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I noticed in another thread that many MDCers said they rarely write any cheques. Others said they write cheques at retail stores, or that the utility company only takes cheques.

This is all interesting to me because where I live:

-I can pay any utility bill online through my online banking with my financial institution. I don't know anyone who pays by cheque in the mail or in person at the bank.

-I write a lot of cheques: my food coop bill, my kids' school fundraisers/school lunches/field trips (no cash allowed), horseback riding lessons, rent (no other way but money order/draft which costs $7 or so per).

-there is not a single retail store that i know of in my city of almost 1,000,000 people that will accept a personal cheque. This practice fell out of use just about when I became an adult--that's when i noticed the "we no longer accept cheques" signs all over the place. They are not accepted in other smaller cities around either.

How do you pay your bills? Automatic withdrawals? Cheques? Cash? Drafts? Online? Credit card?
Which retail stores accept personal cheques? Do they require any ID or credit card backup?
 

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99% of all purchases - credit card. We pay it off every month, but get the rewards. Actually, I have an attached savings to my checking I transfer the money to pay the credit card into - just for my own accounting, so the money in our checking is still left to be spent for the month (even though I'm paying the card the next month)

99% of bills - Online bill pay. I use this for all my regular bills, even the smaller outfits like my water bill (to the town water department), my plowing bill (to the plow guy who clearly types up his own bills spelling errors included), etc. If they don't have electronic transfer they send a check, I just put my name as the account number if there isn't an account.

I do write checks occaisionally - to friends & family if we owe them money for something, for example. Or services that prefer checks like I don't know the pest control company. But not for anything recurring.

Some friends I pay with paypal if I owe them money too.
 

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We pay most everything online, or if at a store- with our debit card. We do write checks for some things,large items, or pizza, (one store in town doesn't take cc, and we never have cash). Money orders through our bank are free (1 per day) so we pay rent with those.
 

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If I pay bills online with my credit card, the bank treats it as a cash advance, and starts charging interest on the day of purchase, so I don't do that. I used to use my credit card for most things, then pay it in full each month, so that I got the "cashback". However, we've been carrying a balance since Aaron died, so I don't use it that much, anymore. I break things down about like this:

Credit card: Online purchases (be it Christmas shopping, Amazon, plane tickets - whatever), dh's recurring subscription for an online professional development service, parking fees, registration for lessons/courses for the kids. There are a few others here and there, but that's most of the credit card charges.

Debit card: Rent, grocery shopping, retail shopping at stores (toy store, housewares, liquor store, etc.). I also use it for one-time admissions (amusement park, zoo, bird sanctuary, etc.), if the place takes debit. I use it for the dentist, and any medical fees I may have.

Cheque: DS1's preschool fees, school expenses for ds1 (supplies fees for shop classes, yearbook, etc.), fundraising expenses (for ds1's school, or for Scouts coming door to door or whatever), ds1's guitar lessons, payments to friends or family (paying back a loan, etc.).

Online banking: Hydro bill, phone bills (land line and all 3 cells), Cable/internet bill. I also use online banking to transfer ds1's allowance to his account, and pay off the credit card...and transfer money into savings.

Cash: DH and I both keep cash to pay for incidentals - picking up milk at the corner store, renting a DVD, etc.

So, we use a mix of payment methods on a regular basis.
 

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How do you pay your bills? Almost all our bills are paid online or over the phone with a debit card (for instance, my internet company won't let me pay online). Our mortgage comes out of checking automatically every month. Our cell phone bill hits the credit card every month just to keep the cc open.

Which retail stores accept personal cheques?
Every retail store I have EVER been in (only in Texas, Virginia, DC, and Michigan, admittedly) accepts checks. Far more likely to find stores that don't accept credit and debit than checks. Yes, you must show them your driver's license. I am really curious as to where you live.

We write checks to family, friends, girl scouts, and mom and pop shops (mostly antique stores) that don't take credit/debit. For everything else we use a debit card.
 

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Almost every bill is either automatic withdrawal from our bank account or put on the credit card. We have a few things that we pay for my mother by written check. I work very part-time and it basically pays for our groceries. I cash the check and pay cash for groceries with this money. I never write a check in a store... just for actual bills.

Other things I write checks for: magazine subscriptions, books I buy at the library (where I work), membership dues (e.g. brownie scouts for dd), charitable contributions, work that is done on the house (we've just had a new roof put on and will be paying this guy today)... I could come up with many more. I certainly would not be without a checkbook. My mother uses ONLY a checkbook. Perhaps writing checks IS a generational thing.
 

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How do you pay your bills?

