their case without having to predict the future.

iris lily

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2014, 12:16:02 PM »

I guess I just don't understand her view because we don't use checks. ....

Yes, I understand. But do you then carry big wads of cash to address the points I made? Or are you simply NEVER in a situation where your credit/debit card or online pay does not work?

LibrarIan

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2014, 12:18:08 PM »
Just an FYI, if you bank with US Bank (other banks may do this too), then you can get checks for $7.00. Three books for $7.00 isn't bad. I went to my local branch last weekend to do something and asked about checks and I asked for the lowest possible rate. They said if you go online and order it's typically $18-22.00 or more depending on how fancy you get, or they can order for as low as $7.00. I still use checks to pay rent and for money gifts.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2014, 12:21:26 PM »
And also ask yourself: is saving $18 worth the battle and hurt feelings?
(not that I don't agree with you, but sometimes people can be irrational creatures, and that's a cheap price to avoid a headache)

This.  As someone else mentioned, you can get them cheaper from the check printer shop.

Finally, if there is ever a single time you ever, ever, ever need a check and don't have one...you'll never hear the end of it!  It is for this reason alone that I have a box of never-used checks in the bottom of my safe.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2014, 12:23:47 PM »

I guess I just don't understand her view because we don't use checks. ....

Yes, I understand. But do you then carry big wads of cash to address the points I made? Or are you simply NEVER in a situation where your credit/debit card or online pay does not work?

Both.  We accumulate cash from side jobs and hustles and put it in our safe.  Once we get up to between $1k-2k we go to the bank and deposit it.  I also keep around $60-100 in my wallet, and she keeps around $40-50 cash in her purse.  We make sure to stock up before we make a bank run to deposit cash. We also rarely spend cash.  (I don't remember the last time we extracted cash via an ATM.  6 years? I have never done it with my current credit union.)

Numbers 1-4 are NA to me, and for 5-6 we have cash on hand all the time.  I would rather give cash for a gift and not deal with waiting for them to cash the check. 

Situations have come up in the past where we needed a check, but those are becoming less frequent.  All our utilities have been check free for years.  Medical bills seem to be able to be paid with CC or direct payment from the account.

dragoncar

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2014, 12:25:37 PM »
I'll fall on the side that says it's prudent to always have a check handy.  The world is modernizing, but there are still plenty of places that only take checks (often bureaucratic government entities).  But you don't have to pay for them if you don't want to.  Open an Ally checking account (or any other account with free checks as mentioned above).  No minimum balance and free checks.  If you ever do have to write a check, you should be able to transfer the funds into the account before the draft comes in (if you want to play it tight like that).

Freedom2016

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2014, 12:27:22 PM »
Do you guys have any kind of allowance system, or small pots of side money for discretionary spending?

If yes, you could ask her to foot the bill for buying new checks. Seems a reasonable compromise to me. (Though, for the record, I think it's unreasonable to dig in on a 1-time expense that could be under $10 if you shop around.)

Hubby and I are having a similar debate (in terms of how strongly we each feel) about getting cable TV. I finally convinced him to get rid of it last fall, but it's been so hard for him to watch his sports teams that he now wants to sign back up. I am adamantly opposed to it because we already have problems with too much screen time in our house and the last thing I want is 200 channels of HGTV/Bravo shows sucking me in. So our conversation right now is about whether he cares enough about getting cable to foot the bill himself out of his allowance money, with the agreement that I don't watch cable at all, and he watches ONLY his sports teams.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 12:29:34 PM by course11 »

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2014, 12:28:22 PM »
I'll fall on the side that says it's prudent to always have a check handy.  The world is modernizing, but there are still plenty of places that only take checks (often bureaucratic government entities).  But you don't have to pay for them if you don't want to.  Open an Ally checking account (or any other account with free checks as mentioned above).  No minimum balance and free checks.  If you ever do have to write a check, you should be able to transfer the funds into the account before the draft comes in (if you want to play it tight like that).

Now that's frugal. 

nordlead

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2014, 12:34:05 PM »
Get an Ally checking account (or similar), and just transfer money over there if you need to write a check. They will mail you a free checkbook and I think the minimum balance is $1. Ally even lets you choose the check numbers (a long time ago I was disqualified for something because the check number was too low, so I grabbed the check from the back of my book, and was no longer disqualified... it didn't make sense then either).

