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Some people suffer from a strange affliction: They receive checks but avoid cashing them, reasoning that if they do not cash the check, they will not spend the money. Such reasoning can be dangerous, says the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The U.S. government will not honor checks that are more than one year old; banks and other issuers also set time limits for honoring checks. There are other reasons to cash checks promptly:

The check issuer may have a change of mind and cancel it.

The account on which a check is drawn may be discontinued.

The bank named on the check may fail.

An uncashed check earns no interest and loses value due to inflation.

The check could be destroyed by fire, insects, water or something else.

It is a matter of courtesy to cash checks quickly to allow issuers to balance their ledgers.

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