By Jocelyn Wood, RCB Bank

Money continues to be one of the top causes of stress for Americans, according to a survey released by the American Psychological Association. Researchers found that 72 percent of Americans polled reported feeling stressed about money. Financial stress also had a negative impact on their lives.

Right now, choose to simplify your money matters and boost your financial wellness.Where to begin? Start by plugging your spending leaks.

At first it’s only a little drip of cash.

Spent on morning java, lunch out or the latest and greatest must-have new gadget. Before long it is a full blown crack in your wallet, draining your savings account.

The damage can be severe, such as costing more than $15,000 in credit card debt for the average American household, according to a recent study by NerdWallet.

“It’s not easy sticking to a budget,” said Brenda Romesburg, single mom who decided to simplify her finances. “But having money in my savings for emergencies, or for when I want to take the kids to the park, to the movies or on a vacation, is absolutely worth the sacrifice.”

When Romesburg made the decision to reduce her spending, she started by going over her bills and looking for areas to make cuts.

“I changed my cell phone data plan from 8GB to 3GB,” she said. “That was a $30 savings per month ($360 a year). I can live without the internet for a few hours until I get home to my Wi-Fi.”She also called her cable company and asked about options to lower her bill.

“So I had to give up some channels,” she said, “but I’m saving an additional $20 a month ($240 a year). I found new channels to watch and now I don’t even miss the ones I had to let go.”

When it comes to spending, Romesburg asks herself daily, “Do I really need to buy this; do I have to have that?”

“I reduced eating out,” she said. “Cooking at home saves me at least $150 a month ($1,800 a year!). Sometimes it is hard sticking to my menu and only buying what is on the grocery list, but it really works. Saving money makes me feel good and puts me in control of my finances.”

Saving money doesn’t require drastic changes to your lifestyle.

Small changes on how you spend your hard-earned money add up. Take time to review your expenses and make adjustments that will not only boost your financial wellness but also your personal health and happiness.

Opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the author and meant for generic illustration purposes only.  RCB Bank, member FDIC.