We use a combination of debit card, our bank's bill-pay feature, and cash. Checks are frustrating here because nobody has a local bank and to mail them in it takes anywhere from 3-6 weeks to get to their destinations. I love the automatic bill-pay because everything is taken care of that day or the day after. Soooo nice! It keeps our account balanced better than the old checkbook did.
Now I use my checkbook register to keep track of our various sink funds and leave the checks in the safe.
 

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Sanguine Speed, I believe you and I are in the same area.

I've never seen a store accept cheques either.

Online banking for almost everything (utility bills and such).

Cheques for rent, buying club orders, school/lessons fees (unless it's through a large organization such as the university, the city, etc, then I use their online payment system or go in person and pay with my debit card or cash).

Credit card for online purchases mostly and some recurring stuff (gym membership, WoW subscription).

Debit card/cash for everything else.
 

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Debit card for most everything, but run it as a credit card as I get "points" for doing so.

Checks - 2 a month - Rent and Gas/ Electric (Xcel) company. I could pay Xcel online, but they charge a fee to do so and it's a few dollars where as a stamp is under 50 cents.

I rarely use cash or credit cards.

I will make a purchase with my 2 credit cards from time to time, just to show activity on those lines of credit, but pay it off immediately.
 

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We just finally got a debit/ATM card last week so now we'll write 4 checks a year for bills (the garbage gets paid quarterly and they don't do debit/credit cards). We really got the ATM card because DH and I get a cash "spending allotment" each month and I got tired of writing him a check from our joint account so he could go get cash.

All other bills are automatic drafts from checking or credit cards. Credit cards get paid in full every month using an automatic draft from the checking account.

98% of all purchases are paid using credit cards and are paid in full each month. We still stick to a budget using the cards and the bonus points go a long way toward Christmas gifts (can be as much as half our expected spending for Christmas).

The only other time we use checks is if we get hit up for some fundraising/joint gift thing - Girl Scout cookies, Jump Rope for Heart, baby shower at work, etc.
 

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I'd say 75% of our bills are paid online. The rest need to be mailed in. When shopping, I write checks for the larger amounts. If it's something small, we'll use the debit card. DH has the debit card, I have the ckeckbook.
 

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I have never paid in a store by cheque, never seen anyone do it either, never had anyone ask to pay by cheque where I work as a cashier, I don't have any idea if its not allowed or not, it just isn't done. I have paid bills by cheque a lot of times in the past, but I have those all on automatic withdrawal now.

So, this is how we pay for stuff.

Automatic withdrawal from bank account:
monthly condo fee
mortgage payment
electric bill
gas bill
property taxes
student loan

Credit Card (and paid off every month, no balance carried):
Groceries
Household items
gas
Pretty much anything we buy at a store or online
phone/internet bill
car/house insurance
car repair/maintenance
vet

Debit card:
Any store that doesn't take VISA like No Frills (one of the grocery stores), the shawarma place, etc

Cash:
the very very rare store that doesn't take VISA or debit
the only place we go regularly that doesn't is Tim Hortons (coffee shop)
we also use cash to move money to the american bank account when we visit the US since the student loan is in US dollars and auto-withdrawaled from there

Cheque:
pay loan to my parents
any other time we need to give money to family

Online bill pay:
Pay the VISA card off monthly
 

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I have my mortgage and primary checking account at the same bank, therefore they give me just about every feature on a checking account free.

I try to get everything on billpay (billpay mostly works behind the scenes, they have direct bank wire agreements with many companies, and anything else they draft a money order/cashier's check and mail it) We get it free, but depending on how much a bank charged for billpay, it would probably be a savings over 1950s style bill paying, with stamps, envelopes, checkbooks, etc.

Any time I have to send a family member a check or whatever and they do not have paypal, I just add them to billpay and have my bank mail them a bank check (people appreciate the fact that BANK CHECKS NEVER BOUNCE). It is nice because once I add them it takes me 1-2 seconds to send them money next time. I really love that it shows me an overview with the last time and the last amount I sent money to each payee, and also it will print out Annual (or monthly or whatever) reports and categorize things for me. I can tell you the date and amounts I have spent on car insurance and when I paid my bills 5 years ago... pretty handy.

For everything not yet on billpay, I use my debit card over the phone or online... it has been probably 6 years since I have not been able to pay a specific bill with this combination of payment methods. And for those I would go get a money order or cashier's check from the bank (free with my account)

The main reason I choose Debit, and billpay is: THE MONEY COMES OUT RIGHT NOW. It is very convenient to be able to look at the account balance online and have that be the actual amount of money we have. Especially when there are 2 people using the account, and they each can check the balance from their cellphone.

