How to write a check

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There are certain things that every adult should know — how to pay your taxes, how to change a tire and how to write a check.

Thanks to credit cards and electronic payment options, writing a check is becoming a lost art among millennials. But being able to use a checkbook still comes in handy when paying rent and bills — and generally navigating the world.

Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Enter the date

In the upper right-hand corner of the check, you will see a line above the word "Date." The date should be written: "month day [comma] year." The name of the month should be written in full.

2. Enter the recipient

The first full line on the check will read "Pay to the Order of." Here, you should write the name of the recipient of your check.

If you are paying a company, be sure to write out the formal company name without abbreviations. When writing a check for an individual, be sure to use their first and last names.

If you are unsure of the exact name of the recipient, you can write "Cash." However, this means that anyone can cash your check, so make sure it lands in the right hands.

3. Enter the amount

To the right is a short line with a dollar sign. Here, you should enter the exact amount you would like to pay, using both dollars and cents.

4. Write out the amount

The full line below "Pay to the Order of" is where you must write out the exact amount that you would like to pay.

If it is an even amount, you can write "even" or 0/100. For instance, it is equally acceptable to write "One thousand five hundred seventy four dollars and 0/100" or "One thousand five hundred seventy four dollars even."

If the amount you are paying is not even, write out the cents using the "0/100" format. For instance, a check for $1,574.50 would be entered as "One thousand five hundred seventy four dollars and 50/100."

5. Indicate what the check is for

The line in the bottom left is where you can write a memo indicating what the check is for. This is optional, but it helps both parties involved keep track of what expenses have been paid.

6. Sign your name

In the bottom right corner, you must personally sign your name. If a check is not signed, it's invalid.

GIFs by Andrea Kramar

This is an updated version of a post that appeared previously.

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