Do you have a stack of old check books sitting in a drawer? Wondering what to do with them? Check out this blog post for some ideas.
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Check for Void Checks
If you have a check book that is several years old, the first thing you should do is check to see if any of the checks are voided. Sometimes, banks will print “void” across the face of checks that have been cancelled for one reason or another. You don’t want to accidentally write one of these voided checks, so it’s best to remove them from the check book. Once you have removed all of the voided checks, you can shred them or throw them away.
Check the Status of the Checks
Before you do anything else with your old check books, you need to make sure that all of the checks have cleared. To do this, you will need to contact your bank and request a copy of your checking account statement from the time period in question. Once you have your statement, go through each check and make sure that it has been properly cleared. If any of the checks have not cleared, you will need to take action to ensure that they are paid.
Check the Expiration Date
Before you get too creative with those old checkbooks, it’s important to make sure they are actually expired. Most banks will put an expiration date on your checks, and it’s typically around two years from the date they were printed. If your checkbook is expired, you can still use the checks — you’ll just need to get them re-printed with the new expiration date.
If your checkbook is expired, there are a few different ways you can use them. You can keep them as a backup in case of an emergency, you can use them for crafts or decorations, or you can shred them and recycle the paper.
If you decide to keep your old checks as a backup, it’s important to store them properly. First, make sure to write “void” across the face of each check. This will prevent anyone from accidentally trying to use them. Then, you can store them in a safe place, like a fireproof safe or a lockbox.
If you want to get creative with your old checks, there are plenty of crafts and projects you can do with them. For example, you can use them to make decorative notepads or magnets. You can also cut them up and use them as scrapbooking embellishments or as part of a collage.
If you don’t want to keep your old checks around, the best option is to shred them and recycle the paper. This will help prevent identity theft and keep your personal information out of the wrong hands.
Destroy the Checks
The easiest way to get rid of old checkbooks is to simply destroy the checks. Tear them up into small pieces, or run them through a paper shredder. This will prevent anyone from being able to use them to commit fraud or steal your identity.
If you want to keep the checkbook for sentimental reasons, you can remove the checks and keep them in a scrapbook or photo album. Just make sure to destroy the checks before you do this!
Recycle the Checks
Old check books can be recycled in a number of ways. The paper can be recycled at most recycling centers. The metal tacks that hold the paper together can also be recycled.
Another option is to reuse the checks. Many people use old checks as scrap paper for lists or notes. The back of the checks often have handy ruled lines that make them perfect for quick notes. The front of the check can also be used as a small notepad. Some people even use old checks as bookmarks.
If the check book is in good condition, it can also be donated to a local thrift store or library.
Donate the Checks
One option for what to do with old check books is to donate them. This is a great way to declutter your home and also help out a worthy cause. Many organizations such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army accept donations of gently used check books. Make sure to call ahead to see if they have any specific guidelines for donating check books.
Save the Checks
You might think that your old checks are useless now that you have switched to online banking, but there are actually a few reasons why you should hang on to them. For one thing, they can come in handy as proof of payment if there is ever a dispute about a transaction.
You should also keep track of your canceled checks in case you ever need to do a stop payment on a check that you wrote but haven’t yet cashed. Although most banks will require you to provide the check number, date and amount in order to process a stop payment, having the actual canceled check will make it much easier for the bank to locate the check and stop it from being paid.
If you have an old check book that you no longer need, you can shred the blank checks and toss them out. But it’s a good idea to hang on to the register portion of the check book so that you have a record of all the payments that you have made by check.
Check for Fraud
Before you do anything else with your old check books, you’ll want to take some time to check for fraud. Look through your records and see if there are any discrepancies. If you spot any unauthorized transactions, contact your bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
Once you’re sure that there’s no fraudulent activity, you can decide what to do with your old checks. One option is to shred them. This is a good choice if you’re concerned about identity theft. You can also just throw them away, but be aware that someone could potentially recover your personal information from the trash.
Another option is to keep your old checks as a memento. Some people like to keep a record of their financial history, and old checks can be a fun way to do this. You could even frame some of your favorite ones!
Check for Unused Checks
If you have old check books that you’re not using, it’s important to check them for any unused checks. If there are any unused checks, destroy them so that they can’t be used by someone else. You can shred them or tear them up. Once you’ve destroyed all the unused checks, you can recycle the rest of the check book.
Check for Outdated Checks
Before you start tossing your old check books, make sure they are outdated. Checks typically have an expiration date of 18 months from the time they are printed. The best way to ensure your checks are outdated is to destroy them. You can rip them up, shred them, or even burn them. If you have any doubts about whether or not your checks are outdated, contact your bank or the check provider.