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Yeah, and the question that kept going through my mind was, why didn't he buy postal money orders to pay his bills? That's what I'd do!

I've sold things internationally before the complete advent of cc's, the best way was to get someone to buy an "International Postal Money Order". They took cash to their post office who made out a check to me, I took it to my post office who gave me the face value. Worked, was guaranteed by both countries, etc. I got hooked on postal money orders because this solve a huge problem when I had the mail order business.

Of course, plastic or paypal is easier and faster, but certainly not cheaper for a merchant!

Judi
 

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i think it's an interesting experiment and gives a good idea of how bad some people have it.

but the thing that bothers me.. could he do more research and find a place that would be cheaper to cash a check than a payday loan place? I thought you could cash paychecks at grocery store even. Maybe I'm far enough out of the loop. I have two banks (well, one bank and a CU) and I know the services they provide make my life easier.

Also, did he have to use a prepaid card? Couldn't he just carry cash?
 

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This past summer before I went on vacation I got "advanced pay" which only comes in check form, normally I have direct deposit.

I had cash in my account to cover it but I didn't want the hold so I went to the bank the check was drawn on and I had to pay $5 to cash the check. I had no idea that they charge you to cash a check. I've been on direct deposit for years and just haven't had the need to cash a paycheck.
 

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the few people i knew who didnt have a bank acct said they didnt because the banks stole from them when they really had made banking errors and didnt want to take responsibility for them .

mean while they spent hundreds a year due to late fees on bills bills because of weather and not being able to take the bus to go pay the bill that day because they didnt want to go out in rain ( and it was always just horrible the company wouldnt let them have an extra few days because it rained - see a theme here ... why not have the $ a week early so you can go on a sunny day- oh thats right you spent 40$ on christmas decorations they thought were pretty ..in november -- IE poor money management all around )
 

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I went bank free for a while because an ex-roommate had proven herself very. ummm, untrustworthy. She also had the lease agreement with my SS number so I thought it might be wise to be "under the table" for a while.
At first I cashed my paychecks at a check cashing place. Then I worked in the corp. office of a grocery chain. They would cash their own paychecks w/o fees but no other paychecks. Once I went to another store in the chain and had to convince someone to actually LOOK at the check to cash it. The standard response was "we don't cash checks".
I finally solved the problem with the ex-roommate by getting a checking account with a credit union through my job. It wasn't open to her and in a far away town.
Other people I have known have avoided banks because their "papers are not in order".
 

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I wrote a column for MSN Money about how the unbanked -- even those who've had past problems with bounced checks et al. -- can get into a credit union or some other situation.
Short form: You may not think you need a bank, or that you can't get into one. But you do, and you probably can.
I'm too new to this board to be allowed to post URLs. But you can search for the piece, if you're interested, with the keyword phrase "Will banks shoo you out the door?" The article contains links that can help you get started.
 
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