Saturday, 26 January 2013

All chequed out

I wrote a cheque this week for my allotment rent.

The stubs in my cheque book revealed that the last cheque I wrote before that was a year ago - for my allotment rent last year.

These days I do virtually all my banking online or paying by debit card.  No wonder youngsters today have no idea how to write a cheque.

How many cheques have you written recently?


  1. 12 since December 1st.

    Debit cards and credit cards make it too easy to spend spend spend without understanding where the money goes. Want less consumer debt? Roll back to pre-plastic days.

    I pay by credit card whenever I can (cashback, cahsback, cashback), and when I can't, I use cheques. Particularly for tradespeople as I'd hate them to put the cash straight in their pocket and not through their books. The country needs all the revenue it can get.

    I never, ever use a debit card. Far too unsafe and no consumer protection at all. Chargeback is meant to work, but is not a legal right, so banks try to wriggle (see HMV gift card and debit card).

  2. No, debit cards, cash or faster payment internet banking for me. If I owe the money I want it out of my account now and then I can't possibly (re)spend it on something else, and then it won't be there when someone comes a-calling for it. It's far too easy to run up credit card bills that you then can't afford to pay.

    And equally I don't want someone holding onto a cheque for a month and then presenting it when I've forgotten it is still due. I don't keep that kind of spare money in a current account.

    If tradespeople want to put cash straight in their pockets, then I won't be paying any VAT on their services. After that it's not my problem. And before you jump up and down, I think you'll find any number of mega-players (Amazon, Starbucks, et al) who are depriving the economy of far more than all the tradespeople in the country could possibly account for.

  3. The difference being that the Googles, Amazons and Starbucks are doing it legally and those who take cash in hand aren't.

    The governmint could change the rules (the last shower knew it was happening but went along with them, and the current shower aren't doing what they could do about it fast enough). One is tax avoidance, which is perfectly legal, the other is tax evasion, which isn't.

    People don't understand the difference, by and large, and I hear many people justifying their tax evasion by using exactly the line you have.

  4. Aargh - I've just written another cheque! To my fishmonger who wanted the pay to line left blank (he says he has a stamp back in the office).

    And are you paying tax on goods that you've swapped for honey or eggs? You are declaring these, I hope.

    There is a difference between legal and moral, you know. I find that if tradesmen want to be paid in cash and you ask for a receipt that soon sorts out the rogues.

  5. "There is a difference between legal and moral"

    Yes, that's what I was getting at. What the big companies do is immoral, but not illegal.

    What window cleaners, cleaners, people who babysit, illegals who work in car washes etc etc do is both. Unless their income doesn't exceed their outgoings, in which
    case there isn't a tax liability, but there is a NI liability. As you know, of course.

    I'm sure you never just pocket cash if you're paid in it, but there are plenty of people who do - and these are the same people who moan about the big companies.

  6. I'm with you AQ - debit or cash and the cheaper the better.