These days, banks and credit unions issue debit cards to go with checking accounts. You can probably also send electronic checks by using your online account or just giving the payee an account and routing number. As debit cards and other electronic payments have grown more accepted and popular, people find that they don't write checks very often if at all.
Perhaps it's not surprising that many younger adults have checking accounts but have never or only rarely written checks. In a few circumstances, paper checks are the only way to pay, so it's a good idea to review the basics.
Follow these steps to write a check:
After your write the check, you should make a note of it in the ledger provided in your checkbook. This helps ensure you don't accidentally write any overdrafts and can help you check for errors later. Even if you tend to use your debit card more often than your checkbook, it's a good idea to record purchases.
You should never write a check for an amount greater than you have in your checking account. That's called an overdraft. Your financial institution may choose to honor it anyway, but they will charge you a fee. Then you will need to deposit enough money to make up the difference and pay fees. You can put overdraft protection on your account, but you still may get charged. Typically, overdraft protection reduces fees, but it doesn't do away with them.