I was reading an article about the economy and came across information about floating checks until payday. I suppose it was an alert for those crunched by hard economic times. Have you ever written a check for a purchase when the funds were not quite there yet? You knew from experience how long it took the store to pass your check thru the bank, so you were willing to take the chance. This happens especially when the purchases are for basic necessities, and not discretionary items. Like - when there was no food in the house and the paycheck wasn't coming for 2 days. Or....when your heating oil was so low you weren't sure there was really any left. Maybe you needed to fill a prescription for antibiotics for that ear infection. Apparently checks are passing thru much more quickly these days and there is no grace perios in many places where there used to be one; the grocery stores, Wal Mart, you name it. Electronic, computerized systems have taking care of that. The days of collecting all the checks from the registers at the end of the shift, bringing them to the money room, and making a daily or weekly deposit are gone for most retailers. Lots of folks have to juggle money from paycheck to paycheck!! Even tho gasoline is going down in price, I don't think that's going to fix a whole heck of a lot. The overall economy is the worst I have seen it in my adult life right now. For folks who float funds by writing checks before the money is in their account, note that this practice is not going to work the way it once did. It would be really tough to get caught at the check-out with a cart full of groceries and the cashier saying your check had been declined. As a side note, this is the first holiday season ever I am making gifts that are not edible. Every year I bake this and that; this year I am doing some limited crafting and sharing those things with family and friends, in addition to the usual baked goodies and a few store bought presents.