Author Topic: wife insists on getting checks  (Read 23996 times)

MicroRN

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2014, 03:34:06 PM »
I only use checks for rent and for babysitters.  However, my bank (USAA) provides free checks.  I'd look online, I know I've even seen places that offer a free first book as a promo, or a small pack of 25 checks for a few dollars.   

rujancified

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #51 on: August 21, 2014, 03:47:57 PM »
We have a similar sort of set up - He's on my/our account, but has his own account. He has no checks. I have checks (because they come in batches of 1-7 million or so). Because his account doesn't have checks, we've had to do the First Bank (Get Money), Second Bank (Deposit Money), Wait for money to clear, and finally write Check dance a couple times this year and it's super annoying. We're figuring out how to merge, if glacially.

This wasn't for normal life expenses, though: One large business investment and a car purchase. We do write checks from "our account" to "his account" here and there as a quick way to transfer money (the electronic way takes like 3 business days?). No other reasons for check writing except random charity stuff.

dragoncar

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #52 on: August 21, 2014, 04:09:43 PM »
I'm kinda surprised about all the baby sitters.  Why not just pay them cash?

lizzzi

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #53 on: August 21, 2014, 06:23:38 PM »
I write checks fairly often (not in the grocery store line, lol), pretty much for the same reasons others have posted. They are free from the bank. I treat my credit cards like plutonium that is ready to explode at any moment…it is too easy to spend too much or unthinkingly when just hauling out the CC. Checks make you slow down and also make you fill out that check register to see what you're spending on an ongoing basis. I guess debit cards would do the same, but they have drawbacks, too, I've read. I only use my debit card at Aldi's.

Joel

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #54 on: August 21, 2014, 06:53:34 PM »
This conversation is on the edge of frugal and cheap...

skyrefuge

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #55 on: August 21, 2014, 07:46:35 PM »
Easy compromise: buy the checks, but make a deal. If, after 3 years, when you check the drawer where you keep them, and see none have been used, give one to the wife, send her to the grocery store with it, make her interview people at the checkout line until she finds someone else who will be paying by check, let that person go in front of her, and after the interminable wait, make her use that check while suffering the glares of the person behind her. Done!

I just used a couple of checks for the first time in years. It was on a bike tour when we stayed at bed-and-breakfasts. Shortly before leaving I just happened to notice one place that said they'd take cash or check only, thought, "huh, places still take checks? They're really trying to play up their quaintness and old-fashioned charm!" But then I realized that carrying a couple of checks with me would add some flexibility without having to keep a large wad of cash on hand every day.

MicroRN

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #56 on: August 21, 2014, 07:55:39 PM »
I'm kinda surprised about all the baby sitters.  Why not just pay them cash?

Ease of use.  No need to stop by the ATM, and then make sure I have the right denominations for whatever hours they worked.  I rarely keep more than $20 in cash on me.  It also makes for easier accounting, because the check will show up in my online banking.  I'm very bad at logging cash outflows.   

sheepstache

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #57 on: August 21, 2014, 09:30:59 PM »
I sympathize with your desire not to spend money on something you won't use.  Does your wife have a record of how many checks she's written in the past five years? Just like how you would look at past usage to determine your cell phone plan, it might psychologically help your wife to look at the evidence that she never uses checks.

I don't think anyone has mentioned their bank's bill pay service?  I see a lot of checking accounts offering this for free and even offering bonuses for using it (Santander comes to mind).  So if one of the companies I pay bills to doesn't offer automated withdrawals, I can automatically have the bank send a check to them.  The money is removed from your account immediately and, I assume, the bank profits off it for the days before the check they sent gets cashed by the receiver.  And if it gets lost in the mail or by the receiver, they put a stop payment on it for free (which is like $20 or something ridiculous if you do it with a personal check).  Some banks offer a different service specifically for person-to-person payments but I've used the billpay for sending checks to relatives.  If I desperately needed a check to give to someone in person I could always bill pay one in their name to my address.  Ally offers it for free but the checking account you're consolidating to might too.

