Top 6 Common Check Writing Mistakes

Writing checks is pretty much a no brainer unless there is something that we miss that is critical for the bank to honor it. The last thing we want is to have the bank not honor a check or have the recipient have to ask for corrections in order to deposit the check. Here are 6 common check writing mistakes that can cause your check to be stopped in their tracks. 
1. Incorrect Date  It is important to fully spell out the month and to spell it correctly. Then write in the date and year. Often times newbie check writers abbreviate the month or incorrectly spell it. After we roll over to a new year, often people put the previous year as their date and it’s important to get your dates correct. 
2. Incorrect Amount  The numeric amount and the written amount of your check must match correctly. When people are in a hurry or new to writing checks, they often mis-write the amounts. 
3. The Important Signature  It is important to make sure that you are the ONLY one ever signing your checks. Your signature needs to match the signature on file at your bank at all times. Furthermore, always sign your checks immediately after writing them out! Practice writing your signature so that it is always legible to those who are reading it. Never use a scribbled signature or initials on your signature line. 
4. Correcting Mistakes  If you make a mistake writing your check, it is best to void it out and destroy the check. Some people make the mistake of crossing out their mistakes and writing the correct thing beside or above the mistake. Checks that are written like this send up warning flags to the bank that they check may have been fraudulently written or altered. 
5. Inks and Pencils  Never use a pencil, marker or colored ink pens to write out your checks.Your checks should always be written in black ink and when black isn’t available, use blue. 
6. Advanced Writing of Checks  You should only write out your checks when you need them! Don’t write them out weeks and/or months ahead of time when they could end up being stolen.
Once your check has been written, mail it off, drop it off or get it cashed immediately. Don’t let written checks lay around for your protection of their account number.
 
A check is a valuable banking instrument and is equal to cash. Take the time to write your checks properly and you will reduce the amount of issues that you may encounter.

What’s First? Save Money or Pay Off Debt?

 So many people are struggling in the financial department, either in their business or in their personal lives. If you are one of those, you may take comfort knowing that you are not alone. Also take comfort that you have chosen to seek out tips on how to change your budgeting habits for better choices. We have been schooled to control the debt, pay off debt and save money for along time and we often talk about that here on our blog too. But the question often comes up by confused savers… 

What’s First? Do I Save Money or Pay Off Debt?

 It is much like the chicken or the egg question. But for me, I tend to follow the emergency fund theory. Building up your emergency fund is going to impact you more in a positive way because you will have the cash on hand should something happen you are not expecting. By building a sufficient amount in your emergency fund, you will not need to reach for that credit card, which will allow you to keep paying it down or keep your balance at zero. 
Once you have set aside your initial emergency fund amount, be it $1000, $5000 or more, you can then focus on paying off debt. This method allows you the peace of mind to have that slush fund to fall back on should something happen. You are then still in the payoff mode and not the “just use the credit card” mode. 
Protecting yourself by setting aside cash into your emergency fund so that you have a cushion is a great feeling. Knowing that the cash is there should you need it allows you to focus on paying down debt and then once the debt is gone, saving more aggressively. 
What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your comments below.

The Safety in Using Business Checks in Your Small Business

If you are running a small business one of the items you should have, if you don’t already, is a separate business account for your banking needs. Some small businesses neglect to do this but lets cite some valid tips for you as to why it is a good idea and how it will keep your business safe. 
Having a business checking account will keep your funds separate from your personal income. I know that many people question this as their business may be a work at home business, but is it much easier to track income and expenses from one account for your business than to try and sift through a personal account and legitimize your money and expenses for tax purposes. 
Having business checks from your business account is actually a safe way to write checks. Many small businesses have an LLC or incorporate themselves, which protects your business. Your personal information is not on your business check, only your business information so when writing checks, it is your business being represented, not you. 
Business Checks also legitimize your business too. Someone can say they are a professional in business, but seeing separate accounts and an actual business checks makes a difference in the eyes of many. Get a business check that represents you and your business. Adding logos is a great way of personalizing your check and branding too. 
Write yourself a business check to pay yourself. That is a fabulous way to keep your business truly separate from your personal business. It gives you a paper trail of income and makes you feel like a real business owner! 
All of these tips for your small business will help you and your business run a smoother, more effective business, all by just setting up a separate business account and using business checks.Now that is a great tip!

