It starts out so innocently. People charge a little gasoline here and a few groceries there. Before long they charge movie tickets, home improvement items, clothes, restaurant meals, and weekend trips to "the card."

There are people who genuinely convince themselves that charging something to a credit card means that they don't have to eventually pay for it. Unfortunately, that bill comes every month and soon people are paying the minimum balance on a card that has a sizeable balance and a daunting annual percentage rate.

The credit card is convenient, but it can get people into serious financial trouble if they are not careful.

Of course, it could be worse. People could have no sense of what they are going to do in the future ...

Empty pockets

No. 1: Not planning for the future

If people are asked about their future, they can usually paint a fairly happy picture.

They will be retired, their bills will be paid off, and they will roam the world while living off their perfectly adequate nest egg.

The reality is that many individuals have no plan for the future. They may have desires, but their current habits will never get them to their desired state of living in the future.

Does a financial plan guarantee success? Of course not. However, the mistake that many people make is not having any sort of long-term financial strategy and hoping that things will simply work out somehow.

Thinking that way may reflect the positive outlook of the individual, but it may also mean that they will someday experience disappointment at their lack of serious financial planning.