Applicant #22: Adam Roy

Adam Roy is a 23-year-old from South Portland.

Adam's video application:

Adam's current situation:

I believe that honesty, hard work, respect and sacrifice will bring the best results and always keep that in the back of my head even in the toughest of times. I'm 23, I work during the day in cellular sales and at night as a nightclub/event DJ. My funds got really tight a couple years ago and needed to take a break from school, but with things looking brighter I plan on going back this coming fall. I live with two roommates and am in a relationship with my girlfriend Jessica.

Even though I didn't venture too far from home, I've been supporting myself since I was 19. I've taught myself a lot about making a budget and conserving money. It didn’t all come easy, as many months I found myself with nothing left after paying all my bills and even got really far behind with a credit card, which I'm still paying off today. With my existing knowledge, unique sense of humor and wide network of resources throughout the Portland area, I’m confident I am the right person for the Young & Free Maine Spokesperson.

Adam's blog post:

I feel very strongly that there is a lack of financial knowledge amongst youth in Maine. You can go through four years of high school, spend thousands of dollars on four years of college and after all that still not have any idea on how to properly create a monthly budget. How does that happen? Not only does that seem unfair, it just doesn’t seem logical.

After going through high school and college, I’ve had this vision of a “life skills” class that should be a requirement of all students to get a high school diploma. It would teach students things like budgeting, understanding employer benefits packages, understanding credit card terms and conditions, understanding credit scores, just practical real world things like that. Don’t get me wrong; I certainly see the value in the classes being taught in school now. I just feel that learning about bank overdraft fees and credit card interest would have helped me out a lot more in my current situation as opposed to all the stuff I had to memorize for my chemistry class, very little of which do I retain to this day.

This is all of extra importance given our current economic situation. I have friends graduating college with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and no clue what to do. When you don’t yet have a steady source of income and it’s time to start paying those loans back, those credit card offers could seem very enticing. However the whole “buy now pay later” mentality is just going to cause more harm than good as you can only live on credit for so long. Eventually that all has to be paid back and a lot of people don’t realize that the longer you take to pay it, the more it’s going to cost you as they jack up your interest rate and you end up paying way more than you initially charged. With that, if you can’t pay it and it ends up going to a collection agency, it goes on your credit report, which ultimately will affect you when it comes to making other purchases, or maybe even your eligibility for some jobs. It all seems likes common sense to some but is a le sson a lot of youth learn the hard way. Having a class like I described would give everyone in Maine those basic life skills that would put them on a fair playing field when it came to making their own financial decisions.