Tips for Stretching Your Household Budget

Everyone is looking at ways to save money and for most of us, looking inward at our household spending and tweaking our budget is the first place to start. After trimming the obvious fat, there are still ways to cut expenses without feeling deprived. Here are some tips that you can look at to stretch your household budget. 

Coupons

This may seem obvious to many that clipping coupons is a great way to start. It does take dedication and organization. And there are many more places to find coupons then just your Sunday paper. Look on Coupon sites, sign up for manufacturer discount newsletters and use their Facebook pages for coupons to print. 

Earnings Sites

Sites like SwagBucks or MyPoints are sites that allow you to print coupons and earn points towards gift cards and other discounts by shopping through specific links and doing other activities to earn points. 

Daily Deal Sites

There are many daily deal sites that list discounted items for a day, so if you are looking to buy certain items such as shoes, clothes, electronics, jewelry and more, they can be purchased for deep discounts. 

Changing What You Buy

You can save a lot of money by reducing and getting rid of paper products like paper towels or paper plates and changing to use cloth towels and cloth napkins. Many savvy consumers are making their own cleaners from basic products like baking soda, washing soda, vinegar and other non toxic items. These items are very inexpensive and you can save a lot of cash by not purchasing commercial cleaners and soaps. 
These are just a few ways that you can start making a dent in your household budget. Of course,purchasing your personal checksbusiness checks and banking supplies will help you save more money as well. Check out our great prices and selection.

How a Home Equity Loan Works For You

Have you been thinking about a home equity loan but have some questions about how they can work for your personal finance? Here is some basic information about how a home equity line of credit works. 

How a Home Equity Loan Works

A home equity loan is often referred to as a second mortgage. However, you can own a home with no loan debt and still apply for a home equity loan. 
The majority of people who take out a home equity loan do so to upgrade their current home or to make emergency repairs on or around their home & property. However, there are a small percentage of borrowers who use the money to purchase a larger asset such as a new car, boat,college expenses, medical bills or to even pay large outstanding bills, if it deems to be a smart choice.
 
Basically, the borrower is using their home’s equity as collateral against the loan. A lien is placed against the borrower’s home and this lien will reduce your actual home equity until the loan is fully paid off. 
The amount you get with a home equity loan will depend on several different things:
(a) the fair market value of your home
(b) the type of lender your dealing with
(c) the borrower’s current credit rating and
(d) what the borrower will be using the money for. 
A lot of borrowers consider this type of loan because the interest deductible can help to reduce the borrower’s tax liability. A borrower can use the interest as a tax deduction in some cases, which means they save money. Personal loans do not offer perks of this nature. 
If you need some financial help and own a home, this may be the way for you to go instead of taking out a personal loan which has hefty interest rates and high fees attached to it. 
Always research your options and talk to a home loan lender to see if a home equity loan and line of credit will work for your situation.

Put Your Credit Card to Work for You

Having a credit card is practically a must in these financial times. If you need to rent a car or build credit, a major credit card is necessary. But there is a difference between having a card and abusing it and having a card and using it well. Putting your credit card to work for you can reap some great benefits and even some cash. 

Here are some tips on how a card can work for you

1) Choose a Card with Cash Back Options 

Make each purchase count by building up your cash back points. I have a card that I cash out every few months for a chunk of change. It usually runs between $50 and $75 with each cash out. That to me is free money as I was going to make the purchase or pay the bill anyway. Not a bad way to make a few extra bucks. Some plans will even allow the cash back to be applied to the balance on the card. Free money is awesome! Programs like this may be available with your bank debit cards that are used as a credit option too. Check with your provider. 

2) Take Advantage of 0% APR Promos 

Zero percent APR promos can be a great way to pay off another card, if a roll over is allowed, or make a large purchase with no interest. Make sure that you follow the terms of the promo and pay off the balance within the time frame allotted so you are not dinged with an interest charge. 

