Cost of Checks
The cost of checks at banking institutions can vary vastly based on which bank is printing the checks and what type of check you are willing to have. Decorative checks can cost upwards of $20 for a box of checks with those having licensed cartoon characters being more costly. "Free" generic bank checks will cost money if the monthly balance drops below a certain limit. The average cost can be between $10 and $15 per box.
In this day and age, most people don't write checks since the plastic debit card serves the same purpose at the grocery store or anywhere our debit cards are allowed to be swiped to make instant purchases and have the amount instantly deducted from our checking accounts. However, for some transactions only a paper check will do and having a box of checks somewhere in a drawer desk is necessary. We've all run into instances where only check or cash are accepted, including small businesses, individual contractors and landlords.
A paper check is sometimes a necessity for convenience, legal reasons and for safety purposes. Carrying enough cash to pay for everything can result in losing your wallet, getting robbed or being scammed. Searching for the nearest ATM can be inconvenient, dangerous and costly in terms of fees.
Banking institutions will allow you to download copies of your checks for a specific period of time. You can print the front and back of the check to verify signatures and dates, however, most will charge you fees if they have to research and send you a copy of a cancelled check beyond the time the electronic copy is available to you. In many cases, they can't find it and if you need a copy to prove payment to a company or in a court of law, you are out of luck. Without proof, it did not happen and you may be forced to pay the same obligation twice.
Example: You made child support payments in the amount of $5,000 that were not recorded by the collecting agency, or were sent directly to the custodial parent who claims he/she never got the payment. Not only is the burden of proof on you, but you are being charged 10 percent a year on the missing amount. These fees on arrears will add up quickly and without being able to prove payment, the financial hole will become deeper and wider.