AshStash

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2014, 01:45:56 AM »
I sympathize with your desire not to spend money on something you won't use.  Does your wife have a record of how many checks she's written in the past five years? Just like how you would look at past usage to determine your cell phone plan, it might psychologically help your wife to look at the evidence that she never uses checks.

I don't think anyone has mentioned their bank's bill pay service?  I see a lot of checking accounts offering this for free and even offering bonuses for using it (Santander comes to mind).  So if one of the companies I pay bills to doesn't offer automated withdrawals, I can automatically have the bank send a check to them.  The money is removed from your account immediately and, I assume, the bank profits off it for the days before the check they sent gets cashed by the receiver.  And if it gets lost in the mail or by the receiver, they put a stop payment on it for free (which is like $20 or something ridiculous if you do it with a personal check).  Some banks offer a different service specifically for person-to-person payments but I've used the billpay for sending checks to relatives.  If I desperately needed a check to give to someone in person I could always bill pay one in their name to my address.  Ally offers it for free but the checking account you're consolidating to might too.

+1

I haven't written a check for a couple of years now but even when I did use checks for rent and to settle up with friends, I used SunTrust's bill pay service. As sheepstache says, it's not just for bills but you can use it to get the bank to mail personal checks to anyone you like, free of charge. I was even able to automate sending a rent check every month to my landlord. The one time I had an issue was when my landlord had his mail stolen and lost all the rent checks. I was able to stop payment on my bill pay check free of charge while my roommate had to pay a fee to stop payment on her traditional check. It sounds like you don't anticipate using many checks, so your bank's bill pay service or the Ally account seem like good options before spending the $18 for checks to sit in a drawer unused.

pipercat

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #59 on: August 22, 2014, 06:35:36 AM »
Ah, I remember those days of having no use for checks.  Then we had kids! We use checks for all those fees you have to pay at school. It really does add up to lots of fees over the course of a year. Nothing super expensive, but little bits here and there.  Also, my daughter's dance class and gymnastics only take cash and checks. I find cash to be far too inconvenient, as I never have any with me.

These darn kids are the reason I started carrying my checkbook in my purse, after many many years without doing so.


CommonCents

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #60 on: August 22, 2014, 07:31:09 AM »
I sympathize with your desire not to spend money on something you won't use.  Does your wife have a record of how many checks she's written in the past five years? Just like how you would look at past usage to determine your cell phone plan, it might psychologically help your wife to look at the evidence that she never uses checks.

Except it's not as easy to say "I used 36 checks, thus each check cost me 50 cents".  If there are a few of those places that you couldn't have paid any other way at the time, then having the checks was invaluable.  Only the OP can say whether that's the case in the past (and it's hard to predict the future with 100% certainty).

I'm also going to say that this may be a "win the battle, lose the war" situation.  If she wants the checks it is only $18 at the most (we shared ways to reduce to zero) and you are not in a debt emergency.  Give over with grace.  It's not worth a fight in your marriage.

SingleMomDebt

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wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2014, 07:49:04 AM »
Lots of banks now offer to print a set of 3 checks for you at $1/ea. right at the teller. has all your info. No need to buy a whole box. This is what i do at the rare instances of needing checks.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #62 on: August 22, 2014, 02:59:03 PM »
You can actually print your own checks on a computer with a standard printer. There's nothing magical about a check being printed on special paper or anything. If it's got your routing numbers and a clear "Pay to", an amount and proper endorsements, it's a check.

Granted, some tellers may look at it funny, but I had no issues using them to transfer funds between my checking accounts for free.

CommonCents

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #63 on: August 22, 2014, 03:01:26 PM »
You can actually print your own checks on a computer with a standard printer. There's nothing magical about a check being printed on special paper or anything. If it's got your routing numbers and a clear "Pay to", an amount and proper endorsements, it's a check.