3) Build Points for Travel or Free Goods 

Some cards offer points that you can exchange for services, travel, gift cards, or even free goods.Depending on what you want from your card, you usually have plenty of options to shop with your points. Make sure your card does not charge a fee for this service. Most card companies offer these programs as a free perk and they can land you some cool items, travel tickets, or free meals. Free is good! 
One thing to note is that while all of these are perks to the card and a wonderful way to make your credit work well for you, it is also important that you maintain a low to zero balance to make your credit account the most efficient for you. Interest rates are expensive and can make the earnings through these types of programs a drop in the bucket. Manage wisely!

Take Control With Tips for Paying Off Student Loans

With student debt becoming a concern for thousands upon thousands of college graduates, knowing how to take control of your loan and make serious progress with repayment is important. There are many horror stories out there so make sure you make your loans a priority with some tips. 

Take Control With The 8 Tips for Paying Off Student Loans 

1) Know What You are Signing. It is easy try and worry about it when you graduate, but if you are finding that you have to take out loans for school, read the contract! Know and understand your agreement. It is very important to your financial health in the long run. 

2) Don’t Ignore Notices and Stay in Touch. The government does not take into consideration
an excuse of “I didn’t know about it”, or “I forgot” when it comes to repayment. When you
signed on the dotted line, you made a commitment to repay within certain guidelines. Make sureyour creditors have your current mailing and email addresses at all times. Ignorance will just costyou more money in the long run. 

3) Read Your Contract. Get out your loan docs and refresh your memory on repayment terms.Make sure there is no penalty for early payments, loan consolidations, etc. 

4) Don’t wait to graduate to start payments. If you are employed before graduating, start repaying your loans as soon as you can afford it. The earlier you start, the sooner it will be completed and the less interest you will be paying out. Make sure to read your contracts! 

5) Make larger payments. Round up your payments as often as possible. The more you pay on your loans, the less interest will accrue and will save you money overall. 

6) Make additional payments. Adding extra payments will go right to your principle, reducing your loan amount and, therefore, your interest accrual. Plus it will shorten the time left on your loan.

7) Check out options for automatic payments or loan consolidations. Often creditors will give a discount on interest if you allow an automatic payment. A savings of a .50% or so can really add up over the life of the loan. Also, consolidating multiple loans can cut back on the amount of interest paid. Read and research any means of saving money so you can take the savings and add it to repayment on the loans. 

8) Be Consistent. Make your payments on time and avoid late fees. Penalties can add up to big money that you could use to apply to the loan instead. 

You can be in control of repaying your student loans on the fast track with these easy tips for paying off student loans. Let us know some of the tips that have helped you pay down your debt quickly.

Three Tips to Avoiding Financial Pitfalls as an Entrepreneur

One of the most challenging areas of entrepreneurship is avoiding the common financial pitfalls that can a make or break a new business. Many inexperienced or new business owners have difficulties separating personal and business finances, avoiding debt or even managing cash flow; all three of which can be detrimental financial setbacks to a business. That is why we are happy to offer our tips on avoiding these three financial pitfalls as an entrepreneur. 

1. Avoid the Drawback of Combined Finances 

Many beginning small business entrepreneurs make the mistake of combining both their personaland business finances in one account. While this may seem convenient at the beginning of abusiness, it can quickly take a turn for the worse. Combining personal and business bankingaccounts can cause difficulty for tax purposes, salary payments and even personal budgetmanagement as well as cause confusion with clients and look unprofessional when receiving ormaking business payments. By creating a separate business bank account, it creates credibility as
a new corporation, limits an entrepreneur’s personal liability and helps ease other aspects of business management including bill pay, taxes, and other money circulating through a business account. 

