How to Write Cents on a Cheque

Cheques feel like a thing of the past in many ways, but the truth is that lots of people still use cheques and so for that reason I’m addressing some questions people may have about cheques, like how to date a check, or how to write a check with thousands and cents.

how to write a cheque

But first, let’s talk about the spelling of the word “cheque.” As you see by the first paragraph I’ve spelled it two different ways, “cheque” and “check.” Both are correct in their spelling but in in Canada we spell it “cheque” and in the US they spell it “check.” While I am Canadian, many of my readers are from the US.

So, I’m just going to use the different spelling interchangeably in this post. Because, why not? 🙂 Hopefully that makes everyone feel at home here as they read this post about checks. 🙂

Why would you need to write a check?

So, in this day and age there are a lot of ways to do banking. E-transfers have become quite popular, along with things like direct deposit and online bill payments. And so, many people don’t ever write checks.

But, you may still run into a situation where you need to write a cheque. Maybe you are renting from someone who prefers to receive payment by check. Or you’ve purchased something privately and cheques are accepted. Even in some small towns you will find that there are a few businesses that still accept cheques as payment.

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Some people don’t have easy access to the Internet for Internet banking. I know we often think that EVERYONE has the Internet but it simply isn’t true. Actually, right now as I write this I am living in an RV for about 5 or 6 months without Internet. When I want to upload my work I have to go find wifi, and so the more I can do that doesn’t require the Internet, the better – including banking.

So, it’s a good idea to know how to write a cheque anyways, just in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to do it.

If you’ve never had cheques before all you need to do is contact your bank and they will provide them for you.

Okay, let’s talk basics of how to write a check.

How to Write a Cheque

So, I’ve created an example of a cheque in the image below. I made an example because, I’m not really going to post my own check online with all my banking info. 😉

Let’s talk about the numbers at the bottom first.

The first three numbers are what is called your bank branch number. The second section of numbers, usually 8 numbers, is your account number, and the last numbers are your bank transit number.

Those numbers are sometimes required for certain documents such as when you start a new job and they want to do direct deposit for your paycheck. This is where you can find them.

Okay, moving on – in the top left corner will be your name and address. Checks from your bank usually have these already printed on for you.

How to Date a Check

In the top right hand corner will be a section for the date. Generally it will have the letters DD, MM, YYYY right underneath each spot to show you where to put the day, month, and year.

You would either write the date you are actually writing the check, or you could postdate it. Post dating a cheque means you would write a future date. People do this for things that don’t need to be paid for till later, or sometimes because they don’t have enough money in their account until a certain date to cover the expense they are trying to pay for.

If you postdate a cheque you will want to tell the person you are giving the check to that you are doing that so they don’t try to cash the cheque beforehand.

And while we are on the subject of dates and having enough money in your bank account, what happens if someone tries to cash a cheque you gave them (on or after the date of the check) and you don’t have enough money in your account?

Well, it’s going to bounce. What that means is not only does the person not get the money but you will also pay a service fee from your bank for the inconvenience. The service fees are not cheap. I think for my bank if I get an NSF charge it’s around 40 dollars. You don’t want to do that, trust me.

How to Write the Name on a Check

Okay, so the next line down from the date will say something like, “Pay to the order of” with a big blank line. You need to be careful with this one too.

If you spell the name wrong, use a nickname, or a last name that they don’t use as their legal last name, they may not be able to cash the check.

You also want to make sure you are making it out to the right person if it’s a business. Some people will use the name of their business to cash cheques while others will just use their personal name.

How to Write the Dollar Amount on a Cheque

Okay, the next part is writing the actual amount. Right below the name you just filled out, you are going to write the amount of the check in words. So, Like this:

but, when it comes to how to write a cheque with cents, people start getting confused. We will cover that next.

How to Write Cents on a Cheque

Okay, so let’s do the easy part first. In the little box, next to the name you made the cheque out to, you will write the dollars and cents in numeric form. So, if you are writing out a check for $1256.30 you will write it out just like that.

If the amount is $1256.30 make sure you add that last zero, do not leave it off.

So, now, in that section you write the amount in words you will want to add the cents like this:

As you can see, the cents is right over the 100 (because, there’s 100 cents in a dollar).


How to Write a Check Without Cents

So, what do you do if you do not have cents? Well, if your amount was $1256.00, you would write the cents out just like that. You definitely want to add the 00s, do not leave them off.

In the section where you write the amount in words you will add the 2 zeros over the /100 spot.  so, 00/100.

How to Write a Check With Thousands and Cents

Once you start getting into the thousands on a check you might get a little nervous but it’s really the same process. The biggest thing you want to remember is to start writing it out as far right as you can because you’ll need more space to write it out since it’s a longer number.

And that’s all there is to it!

That first check always feels a little overwhelming to write. You don’t want to mess it up and you know it’s very important to get it right when it comes to banking documents. But after that first one it becomes quite easy.

Are Checks Safe?

Writing cheques is generally safe, but there are some risks.  You want to make sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands and so you just want to be careful.  It’s a little like walking around with a 100 dollar bill in your wallet.  If you lose it you may not see it again.


While you may not write a lot of checks in your lifetime, it’s a good life skill to have. Using these tips will help you write your checks accurately, avoiding problems at the bank when the receiver tries to cash them. Any kind of issue at the bank can be a headache and so if you can avoid that I’m sure you would want to.

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