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Goodbye $23,000: The Biggest Check I’ve Ever Written

This check just says it all!

Remember when I said I want my graduate school to just take my money NOW? Hmmm.. maybe I shouldn’t have wished for that day to come so quickly! The financial payments office just notified me that our accounts are open and that my portion of the first semester tuition plus fees is due: $23,000. With a VERY deep breath, I moved all the money in my savings account into my checking account and wrote the five-figured check. I have never ever written a check for so much money, and it’s a little sobering. Graduate school is official… the cash bleeding has begun.

The good new is that I have successfully paid for the first semester of graduate school with cash. One down… three more semesters to go.

What is the biggest check you’ve ever written, and what was the occasion?

  • beautybell - Congrats! I'm thinking about graduate school too. Don't worry, it will be totally worth it:;) ReplyCancel

  • ghiberti - I paid cash for an engagement ring. I don't like to carry that much cash around, but luckily my bank and the jeweler was only one block away from each other. That was pretty nerve wracking carrying all that cash at once. ReplyCancel

  • myjampackedlife - Ooh that must have hurt. I've never writtten a cheque for more than $2000.00. Pales in comparison ReplyCancel

  • laura - I hope you really put it on a credit card and got points/miles/cash back instead of just writing a check! ReplyCancel

    • Well Heeled Blog - I wish! But most schools do not allow you to pay tuition with a credit card, or if you do you have to pay a credit card fee. ReplyCancel

      • MLISunderstanding - My state school accepts Mastercard or American Express in person or online… but not VISA! Drives me CRAZY! (I would love to have those extra points.) So instead I fund an ACH transfer from my grad school savings account. ReplyCancel

      • laura - That's too bad! My undergrad and grad institutions allow it without a fee. I still remember using my mom's AT&T Universal card to pay tuition in undergrad so she could get points for giftcards. ReplyCancel

  • Lance@MoneyLife&More - Best of luck on your next three crazy expensive checks :) I'm sure it'll all pay off in the long run as long as you have a plan. ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - The down payment on our house was the most! We bought a car with a check that was a close second! ReplyCancel

  • lkrant - When I bought my first rental property I wrote a check for $25 K and the second one I added $40K. My next move was bigger when I refinanced my property to acquire a third. After a while it was a little like Monopoly. ReplyCancel

  • Financial Samurai - Exciting stuff! It will make you want to work for a very long time to get your money's worth after graduation! ReplyCancel

  • belowhermeans - You are investing in your power to earn a higher salary. You are investing in your power to earn a higher salary. ..keep repeating. 😉 ReplyCancel

  • eemusings - That's huge! But it's a GOOD thing, even if it hurts. Like BHM says – an investment in yourself.

    I have never written a cheque in my life and don't see why I ever would. Chequebooks are pretty much obsolete here. I think the biggest amount I've ever transferred would be bond for a new house (a couple thousand), or withdrawn cash (nearly $5k) to buy a (secondhand) car. ReplyCancel

  • insomniaclabrat - Handing over all that money at once is painful!

    Hmm…I didn't actually write the check, but the cashier's check we used for our down payment was probably the biggest amount of money I've handed over at once. That was also pretty painful, but worth it! ReplyCancel

  • twitchy - The two biggest cheques I've ever written were $23,500 for the 9 month course I took that got me into my career – I was 23 and the bank had loaned me the money so it was in my account for about a week before I wrote the cheque.

    The second, more recent, was a cheque for the downpayment on my house, a much larger sum :) That one hurt, but in a good way.


  • StackingCash - 34k for a car! It has served me well since July 2000 and I almost sold it to Carmax for 4200 last month… Next car might be 50k… inflation sucks… ReplyCancel

  • Odd Cents - Congrats! It's worth it! ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Good job! Our biggest payment was definitely our house. ReplyCancel

  • adahat1 - Good for you for setting a goal and then killing it! My biggest check written was 25k for a down payment on a house. ReplyCancel

  • Little House - Good luck in grad school! ReplyCancel

  • Leigh - Just over $10,000 as a down payment on my car. I financed the rest to build credit history. The car dealership didn't really want a personal check, but that's the only way they were making the sale that day, so they finally ended up taking it.

    For the down payment on my condo, my credit union transferred the money out, no cashier's check or personal check. ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Biggest cheque I've ever written was around 60k as a tender security deposit for my company, that one hurt! The biggest cheque I've written personally is probably about $6000-ish. I don't like writing big cheques like that :p ReplyCancel

  • jeff sustainlifeblog - holy crap that is a gigantic check! The biggest one i've ever had to write was for a house downpayment! Going to pick that up from the bank was sobering. I made sure to zip up the pocket on my coat when I left.a ReplyCancel

  • Shandril19 - Biggest check overall was a cashier’s check for house downpayment.