2. Elude the Mentality of Over Investing in a New Business 

More often than not, new business entrepreneurs fall into a trapping mentality of over investing in their new business. While it is true that most startups needs fiscal investment and it is not suggested to cut corners, unnecessary and in some cases unaffordable computer systems, fancy new offices or over stocking on inventory can result in business debt, extended financial stress and even business failure. Instead business owners need to direct their intentions to focusing on producing solid quality products or services and good customer experiences. Many startup companies begin by working at home or purchasing items that are only necessary until the business makes a profit. Then once business is going well, entrepreneurs will invest in new computer systems or better office locations. 

3. Obtain Cash Flow Management Skills by Speaking to Financial Experts 

Managing cash-flow within a business is a difficult skill to master for beginning business owners. Many startup entrepreneurs will attempt to manage finances on their own, which case, it’s recommended to speak with a financial expert about your business needs. Professional accountants or tax advisors can ensure a business remains in the positive, avoids tax mistakes and continues in the coming years. Some tax experts will offer free services through an initial consultation while accountants can answer any questions you may have about cash flow management. 

Avoiding Financial Pitfalls as an Entrepreneur 

One of the most challenging areas of entrepreneurship is avoiding the common financial pitfallsthat can a make or break a new business. But through speaking to accounting and tax experts,investing only what is necessary for business success and having separate bank accounts,business owners can see a better chance at better business and fiscal success

Using Loyalty Cards to Save Money

There is a growing area of savings that has been hiding in plain view for many years…. well, unless you are the main shopper in your home. I am going to make a big assumption here for a second and say that most people that are in charge of grocery shopping have been comparing prices, clipping coupons, and using discount cards for years. That is no secret. I remember my mom clipping coupons when I was growing up, oh, so many years ago.

Today more and more major retailers are starting to use Loyalty Discount Cards as a means of providing a savings vehicle to their consumers. They have come to realize the benefits that grocery stores and other chains have seen with increased use of loyalty cards. After all, by having a customer agree to sign up for your loyalty card, there are often many benefits for both the retailer and the consumer alike.

Using Loyalty Cards as a customer can provide you with discounts and even free goods, if you use the card often. Here are some of the benefits that many people can get with most loyalty cards.

* Free Products
* % Off Savings
* $$ off savings
* Special Sale Events
* Discounts when others join
* Cash or additional points with special purchases
* Discounts on other products
* Buy 1 Get 1 free promos
* Gas discounts

…..And so much more

This is just a sampling of what you can get by using loyalty cards. I know one of the detractors to these cards is trying to keep track of them all. Your wallet is only so big and there is only so many of those tags that you can hang off of your key fob.

Here is an idea to help you manage your cards. Get a small coupon wallet or index card carrier and have a spot for each store you regularly shop. Place any of your coupons and your loyalty card in the pouch. That way when you go to the store to shop, everything is in one place.

Forget your cards anyway? Make sure when you sign up for the card that you always use the same phone number and email so you can quickly key in the number or address if needed at the store to find your account. Allow others in the family to know what they are too for when they go shopping. This is very helpful for stores like Walgreens, CVS, etc.

Using Loyalty Cards is an easy way to add additional saving to your purchases and these saving do add up over the course of a month and year. Share your tips below for using loyalty cards in your home budget. We would love to hear from you!

Shop Our Top Best Selling Personal Checks

We know that shopping for personal checks is probably not on the top of your list of favorite things to do. And even though we have thousands of choices that can make it an overwhelming process on its own. So we have tried to make the process easier when it comes to selecting your new checks. Our top 100 best selling personal checks section can be a great place to start the process.

Our best-selling checks consist of checks from all over the site that have been purchased the most over and over. We have chosen the top 100 and they represent a great cross section of all of our products available that you may be interested in. One easy way to start your check selection process is to use this section and find a check that you would be interested in, click on it and you will see similar product choices in that category.

You will find gorgeous checks in there from plain parchment and safety checks to dogs, flowers, confederate flags, ribbon awareness checks and so many more. 

Now there is no need to stress out when you have to choose a new check image. We make try and make it as easy and painless as possible so you have an awesome shopping experience at Checks SuperStore. Plus if you need help with your order, we are just a phone call or email away. 

Thanks for being our treasured customer!