It might not balance in dollar bills when the till is pulled, but once the checks are counted against the till, that "missing" $5 would show up. Otherwise how would anyone get money back using a check anywhere? My mother used to do this too, ask for a little extra over the amount, nobody ever complained about entering X amount and giving Y from the till. At the end of the day, as long as the physical bills plus the checks add up to the register's record of activity, the till should balance. That's why I'm confused. That's how it works here, anyway - other places may be different. I think this is one reason, however, that places here that DO take checks now don't allow you to write it "over" the amount. Too long to reconcile through their banks maybe?