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Even though people don't use checks as much as they used to, it is still important to know how to write checks and maintain a checking account.
By following the steps in this lesson, you will see how to open a checking account, write checks, and keep track of checks in a check register. Make sure you have your Checking Worksheet so you can fill in the forms as we go through the lesson. Once you've made those decisions, just go to the bank and tell them you want to open an account.
They'll be happy to help you because you've just asked to become a customer, and they don't make money without having customers. But because they need to have your signature on file so if they get anything with your signature they can check to see it's really yours. Keep in mind that the first checking account you really open will probably be a Joint account. Always be careful to only use your real Social Security Number when it is absolutely necessary. The bank will give you an account number, and it will probably already be printed on the Signature Card when you start to fill it out. You need to know how to fill out deposit slips in case you receive checks or cash that you would like to deposit into your checking account.

And if you have a large amount of cash, it's safer to deposit it into your account and carry your checkbook instead of cash that can be lost or stolen. After you set up your account, you'll receive checks and deposit slips with your name printed on them. Even though you will be able to start writing checks, you are low on cash, and don't want to have to write checks for everything.
It is VERY important that you keep track of all of your deposits and checks in your Check Register.
You must always know how much money is left in your account so you don't write a check for more money than you have.
Once you start writing checks and making deposits, the Balance Forward at the top of the Check Register will just be the balance from the bottom of the previous page.
Finally, you recorded your deposit in the Check Register so you would know how much money you had available for writing checks. When you open your account, you usually get a small amount of temporary checks without this information printed on them. While those checks are perfectly valid, many places of business don't like to take them, since they don't have any information on how to find you. So, let's assume that you waited to write your first check until you got the ones with your information printed on them.

It's always a good idea to draw the line as a safeguard against someone writing in something else. While it's not likely that will happen, it doesn't take much effort to write a purpose on your checks.
Now that you've written a check, don't forget to enter the information into your Check Register. Better yet, you should fill in the check information in the register BEFORE you actually write the check.
It's time for you to write some checks and enter the information into the register on your own.
Check 102 - written to Wal-Mart on March 23, $14.23 for school supplies (you're such a good student!).
After you've made the correct entries in the register and written the checks, be sure to double-check your math.
By the end of this lesson you will be learn about and practice writing dollars and cents for a check.

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