A Money Order at Walmart Costs 70 Cents
After changing my banking habits a few years ago and closing my checking account, I have become masterful at the art of using money orders to pay my bills, money orders that I usually purchase at Walmart (although once in a while I will use a check-cashing center).
Some people might think what a hassle! For me, though, using money orders has made my life simpler and more hassle-free. I don't use a bank at all anymore and all my transactions are either cash or money orders. I even have my paycheck automatically put on another up-loadable money card through my work so I don't have to cash my paycheck, either.
Why did I change my financial habits and desert traditional banking? One simple answer: excessive bank service charges. After having a business and personal checking account for many years, I found out that the cost of maintaining, tracking transactions, and paying service charges was becoming a feat in itself. I got tired of fighting with the bank over checks that didn't post or were not put in my account right away and charges associated with my supposedly "free" checking account.
Now maybe if you are a totally responsible numbers person and you religiously check your accounts, a checking account will work well for you. But for me, keeping track was an absolute nightmare. Hence my crossover to using money orders at Walmart.
Money Orders Are Like Cash (but With a Receipt)
So exactly how much are money orders from Walmart anyway?
A flat 70 cents.
I use about five to ten a month, so I end up paying $3.00 - $ 6.00 a month for money orders—a lot less than one $35 bank service charge—and of course the stamp to mail the money order—or none if I'm dropping it off to pay a bill locally. A money order works just like cash, except you keep your receipt stub to verify that you bought it. And always keep and file your receipt! I once did a money order for over $4,000 that actually got lost in the mail. It was never recovered but I was able to get a replacement one and canceled the lost money order (which would have been the same if I would have had to cancel a check)
I use Walmart money orders for many things; I have to buy them for my job as a photographer and I also use them for the mortgage and for bills. As for standing in line to get them it's no big deal - I purchase them when I go to buy cat food or staples at Walmart. The lines are no longer than lines I would stand in at a bank and sometimes I don't have to wait at all.
Poll on Checking Accounts and Money Orders
Using Money Orders to Budget Yourself
Many people are rethinking the way they do money now, with bank closures and the economy on very shaky ground. Buying money orders can save you a lot of money, time and hassle vs. your traditional checking account. I may one day find the need for a checking account again, but for now getting money orders from Walmart works great for me. It helps me track my finances better, saves me money in the long run, and forces me to be more responsible with my money (something I'm still working on). It also helps me to think more about how to live frugally and plan a budget, another thing that I'm working on.
In these days many of us are looking at better ways to save money—and money orders from Walmart are one way I'm saving money today. Bank service charges are a thing of the past for me! Happy budgeting!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 22, 2012:
Thanks Rebecca for that info. That's very good to know.
Rebecca on August 17, 2012:
One bad thing about Walmart money orders is if it gets lost, you have to pay $15.00 to get it researched. Then if the money order is cashed, they will send you a copy. If not, they will send a refund BUT it can take 30-65 days to process. I would research the company you buy the refunds from. This particular Walmart had MoneyGram money orders. Their website it www.moneygram.com They said they charge due to administration cost and such...blah, blah, blah. So, you pay cheap up front and lose if it gets lost
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on July 03, 2012:
Thank you Rhonda for that info. I never even knew that Walmart had free money orders in some areas!
Rhonda on June 29, 2012:
Money Orders use to be Free at Walmart here in the state of Florida now I guess they are charging 60 cents for them. I will be going to Amostate for my money orders they are free
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on March 08, 2012:
Thank you alfonso for that information.
alfonso on March 06, 2012:
$3000.00 is ok for one money order
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on February 14, 2012:
YW Felicia. Money orders are a great way to get a handle on your finances:)
Felicia Davis on February 11, 2012:
Thanks everyone for the advice, my husband and I are really considering using money orders instead of checks. It makes perfect sense, when you write a check you have to keep checking online to make sure it posts to the account. I now for me I write a check, and sometimes I forget I wrote and it post to the account days later.
st@R on March 27, 2011:
like that gift card
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on January 03, 2011:
Denise) Good idea to use credit unions! Great money saver and yes, very good idea to give money orders to grads and as gifts.
Thanks for coming by.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on January 01, 2011:
Interesting hub. I have used money orders, but also have a credit union acct. I get free m.o. from my c.u. This way, when sending money to grads or as gifts I don't have the hassle of 'waiting' for those checks to post from out of state.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on December 06, 2010:
Robert) What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing and stopping by to read!
Robert on December 06, 2010:
I also use money orders but for different reasons then bill paying! I save money throughout the year this way! Whether its 100 bucks or 800 bucks i get a m.o and write it to me from me.If you want to buy something silly and not needed you are less inclined to cash a m.o.Do this for a year or two and you will have something special.I use usps money orders given that they do not expire!EVER
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 28, 2010:
PeeDee) I agree. The recession/depression will change many of the ways that people have previously dealt with money.
Thanks for reading.
ThePeeDeeWildcat from Just Across The State Line on August 28, 2010:
Nice Hub! I think that the current recession/depression is leaving mental scar tissue on Americans that may begin to rival the marks left on people who endured the Great Depression. We all need to follow sound advice nowadays on better money management.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 27, 2010:
Lori J Latimer from Central Oregon on August 27, 2010:
Excellent advice and well researched by experience. Thank you for sharing!
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 27, 2010:
Lissie) Nice to see you drop by. I can't stand bank practices. I'm not sure of the exact number but someone told me 85% of banks revenue come from service charges. Glad to know you avoid them too!
saddlerider) Credit Unions are great. The only drawback for me is the hours (sometimes I'm getting money orders at 8:00 at night,lol) Thanks for reading and the comment.
Amanda) That was a problem for me, keeping in the black. Several times I got a $35 service charge for overdrawing my account by only pennies. That really ticked me off!!
Amanda Severn from UK on August 27, 2010:
I think banks in the UK are possibly more hassle free than in the States. I've never had to pay for my cheques, my standing orders or my direct debits. All those transactions are free on a personal banking account so long as you stay in the black. I would definitely consider using money orders if bank charges were being levied as you describe, but I've no idea where I'd get them from!
saddlerider1 on August 27, 2010:
Thank you for this excellent share. I rarely purchase a money order, but when I do they are free at my credit union account, however nice to know about the Walmart offering. I do buy a lot of other things from Walmart like a pair of black sweats for only $10 the most comfortable ones I've ever owned for so cheap. LOL
Elisabeth Sowerbutts from New Zealand on August 26, 2010:
I rarely write a check - and I don't think I have ever used a money order. Everything is paid electronically direct out of my account - for which I pay - zero, nada nothing. OK I pay to set up a new payee which only happens when I getting pissed with my power company or teleco and change over - but daytoday payments - I pay nothing. Almost everything else goes on the CC - which i pay off on time and get a free trip to Australia every year on the airmiles. I am a bank's nightmare customer and proud!
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 26, 2010:
DeBorrah) I've found Walmart is great for many things
Nancy) All those "cents" add up, don't they!
Nancy's Niche on August 26, 2010:
I have been saving money---on money orders---through Wal Mart for quite some time now. 60¢ compared to $1.05 adds up over the year. Great tips!
Elder DeBorrah K Ogans on August 26, 2010:
Dorsi, Wonderful & wise! I agree Walmart is great for money orders... Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!
Hello, hello, from London, UK on August 26, 2010:
Well researched and good tips.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 25, 2010:
Good idea Daddy Paul! Free is Good!
Daddy Paul from Michigan on August 25, 2010:
Good points. Money orders at my CU are free.