There are two types of people in this world: those that focus on saving money, and those that focus on earning money. The two often don’t overlap, and the frequency of the former far outstrips that of the latter.
While this claim may or may not be true, it provides an interesting tenet to my calorie-/dollar-similarity theory.
Take a sample $2500 monthly budget for a single man in his thirties. If he were to start looking at his savings and decide that he wants to start socking-away an extra $500 each month, he needs to look at areas to cut. Cable goes, eating-out goes, commuting to work to save on gas, etc. He will find it pretty darn difficult to cut out $500 from a $2500 budget, simply if for no other reason than it is 20 percent of his overall expenses. Cutting this out is a significant decrease. The same goes for calories!
If you are eating a daily average of 2500 calories, cutting out 500 calories a day (enough to lose 1 lb a week), you will find it ridiculously difficult to reduce your diet by that much. Your body will hold on to it, as it has acclimated to the 2500 calorie diet. However, if you increase your exercise by simply as much as 45 minutes jogging, 1 hour walking, or 30 minutes swimming, you will be able to burn an extra 500 calories a day, hence resulting in the desired outcome.
Going back to the single guy, we can have him work an extra three days a month (1.5 weekends) and at a rate of $18/hr, he will be earning more to the tune of $540. Where can he do this? Perhaps a part-time job, start freelancing, set up a snow-cone stand in a park, etc. These are all good, quick ways to work on off time with low overhead that can earn his desired $500.
So, when focusing on the magnitude of the result, aim for the mantra “Burn more. Earn more.” It works for fitness, it will work for finances.