Granted, some tellers may look at it funny, but I had no issues using them to transfer funds between my checking accounts for free.

Oh yes, this.  I forget about it even though I taught a business law course!
You could even do it on a napkin.  Granted it may require a Not Worth It amount of time educating the receiver that it's legit, but you can.

lakemom

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2014, 03:24:03 PM »
Ah, I remember those days of having no use for checks.  Then we had kids! We use checks for all those fees you have to pay at school. It really does add up to lots of fees over the course of a year. Nothing super expensive, but little bits here and there.  Also, my daughter's dance class and gymnastics only take cash and checks. I find cash to be far too inconvenient, as I never have any with me.

These darn kids are the reason I started carrying my checkbook in my purse, after many many years without doing so.

+1  Kid related expenses are about the only place I write checks to anymore.  There are a couple of Mom/Pop businesses that I use occasionally that I still write checks to because they prefer it since processing plastic costs them 3-5% off the top and as we all know every penny counts to us so its the same for them.

dragoncar

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2014, 03:40:07 PM »
You can actually print your own checks on a computer with a standard printer. There's nothing magical about a check being printed on special paper or anything. If it's got your routing numbers and a clear "Pay to", an amount and proper endorsements, it's a check.

Granted, some tellers may look at it funny, but I had no issues using them to transfer funds between my checking accounts for free.

Oh yes, this.  I forget about it even though I taught a business law course!
You could even do it on a napkin.  Granted it may require a Not Worth It amount of time educating the receiver that it's legit, but you can.

They used to use magnetic ink for automated processing, but I guess with optical scanning these days they may not need it.  Either way, I think you increase the risk the check is returned, in which case the fees involved will also make the maneuver totally not worth it.

taekvideo

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #66 on: August 22, 2014, 09:55:57 PM »
my credit union offers single checks for 10 cents each.
I got 10 of them for a dollar 5 years ago.
Still have half of them... have changed addresses 2 times since them but I assume they're still good? o.O

Rural

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #67 on: August 23, 2014, 05:34:22 AM »
We don't use checks often at all, but it's sometimes been a major PITA locating them when we have needed them.  :-)


For a while, I knew exactly where they were, when we were having concrete poured, etc., on the house. Checks gave me a paper trail on our cost basis in the house.


It's useful sometimes to have a check on had for "emergency" good deal situations. We wrote a check at the local farm auction in a hurry when we got our backhoe for $5,000 flat. Similarly, we wrote a check for $800 to buy a car from the local veteran's group -- a lot of people were interested (some of the people told us so later, not just the veteran's group). So we had to have money fast and on the spot. That was four years ago, it was my husband's daily driver for a year, and it's been our backup vehicle ever since (used as recently as this week, in fact, when I got a nail in a tire late in the day and he did not have time to repair it before work the next day).


So for me, checks enable those amazing bargains you don't expect. Worth keeping around for that.


Oh and the state accepts only checks (or money orders) for renewing his professional license (not teaching, the other one). So there's a need every two years.

lakemom

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #68 on: August 23, 2014, 06:48:26 AM »
Oh and the state accepts only checks (or money orders) for renewing his professional license (not teaching, the other one). So there's a need every two years.

That reminds me, many counties/municipalities in our area only accept checks or money orders.  For our annual property taxes the county adds a 5% fee if you pay with plastic...they get a check from me.  And my dd got a ticket recently in a nearby county and when she went to pay they didn't accept plastic AT ALL!  She had to wait around for 1.5 hours for the tiny little post office to open and purchase a money order, then go back to the courthouse and pay the fine.  Boy was she annoyed because she'd looked on their website and there was no mention of not accepting plastic.  So, yeah...while many of us rarely use checks any more, at certain points in life you may use more of them (after the mortgage is paid off and/or after mini munchkins join the family).

dividendman

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #69 on: August 24, 2014, 12:49:23 AM »
Haha, wow, I came into this thread thinking your wife still wanted you to WORK to get checks and so you couldn't retire or something... But yeah, just buy the cheap checks people have mentioned. Lots of banks do free checks too.... also... let's all start saying "cheques" instead of "checks", freakin' Americans!