When we wrote checks (like I said I only wrote 3 and alltogether between my DW and I we wrote maybe 10 total) one of our checks did not clear FOR EIGHTY DAYS and that was very very hard for us, since we tended toward a zero balance in those days.
 

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We have online bill pay and an AmEx. We pay all of our bills online. If we, say, borrow money from my mom, we send her a check through our online bill pay- that's how it works. They send a paper check to people/entities that can't take an electronic payment. We never need stamps. I love our credit union.

The only bill that just comes out is Netflix, which annoys the crap out of me and DH. I wish they'd just let us pay it and balance our own account rather than make us persistently check to see if it's come out yet.

For shopping, we like our AmEx because few restaurants in our area accept it, and that is how we get into trouble with credit cards. (Well, I have never gotten into cc trouble, but DH and I are a team... sigh... and that comes with both good and bad.)

And, of course, cash. That's it.
 

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Credit cards whenever possible, if there's no additional fee. I get cashback and I pay the balance every month, online, so its a win-win for me. I have three (Mastercard, Costco Amex, Discover) and use whichever will get me the biggest cashback at the time.

I pay all of the bills that I can online, again as long as there's no fee. I do write checks to my landlord and to the gas company, because I have tried to get on autopay with them and it never seems to go through, so, whatever. I do my electric and cell and insurance through autopay, though.

I use cash occasionally for small purchases, and I rarely use my debit card - basically only at Aldi. Most places that will run it as credit will also take credit cards, so I do that instead.

I'm a college student, and I buy coffee and stuff on campus with my student id card, because then they don't charge sales tax (if you use cash they do). I can recharge it online, with a balance transfer (can't use credit card, though).

Dar
 

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We pay credit card online. Everything else by checks.

For us, it's a matter of liking to see everything coming in and going out, in a very concrete way, and a way that we can file things for future reference (and dh is big on keeping reciepts and that kinda stuff). We don't do everything online, really, so it would be dangerous to set up auto billing. I'd just forget to record anything.
And then wonder where the money was going.

In stores, we pay with credit card. Aldis, with debit.
 

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We pay everything with debit cards or cash. We don't have any credit cards, and we currently don't have any checks (though, I could order a box, I just don't see the need).

Oh, we do purchase purchase a money order if necessary. Worth the $1-2 fee for us.

I use bill pay online and I think they do charge .88 cents per transaction, but we only have a handful of bills, and again, it's worth it for us. Also, a couple things are automatic withdraws. I'm very grateful that our gas, electric, internet, etc., companies accept online payments, otherwise they may never get paid! I am horrible about buying stamps and going to the PO or mail box. We get a movie from Netflix and end up keeping it for a month (or longer!).

The kids' school lunches - I pay online, but when their balance got low in the past and it was after the 3 am cut-off, I've sent them cash. School pictures, field trips etc., always accept either cash or debit card #'s.

The only time we use a credit card is for gas, but it's a company credit card so not in our name.
 

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I use CC for grocery, gas, clothing, household items, and online purchases.

I write paper checks for all bills as we run a business and it helps to have it all on paper. I don't feel safe with internet payments at this point.


I rarely, if ever, use cash. I will use cash for yard sales and other things where I expect to spend less than $40-$50 or where there are no CC accepted.
 

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I have no system, my payment methods are pretty fluid.

In these-here parts, checks are accepted at pretty much every retail operation, but several places-- especially small operations-- charge extra to use a credit or debit card, at least for low dollar amounts.

I use online banking for as much as possible: the mortgage, gas/water, electricity, credit card payments, medical bills. I have as many as I can set to pay automatically, a lifesaver for people like me who HAVE the $$$ to pay a bill but FORGET.


I used to use my debit card for most purchases, but in the last several months, I have re-discovered CASH. This was totally accidental, based on losing my debit card* and not being able to replace it easily, but it's fantastic! With cash, I can go to all the small stores-- coffee shops, the donut place, the stalls at the farmers' market, no problem. It actually helps me budget, as I'm a very visual person and it's easier to see that I have $60 left for the week for groceries/ incidentals, than to have it in my checking account. You will never overdraft by spending the cash in your wallet, or spend money that you didn't mean to. A BIG percentage of my day-to-day transactions are in the under-$10 range; coffee here, lunch there. It's nice to see my bank statement online and just see a weekly cash withdrawal, instead of lots of tiny purchases!

I have tried to use my credit card for everyday things and pay it off, but I am BAD at paying it off religiously. Paying interest even one month, cancels out the puny cash rewards I might get in six months. I use it for big things like airline tickets, furniture, anything that makes the cash back worthwhile.

*I found it six weeks later in my purse.
 
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