Check Writing Basics
You can write checks to pay your rent, cable bill, and even groceries. But keep in mind that the money must be in your account or the check will “bounce" when the check recipient deposits the check into their bank account. This is not only embarrassing and financially destructive to your personal spending plan, but also illegal. Every state has criminal prosecution laws that can apply to bad checks.
While getting arrested for making an honest mistake with a check is somewhat rare, if you make a habit of presenting “bad checks" you might find yourself behind bars for up to a year. Not to mention this creates a criminal record, making it very difficult for you to obtain jobs or credit in the future.
At the very least, bounced checks incur fees from your bank and the merchant. So if you write a $10 check for gas that bounces, you could wind up paying $80 total for that mistake through fees from the bank and the merchant depending on fees charged.
Additionally, if you bounce too many checks, your bank will close the checking account. Often this is reported to ChexSystems or Telecheck for five years. This can seriously hamper your ability to not only live the affirmative answer of can I have more than one checking account at a time, but also makes it hard to write checks at stores.