Not everyone wants to carry around a bunch of cash. However, they may not have access to a checking account either. What other options are there for people to safely carry around money? Well, that’s where money orders come into the picture. Money orders are a kind of cross breed between the two, and offer people another alternative to use in transactions. Still, money orders differ enough in a few different areas. Some businesses out there right now simply won't accept cash any longer, nor do they accept personal checks. They deny personal checks in fear that they may bounce. Money orders, on the other hand, are frontloaded or prepaid. Therefore, these are considered a much more secure transaction as the businesses are aware that the money is guaranteed because it has already been paid for. Money orders are very similar to certified checks in this light.
Money orders aren't that hard to find. Many grocery stores, gas stations, and even banks will carry them for a fee. In fact, some banks will even waive the fee to purchase money orders if the individual has an account there. Banks should be the first place to look for the lowest fees on the money orders. However, they usually only run a dollar or two anyway.Money orders can also be accepted at many of the same locations listed above. Even utility companies generally accept them as a form of payment these days. This works out great for those who don't currently have a bank account, and the payment locations may be too far out of the way to go in and pay cash.
The money orders will have several different areas to fill out. It will have a place for the payee information, or the one who will be receiving the funds. Utility companies might request to have the account number added as well. There isn’t necessarily a location for this on the money orders, but they might request it at the top in the blank space. Money orders will also have a place to sign the front side much like someone would do with a check. The backside of the money orders is reserved for the recipient’s signature. It's important to get all these details filled out immediately upon purchase. Otherwise, if it becomes lost it would be no different than having cash fall out on the sidewalk. Whoever picks it up will be able to fill it out and cash it. It's also important to hold onto the receipt. This is usually attached as a stub to the end of the money orders.
One other neat thing about money orders is that they have no expiration date. Sometimes people or businesses take their time processing checks. This can be a bit of a nuisance on the bank account balances. Money orders are already paid for so this doesn’t become an issue no matter how long they wait to cash it. In the end, money orders are another great tool for people to use when they deem fit. They're not that complicated to get the hang of, and they offer a secure alternative to cash or personal checks.