Money orders do not get the respect they deserve. When you see money orders, it is usually in the context of buying mail order porn or something that you just don’t want to be connected with. However, there are some advantages that money orders have over the regular checking account. Money orders are not subject to overdraft fees because they are prepaid. They are also simple to buy: you go to the counter, you hand over your money and the guy at the counter gives you a piece of paper; that is the money order. They are accepted wherever checks and credit cards are accepted.
Often, people resort to money orders because they don't have bank accounts; they are a great alternative to traditional checking accounts. However, if you don't have an account because you're struggling to save money day to day and are worried about overdraft fees and the like, I suggest you check out How to Save Money Help. You'll learn how very small changes in your daily spending habits can make a big difference to your personal bottom line!
The simple steps covered in this article will tell you how to fill out a money order. The first step is to buy your money order: visit the Post Office, some banks, or even some grocery stores. Let the clerk know the amount you need them to put on the money order. They will print out the money order, made out in the amount you specified, and will charge you that amount plus a surcharge. This charge is quite small at most grocery stores but can be several dollars at a bank.
Once you have your money order in hand, follow these steps to fill it out:
- Have a pen ready. Before you even begin, make sure you have a pen. You don’t want to be left with having to buy a pen; money orders which are not addressed are the same as cash, and if you lose the money order without filling it out there is no way to prove that it was yours.
- Payee name. There should be a space on the money order that says “Payee,” “Pay to” or “Pay to the order of”. Write the name of the person or the establishment that will receive the money order in this space. This is also where you put in the company’s account number.
- Signature. The next step in filling out the money order is the signature. The signature section will read “Purchaser’s Signature”, “Purchaser, Signer for Drawer” or “Signature”. If you do not see this section, you can skip this step. However, remember not to sign the back of the money order. This is because the back is where the payee signature goes.
- Purchaser. To be identified with the money order, there will be a section that is labeled as “From”, “Purchaser”, “Sender”, or “Remitter”. This will identify you with the money order. This is also where you can add the additional information you need - such as your account number, or other identifying information - so that your payment gets credited appropriately. Print the appropriate information here.
- Purchaser’s address. Under the "Purchaser's Address" or "Address" section, you will write in your home address. This is not where you put in the address you are sending the money order to.
- Memo. A section of the money order will show “Memo”, “C.O.D. Number”, “Re:”, or “Used for”. This is where you write your account numbers. However, not all money orders will have this section. If that is the case, you can add the information under the Purchaser or the Payee information.
- Money order stub. Most money orders have a stub with blank spaces for Payee, Purchaser and Amount. Fill out these sections accordingly and save the stub along with your receipt.
Note that if you need to fill out an international money order, the steps may vary slightly. You should read over the international money order carefully when you receive it and double check any rules or regulations for the country where the money order will be sent.
Now that you have your money order you can use it to pay your bills, order something through the mail, or conduct other financial transactions. Remember to keep your receipt and the money order stub because they are proof that you purchased the money order and indicate what you intended to use it for. If a company or person doesn't receive your money order or you lose the it, you can use the receipt and the tracking number on the stub to get a refund or to track your payment with the company in question. Without this information, you may not be able to recover your funds if there is a problem.