I rarely use checks, but I do use them when I gift people money (graduations/weddings) rather than using a service like pop money or paypal. The last time I wrote a check was for my wife's cousin's graduation. She may have had an email/phone number to send the money too, but it was easier just to pull out the checkbook.

dragoncar

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2014, 12:37:17 PM »
Get an Ally checking account (or similar), and just transfer money over there if you need to write a check. They will mail you a free checkbook and I think the minimum balance is $1. Ally even lets you choose the check numbers (a long time ago I was disqualified for something because the check number was too low, so I grabbed the check from the back of my book, and was no longer disqualified... it didn't make sense then either).

I rarely use checks, but I do use them when I gift people money (graduations/weddings) rather than using a service like pop money or paypal. The last time I wrote a check was for my wife's cousin's graduation. She may have had an email/phone number to send the money too, but it was easier just to pull out the checkbook.

I like the way you think

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2014, 12:37:37 PM »
Get an Ally checking account (or similar), and just transfer money over there if you need to write a check. They will mail you a free checkbook and I think the minimum balance is $1. Ally even lets you choose the check numbers (a long time ago I was disqualified for something because the check number was too low, so I grabbed the check from the back of my book, and was no longer disqualified... it didn't make sense then either).

I rarely use checks, but I do use them when I gift people money (graduations/weddings) rather than using a service like pop money or paypal. The last time I wrote a check was for my wife's cousin's graduation. She may have had an email/phone number to send the money too, but it was easier just to pull out the checkbook.

Yea this sounds like the winner.  It also eliminates the accounting frustration of waiting for someone to cash a check.  If I write a check I can just put the money into the ally account, and the account balance should be $1 all the time.  If it's ever not then I know someone hasn't cashed a check - but that money is already earmarked and into a special account so I won't have to worry about it anyway. 

iris lily

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2014, 12:41:39 PM »
...  The world is modernizing, but there are still plenty of places that only take checks (often bureaucratic government entities)....

yup, I lease a community garden from the City of St. Louis. My fee is $5 for 5 years. They insist on a money order, no checks no cash. What a PITA that is to get, a money order. ugh.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 12:45:42 PM by iris lily »

CommonCents

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2014, 12:42:21 PM »
I find checks helpful so I'm with your wife that there are times when it's better or much easier to have them.  That said, our banks will give us free checks if we don't get the pretty patterned ones.  We just ordered new free ones with our new address (new house) for Bank of America.  I struggled with USAA checks because I wanted the pretty patterned ones (but agreed I didn't need to spend money on them), so I kept on using the pretty patterned ones I bought in about June of 2001 with a very very very old address.  $18 for 13+ years of checks is not bad!

Of the top of my head, I've used them for gifts (weddings), paying my water bill (cheaper than paying with credit card), repaying family members when they buy something for me (we don't really use paypal) and for some small businesses (have gotten a discount for this).

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2014, 12:49:08 PM »
Do you guys have any kind of allowance system, or small pots of side money for discretionary spending?

If yes, you could ask her to foot the bill for buying new checks. Seems a reasonable compromise to me. (Though, for the record, I think it's unreasonable to dig in on a 1-time expense that could be under $10 if you shop around.)

Hubby and I are having a similar debate (in terms of how strongly we each feel) about getting cable TV. I finally convinced him to get rid of it last fall, but it's been so hard for him to watch his sports teams that he now wants to sign back up. I am adamantly opposed to it because we already have problems with too much screen time in our house and the last thing I want is 200 channels of HGTV/Bravo shows sucking me in. So our conversation right now is about whether he cares enough about getting cable to foot the bill himself out of his allowance money, with the agreement that I don't watch cable at all, and he watches ONLY his sports teams.

No. We have general guidelines to try to optimize our money spent to achieve maximum happiness.  I've never understood the concept of a discretionary budget; It always seemed like a budget to waste on frivolous stuff.  If it's something we actually want and will make us happy then it just goes into the normal budget, and if it's not then we don't need a budget for it.  We usually run expenses by each other, even small ones, because we talk about money all the time.  If it's a completely one sided benefit (like you getting cable tv) then I think we would push for concessions in another area to make up for it since it's all joint money.  I mean it's not fair for me to sacrifice $200/mo worth of stuff, and her to sacrifice nothing but still benefit from my sacrifice. 

