This is why people play the lottery or invest in "get rich quick" schemes. It is also why people listen to stock tips from the uncle ... who has a friend ... who knows a guy ... who is the father of a man ... who used to be a janitor at a firm that is about to be a billion-dollar organization.

Opportunities do come up and sometimes people make it big in a short period of time. However, most people still make money by working hard, saving, and living within their means.

For those who do not have that kind of patience, there is always the wonderful world of credit and all the joy that it can bring ...

credit cards file photo

No. 2: Overusing your credit cards

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.