    Biggest personal check was also grad school tuition. ReplyCancel

  • Anne @ Unique Gifter - Biggest cheque had to be a bank draft, haha. That was cash for a vehicle, but technically it was my partner's. Boy were we paranoid with that tiny piece of paper!! ReplyCancel

  • BalancingMoney&Life - Biggest personal cheque was for a car, I think. Just over $16,000. I don't think any of my house cheques were bigger.

    Grad school will be a good investment. I finished my MBA in 2010, and don't regret it at all. Good luck! ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - Grad school will definitely be worth it! The biggest check I wrote was $5,500 for a publishing course at NYU….a little heartbreaking money-wise, but definitely the best college course I ever took! ReplyCancel

  • Girl Makes Cents - I wrote a cheque for $15453 on Thursday. For a new car. The other $2000 was put on a credit card to collect points. Loving the car, not loving that they took the money out yesterday and my account is depleted :(ReplyCancel

  • Jenn - The biggest personal check I've written was about 14k for a car paid for with cash. The biggest cashiers check from our bank account was 33k at closing for our home. Both of those checks were a little tough to hand over! ReplyCancel

  • fabulouslyfrugirl - Eeeks, I hear you.

    I feel a pain in my chest (well, not literally) every time I write a check for a years worth of car insurance. Here in Ontario, Canada, I pay about $2,500 annually just for insurance….

    And before that, paying for tuition during my undergrad was also pretty painful at about $8,000 a semester. Still nothing compared to $23,000! I'm sure it will be all be worth it though. :) ReplyCancel

  • Janette - 410K . We paid cash four our house and framed the check :>) Of course I am many moons older than you! We both wrote checks for our schooling—but they were more in line with $250. a semester for undergrad and $1000 for grad. ReplyCancel

  • @Nunzio_Bruno - Congrats! That's huge and I loved grad school. The work load is more focused and you will start to feel like you are making real contributions to your field – it's kind of why I am trying so hard keep growing as a professor. I want to bring a similar experience to students ReplyCancel

  • Jordann - That's crazy! At least you're writing a cheque though instead of swiping a credit card. The biggest cheque I've ever written was for the down payment on my car, a mere $3600. I'm sure I'll write a big more big ones as I accumulate more cash. ReplyCancel

  • Emily @ evolvingPF - It's amazing how much tuition is… My largest check was to pay off my car loan, for about $3,000 or so. I think I paid a similar amount for summer fees after my first year of grad school (reimbursed to me, but I had to front it). Though I do see $23k transferred in and out of my bursar account each semester. :/ ReplyCancel

  • MyMoneyDesign.com - Wow that is expensive! My biggest check ever was for my house. It felt a little like I was cutting off my arm …. ReplyCancel

  • Brian - Biggest I have written was $24K for my wife's car. It didn't hurt that bad since we had been saving for it. Now we just have to pay ourselves back! ReplyCancel

  • seedebtrun - holy smokes.. hopefully you got a discount for paying the whole tuition at once instead of making payments!

    we have never cut a check that large, even when we bought our house.
    but it is a great investment for your future, and will pay off multiple times over in the end.

    jefferson ReplyCancel

  • LadiesGoFirst - The biggest check my husband and I wrote was for $24,000 to pay off his truck. We had the money sitting in our saving and thought….what the heck are we doing paying interest every month when we can pay it off? ReplyCancel

  • StackingCash - Just a crazy thought…I wonder if the tuitions schools charge are a reflection of how easy it is to get a student loan to pay for it kind of mirroring the housing bubble, easy loans for overpriced homes…is the education really worth what we pay for it??? ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I wrote a $1k check to put down on my new car, but I think signing the loan paperwork was the part that made me anxious. When I actually paid off the rest of the loan early with ~$11k, I felt a big relief! ReplyCancel

  • vanessasmoney - Congrats! It'll all be worth it in the end and you'll receive many times over that amount over your lifetime :) ReplyCancel

  • Link time! - Vanessa's Money - […] Well Heeled talks about the biggest cheque she’s ever written […]ReplyCancel

  • Eric - When I bought my condo, I sent a $34,000 write. That stung a bit, but I got a condo. ReplyCancel

  • Agatha - $7500 after college whenI moved to New York and got a studio all on my own. Proud moment. 2nd largest was not a check but a payment – $4000 to pay off my credit card bill and it felt AWESOME. Congrats on grad school :) ReplyCancel

  • squid97 - biggest check ever: 150k from my savings to buy a house at auction: 4 years later it's worth 450k so I cannot complain and I have no intentions of moving until my child goes off to college in 15 yrs. ReplyCancel

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