We often expect that people in high positions lead charmed lives, making few mistakes. For perhaps irrational reasons, it can be hard to imagine a CEO forgetting to pay his phone bill. Or a famous quarterback locking himself out of his house. But these things surely happen.

As an example, consider Treasury Secretary John Snow. A few months ago, it was reported that though he had been advocating financial literacy as he traveled across America, he hadn't been tending his own garden. His mistake wasn't a small one, either -- his investment advisor had apparently not heeded Snow's directive to invest nearly $11 million in U.S. Treasury securities. Instead, he spent the money on bonds of major mortgage companies, such as Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE). It took Snow a long time to notice this irregularity because, as USA Today explained, "He didn't bother to read his financial statements for more than a year." Yikes.

Are you guilty of similar gaffes? Most of us are. It's important to review our various financial statements when they arrive to ensure that we've bought and sold what we thought we did and that our statements don't contain transactions that aren't ours or fees that we shouldn't pay. Fail to keep an eye on such things, and you may end up losing a lot of money -- though perhaps not the $500,000 that Secretary Snow did when he sold the bonds.

Another good thing to do is to review your credit report regularly to make sure that it's accurate. Dayana Yochim recently explained why in Your FICO Score is a Lie.

Financial advisors aren't necessarily bad -- just keep up with what they're doing for you. Let us help you find a good one.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.