Anyone who’s ever had to lose weight can tell you that it takes both exercise and a change in what you eat. Similarly, changing your spending habits is as essential to keeping your budget under control as eating better is to managing weight loss.
Coming into extra money — whether it’s a raise, a bonus, a tax return or found cash — gives us a burning desire to spend it. After all, it’s extra, right? We can afford it. As finance blog Enemy of Debt points out, the parallels to weight loss training are all too easy:
Consuming calories is easy, burning them is not. I can exercise myself to exhaustion every day, but if I keep shoveling junk into my pie hole, I will not lose weight.
You cannot out exercise bad eating habits.
…Thinking there must be some kind of mistake, we sat down and totaled up the receipts of everything we had done. Sure enough, it all added up. Just like the fast food example, it takes a lot of hard work to earn a little extra money, but it’s very easy to spend a lot of money very quickly
In other words, you cannot out earn bad spending habits.
To make matters worse, exercise can cost nothing, but making more money isn’t quite so simple. If you’re trying to fix your budget problems, don’t count on more money solving everything if you’re still metaphorically — or literally — chowing down on junk food.
You Can’t Out Earn Bad Spending Habits [Enemy of Debt]