New Checks

Buying checks is tough for lazy people.

After running out of checks the first time, I joined a new bank. I rationalized this decision by saying to myself, “It’s closer to home than the other bank (easier to make deposits) and–BONUS–I now have the freedom to use a whole new galaxy of ATMs without suffering the indignation of paying $2+ for using out-of-network machines!” Because I still direct-deposited money into my old account, I set up an automatic transfer to feed the new account so I could use the new bank’s checks.

Because I didn’t put enough effort into this process, I ended up underfunding my new account and getting slammed with overdraft fees–$30 or $35–on at least two occasions.

Seething with anger after the second (or third) time this happened, I marched into my old bank with the idea that I would get new checks and, eventually, suggest to my new bank that they could “take a hike!”

Not wanting the bank teller to think that I was cheap, I went in with a deposit (or some other routine banking business) to give myself an easy out if the price of new checks was too high (“Oh, I wasn’t here to buy checks anyway, I was just wondering what they cost for when I really need them. That deposit will be all for today. Thank you, ma’am.”).

I forget exactly how the awkward exchange went down, but I ended up walking out of there with around six temporary checks.

The teller just printed them out. That was it. And, they were free! I had stumbled upon a golden loophole.

At this point, I still had my automatic transfer going from old bank to new. The temp. checks would let the new account build up for a while, so that when I ran out of them and go back to my new bank’s checks (of which I had several left), I wouldn’t have to worry about the overdraft fees. Perfect!

Because this was a terrible plan that would fail once I resumed regular usage of the regular new bank checks, during the course of my temporary check usage, I changed my automatic deductions to accurately reflect my monetary needs, to avoid any future overdrafting.

It was smooth sailing after this simple auto-deduction tweaking.

My temporary checks eventually ran out. And so did my regular checks. Because I couldn’t go back to my old bank for another set of temporary checks (“They must have a detailed tracking system making sure freeloaders don’t take advantage of the loophole!” I convinced myself.), I went to my new bank for their temporary checks.

I’m now down to my last, temporary, check. Hence this blog post.

It was going to be a review of all the millions of check-buying options on the internet, punctuated by mini-reviews of Carousel Checks, Checks Unlimited, Checks in the Mail,, and the EZShield Check Fraud Protection Program. That was too daunting a task, so I thought I’d share my check-buying history and buy some checks with Walmart.

They’re not as expensive as Checks in the Mail ($11.98 for 125 checks), and just around as cheap, but not cheaper, than the others. So, instead of doing further research, I’ll assume this means the quality is decent. And, a Yahoo! Answers TOP CONTRIBUTOR says I shouldn’t pay extra for the EZShield protection, so I’m not gonna.

Next steps:

  1. Stop blogging and buy the checks–linking to my old bank.
  2. Cancel the auto-transfer to my new bank.
  3. Transfer new bank money to old bank.
  4. Sever any remaining ties with my new bank to punish them for perpetrating such outrageous overdraft fees on me (which may or may not have since been eliminated thanks to new laws), so that they’ll think twice before ever crossing me again!