Retirement planning is a constantly looming overcast whenever a paycheck is handed over. How will one know how much to save? How much will one need when they are retired? The questions are endless, but thanks to USA Today, and an article by Nanci Hellmich, here are 9 simple ways to plan for retirement.Saving_money

The word budget brings with it a negative connotation in today’s society. One that is associated with constriction, and monotony. While it does imply some degree of responsibility, a budget does not have to be a ball and chain. It is merely a way to keep yourself on track to be able to live comfortably when senior-citizenship sets in. Allocating portions of each paycheck to what needs to be paid for keeps the bills paid, food on the table, money in the bank, and peace of mind constant.

Reduce Spending:
Eating out, taking taxi’s, all forms of luxury can be expensive over time, when inexpensive alternatives are present. Pennies you save on a daily basis can add up over time to big dollar signs in the future.

Credit Card Traps:
Making minimum payments on credit card are ways for these companies to suck the most profitable amount of money out of every borrower. The longer you have to take to pay back credit debt the more you pay in total with interest.

Look For Better Interest Rates:
Saturation of the credit card market has led to a competitive playing field for these companies. This only benefits the customer, do not think twice about calling your credit card company and asking for a better rate.

If you find you’re digging yourself into a hole, stop digging:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result. In a financial scope, if you find yourself in a great deal of debt you will need to curb the behavior that got you there. This may be curbing a shopping inkling, or reducing vacations.

If you have a matching 401(k), allocate money to the fund! This is the best case scenario, for what you put in, employers will match it. An added bonus is that these contributions are not taxable.

Sell Your Idle Things:
Everyone has those old college texts or pairs of jeans they haven’t fit into since 20 lbs. ago. Sell these dormant things instead of throwing them away, it is a great to generate extra income.
“If you fail to plan you are planning to fail”:
Put together an emergency fund to hedge against whatever life has to throw your way. This could be anything from an injury, to a household appliance failing, it is always nice to be prepared.

Cooking is not just financially responsible, through less eating out, it can also be healthier. Buying food in bulk is a great way to say and cooking is a great way to bring a household together daily.