Counting on a future windfall
Basing your plans for financial stability on a future payoff, such as an inheritance, a run-up in the value of your home or a big tax refund can put your finances in dire straits.
It's also a symptom of a bigger problem -- rationalizing when it comes to your debt, Boucher says.
"You're planning on a bonus that doesn't materialize, or what we saw happening not too long ago, with people saying, 'I can always suck more equity out of my property,'" he says. "If you think like that, you're really setting yourself up for a fall."