OK, let's take it from the top!

1. Fill in the date

Look for "Date", which should be in the upper right-hand corner. Fill in the day's date.  It is not good practice to "post date" a check. For example, if today is July 15, 2017 don't write the check's date as August 1, 2017.  

2. Write the recipient’s name

The line, “Pay to the order of,” is who you're writing the check to. Write the full name of the person or the business entity. Make sure you're not using the person's nickname, like Peanut Johnson. Chances are, "Peanut" is not his/her real name.  

3. Write the amount of the check

Located on the line directly below the recipient’s name. This is the key to the check's validity.  Make sure you spell out the full amount to match the amount you'll enter in the box to the right of this.  You'll also want to annotate any change in fraction format (33/100).  For example, if you want to write a check for $325.33, write this in the box, but write "Three hundred twenty-five dollars 33/100 on the line.  

4. Write a memo

The memo line is located on the bottom left hand corner of the check.  It is good practice to write in what the check is for.  If you're anything like me, you'll frown when you see a cashed check reflecting in your bank account and scream, "What? What was this??".  When I see the image of the check and read the memo line, I say, "Oh yeah, that's riiiight!"

5. Sign on the line

Next to the memo line is the line for your signature.  No one can cash your check unless you signed it. 


One more thing...I always get confused with the difference between the routing number, checking account number and the check number (those funny looking numbers across the bottom of the check) so here's a tip: RAC (routing number, account number, check number).  Trust me, it helps!