by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
I was flipping through some of my old scuba diving photos and happened upon one of my trip to Grand Cayman. It was a photo of me in front of a gas station. You might be wondering why I would take a picture of a gas pump. While filling my rental car up at a station not far from the airport, I spotted something funny. Every single pump was adorned with a sheet of paper, listing the full name of every person on the island who had ever given the station a bad check. Not only would the gas station employees no longer accept checks from these people – they decided to publicly humiliate them, too!
While this may come across as slightly primitive, when you think about it, bouncing checks is very much looked down upon even in our society. It’s almost up there with using fake dollar bills. And sure, bounced checks cause nothing but trouble for everyone involved, from the company who may run into accounting difficulties as a result, to you, who have to face not only fees, but also a lack of trust from the people you sent it to. So I agree that they should be avoided as much as possible.
There is, however, one check you should make a point out of bouncing. This is the last check you ever write. Not only will you be dead by the time it happens so nobody can put you down, but as long as you have taken care of your financial responsibilities and provided for your loved ones, why would you have money in your checking account when you kick the bucket anyway? If the last check you ever write bounces, you have made the most out of the gift of life, and enjoyed your time on Earth fully.