However if she wanted to crinkle up and throw away a $1 bill for no reason I would dig my heals in and spend many many times the equivalent life energy trying to stop her just on the principal of the matter.   Even though I know it's a one time expense, and unless I could convince her in less than 2 minutes it's probably not worth the time I would spend on it, I would still dig in my heals.

iris lily

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2014, 12:49:39 PM »
Oh right, I get a 10% discount from my dentist when I pay cash/check. Since I never carry cash and don't want to plan ahead for this sort of thing, checks are best.

But the OP has a stream of cash coming into his house, he doesn't need to "plan ahead" to get wads of it.

This is why checks work easily for 5% of my outgoing money. It's only 5%.


MillenialMustache

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2014, 12:53:19 PM »
Do either of you work? I thought the only way to set up a direct deposit was with a check? Is that incorrect - I really don't know.

Anyway, I like to have a check handy every now and then. I use them once or twice a year.

tomsang

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2014, 12:58:01 PM »
Is this about Checks or her desire to have a commingled account?  The answer to one is practical and the answer to the other is one is more complicated.

Cpa Cat

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2014, 01:30:13 PM »
I feel like I live in the stone ages or something... I write checks all the time (not at the grocery store, but at least once a month).

Just this week I wrote a check to a guy who cut down a storm-damaged tree.

I don't think my lawyer accepts any other form of payment. The guy who services our in-ground sprinkler system would probably take cash, but I stick with checks.

Also I write checks to my friends/family sometimes.

There's a local donut store that accepts personal checks or cash, but nothing else.

Ok... so I may have overstated. That doesn't sound like "all the time." I only had to write a check at the donut store once.


MandyM

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #46 on: August 21, 2014, 01:48:46 PM »
Do either of you work? I thought the only way to set up a direct deposit was with a check? Is that incorrect - I really don't know.

Anyway, I like to have a check handy every now and then. I use them once or twice a year.

No, all you really need to set up direct deposit is your account number and routing number. Both of which are printed on a check.

I'm surprised by the number of people that pay any sort of recurring bill by check (utility, etc). Capital One 360 (formally ING Direct) will send a payment anywhere for free. They even figure out if they can do it electronically or if the payee will only accept a mailed check. And you can send a check to a person (physically or electronically), no charge. You can get a book of checks from them now, but I have no idea what the cost is.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #47 on: August 21, 2014, 02:09:48 PM »
Do either of you work? I thought the only way to set up a direct deposit was with a check? Is that incorrect - I really don't know.

Anyway, I like to have a check handy every now and then. I use them once or twice a year.

Yes I work, but my employer doesn't offer direct deposit.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #48 on: August 21, 2014, 02:15:59 PM »
I feel like I live in the stone ages or something... I write checks all the time (not at the grocery store, but at least once a month).

Just this week I wrote a check to a guy who cut down a storm-damaged tree.

I don't think my lawyer accepts any other form of payment. The guy who services our in-ground sprinkler system would probably take cash, but I stick with checks.

Also I write checks to my friends/family sometimes.

There's a local donut store that accepts personal checks or cash, but nothing else.

Ok... so I may have overstated. That doesn't sound like "all the time." I only had to write a check at the donut store once.

I hate getting stuck in line behind someone at the grocery store who pays by check.  Those people are idiots and they are wasting everyone's time.  I'm not even aware of a bank or credit union that doesn't automatically issue a debit card with the account. 

I don't have a tree guy, sprinkler guy, or a lawyer.  My donut guys accept cash or CC.  I tell friend and family I would like to give them a gift, but I don't believe in checks (and have no cash as far as they're concerned).

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #49 on: August 21, 2014, 02:17:46 PM »
I write checks fairly often--rent, babysitters, etc. The time my credit card was declined at the pharmacy and they didn't take Amex (my Costco card).

I got mine recently from Checks Unlimited for $6. You can always find a coupon code online for those. $18 is stupid.