A check is something you do before you go to sleep to make sure the doors are locked.

A cheque is a device which orders money be paid from a bank account!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #70 on: August 24, 2014, 02:42:32 AM »
Haha, wow, I came into this thread thinking your wife still wanted you to WORK to get checks and so you couldn't retire or something... But yeah, just buy the cheap checks people have mentioned. Lots of banks do free checks too.... also... let's all start saying "cheques" instead of "checks", freakin' Americans!

A check is something you do before you go to sleep to make sure the doors are locked.

A cheque is a device which orders money be paid from a bank account!

This. Unless you want to double check that you've got a check for payment. :)

The last time I used one was for buying my last car, four years ago. Everywhere I go to either has EFTPOS/card facilities, will accept other electronic payments like BPay or direct deposit (for bills, etc), or will only take cash anyway. I tend to rarely have more than $70 in cash on hand at any time.

soccerluvof4

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #71 on: August 24, 2014, 03:56:23 AM »
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).



I'm with you on this one!!! people should not be allowed to use checks in groceries stores. They seem to never start the check until there done and they slow everything up!!!

sheepstache

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2014, 06:09:07 AM »
Haha, wow, I came into this thread thinking your wife still wanted you to WORK to get checks and so you couldn't retire or something...

I keep seeing the thread title and misinterpreting too. 

It's like, oh, honey, if she insists on payment, she's not your wife.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2014, 09:31:48 AM »
Well we went to the bank yesterday and added her to the account.  They gave us 8 starter checks for free for adding her, so I think the check situation is resolved.  We now have approximately 8 more checks than we will ever need. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2014, 12:34:55 PM »
Nice to see this settled.

For a more mustachian use of cheques, I just needed one (voided) to send to an investment account so that they would do direct deposit instead of sending me a cheque.


Well we went to the bank yesterday and added her to the account.  They gave us 8 starter checks for free for adding her, so I think the check situation is resolved.  We now have approximately 8 more checks than we will ever need.

Rural

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2014, 12:38:41 PM »
Nice to see this settled.

For a more mustachian use of cheques, I just needed one (voided) to send to an investment account so that they would do direct deposit instead of sending me a cheque.



I've actually used a printout of an online banking payment check for this same purpose. Just write "void" across the image on the printout.


RetiredAt63

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2014, 04:05:48 PM »
Thanks Rural, that is good to know.

Nice to see this settled.

For a more mustachian use of cheques, I just needed one (voided) to send to an investment account so that they would do direct deposit instead of sending me a cheque.



I've actually used a printout of an online banking payment check for this same purpose. Just write "void" across the image on the printout.

Prepube

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2014, 10:25:29 PM »
Don't know if we all see the same ad at the bottom of the page, but mine says: Checks.com, a box of checkers for 4.95. 

Jack

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #78 on: August 25, 2014, 10:03:21 AM »
One thing nobody mentioned is that even free checks aren't zero-cost. You would need to weigh the risk of not having a check and needing one against the risk of your checks getting stolen and used fraudulently.

infogoon

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #79 on: August 25, 2014, 02:36:22 PM »
I use checks for gifts (weddings, graduations, etc.) and the occasional bill that charges a "convenience fee" for paying by ACH or credit card.

mom2_3Hs

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2014, 03:38:27 PM »
Two things:
1)  This may be more about having access to money than the checks themselves.
2)  You must not have kids. If you ask my husband, he would say we "never" write checks...but we actually write 5-10 checks/month.  The ones I write regularly are to babysitters, kid activities (music lessons, sports, fundraisers, etc), and utilities--our utilities charge $2-5 to pay online, and our local bank charges to use online bill pay...thus checks it is.  We also have been doing home rennovations, and we usually pay for these things with checks too.

SummerLovin

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #81 on: August 29, 2014, 02:48:34 PM »
If you can't convince your wife with data, that checks are unnecessary what makes you think that we can convince her? If anything, by asking us, you've supported your wife's position since the majority say get the checks! Stop "digging in' and get a free online account that also has free checks.
I'm in your camp of rarely ever writing checks, and get irritated when I come across a place that only takes checks. For those rare instances, I have a checkbook but it's a box that has lasted years and will last many more.
The problem with checks is that since I hardly use them, I don't carry them around with me. (They are too easily stolen, lost or misplaced) so if I happen to be out, and come across a place that doesn't take plastic, then I pay cash. I have yet to come across a place that doesn't take cash or plastic.
I'm curious are all your online payments "free" or do they charge maintenance fees? I choose to pay the convenience charges of online bill pay, versus check, postage stamp, and my time and gas to go to the post office.

Rural

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #82 on: August 29, 2014, 11:33:44 PM »
Wrote a check today for some work on property deeds. The lawyer's office doesn't take cards, and it was a little more than I was comfortable paying in cash, and just over the ATM withdraw limit anyway. Didn't know they didn't take cards in advance, had gone in yesterday afternoon and had to go back the next morning with the checkbook.

frugalnacho

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #83 on: August 30, 2014, 10:00:46 PM »
If you can't convince your wife with data, that checks are unnecessary what makes you think that we can convince her? If anything, by asking us, you've supported your wife's position since the majority say get the checks! Stop "digging in' and get a free online account that also has free checks.
I'm in your camp of rarely ever writing checks, and get irritated when I come across a place that only takes checks. For those rare instances, I have a checkbook but it's a box that has lasted years and will last many more.
The problem with checks is that since I hardly use them, I don't carry them around with me. (They are too easily stolen, lost or misplaced) so if I happen to be out, and come across a place that doesn't take plastic, then I pay cash. I have yet to come across a place that doesn't take cash or plastic.
I'm curious are all your online payments "free" or do they charge maintenance fees? I choose to pay the convenience charges of online bill pay, versus check, postage stamp, and my time and gas to go to the post office.

Since we never use them we never carry them either.

Yes they are free.  Water bill comes directly out of my checking account.  Electric and gas both get charged to my credit card.

Goldielocks

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #84 on: August 31, 2014, 10:07:49 AM »
Yesterday, we decided to try to be chequeless going forward.

Minimum cost was $30 for the cheques.  We needed to move money into another bank investment, over the max electronic threshold.

So, at the cashier, I asked for a lot of cash to withdraw.  I explained why.  She cut me a bank cheque, made out to my name, for free. 

There are so many alternatives to cheques these days. 

Now I just need a better way for donations too.

geekette

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Re: wife insists on getting checks
« Reply #85 on: August 31, 2014, 10:47:58 AM »
You can actually print your own checks on a computer with a standard printer. There's nothing magical about a check being printed on special paper or anything. If it's got your routing numbers and a clear "Pay to", an amount and proper endorsements, it's a check.

Granted, some tellers may look at it funny, but I had no issues using them to transfer funds between my checking accounts for free.

Oh yes, this.  I forget about it even though I taught a business law course!
You could even do it on a napkin.  Granted it may require a Not Worth It amount of time educating the receiver that it's legit, but you can.

They used to use magnetic ink for automated processing, but I guess with optical scanning these days they may not need it.  Either way, I think you increase the risk the check is returned, in which case the fees involved will also make the maneuver totally not worth it.

Capitol One 360 won't allow you to print your own, or buy from elsewhere.  From their FAQ
Quote
Can I order customized/third party vendor checks for my checking account?
No, we don’t accept any checks printed by you or a third party. For added security, our checks are assigned a series of random and sequential numbers, so the checks can’t be recreated.

However, they now give you one checkbook free.  After that, they're $5 for 50.  At the rate we use them, we'll be dead before we run out.