Twentysomething overcomes mountain of debt
By Dawn Cuthbertson, Sympatico / MSN Finance
He may still live with his momma, but Adam Goodman has come a long way.
A year-and-a-half ago, Goodman was up to his eyeballs in debt - $60,000 of which was accumulated going back to school for his MBA.
But that would be considered “good debt” compared to the amount he racked up thanks to his love of new cars.
Between the ages of 19 and 24, Goodman bought eight or nine of them.
Today he leases a no-frills economy car and has paid off 80 per cent of his overall debt. He’s also looking to move out of his mom’s basement in the next few months.
Goodman, who works for a telecommunications company in Toronto, details how he managed to get off the fast track to financial ruin in his new book, Following the Goods: Financial Management for the Young and Ambitious.
It was during his MBA course that he found motivation to turn things around. A classmate who had never held a full-time job, except for a few co-ops here and there, managed to accumulate $50,000 by saving wisely.
Goodman says he tackled the traditional ways of learning financial independence reading books and personal finance websites, but he also requested informational meetings with an accountant, a banker and a financial advisor.
"As I was talking to them, I realized that it wasn't rocket science."
But he also realized that the advice he was getting came from an older generation in terms that would overwhelm a recent graduate.
Goodman says he took special care to write his book in layman’s terms for the financial novice.
And he has also thanked his classmate – with an autographed copy of the book.
Posted by: Guy G | Mar 24, 2021 2:17:01 PM
Wow, he thanked his inspiration and teacher with an autographed book?!
GEEZ! what a nice guy *rolls eyes*
Posted by: Kevin | Mar 24, 2021 2:50:20 PM
So he accumulated $60,000 in debt going to school and getting a MBA, then gets hired for a Telecom company (probably in a upper-management position due to his MBA), and probably makes $60,000/year as a salary.
What a genius, NOT!
Anyone making a high salary (over $50,000 per year) can pull out of debt faster than someone who is not.
This is a lame story. If he was a high school drop out with no further education, had $60,000 in debt and managed to pull out of it, would have been a more legitimate story.
This is like a CEO pulling out of debt, whoopdeedoo.
There are enough people out of work that beg for low paying jobs, that wont care for this story.
Posted by: J. Banks | Mar 24, 2021 3:19:44 PM
Must be nice getting to live with your mom while paying off your debt. Even I could have accomplished this if I didn't have a mortgage, utilities, car payments, etc. to pay as well. This guy probably makes well over $60K per year so I don't see what the big deal is. A little self control always helps though! Hmmmm, put my income towards my debt instead of blowing it.....what a concept! Duh!
Posted by: Adam | Mar 24, 2021 3:48:50 PM
The real point of the story isn’t how fast I’m paying off my debt, but rather that when I was young I made a lot of financial mistakes because I never understood why I needed to care about financial management. Understanding financial management can be a daunting task for some, and unless you have a reason to motivate you to start learning, it can be hard. The book (and this story) is meant to empower the reader, regardless of what you are doing in life, to take control of your finances as soon as possible, because if you don’t, no one will!
Posted by: SuzieKew | Mar 24, 2021 3:51:00 PM
>>But he also realized that the advice he was getting came from an older generation in terms that would overwhelm a recent graduate.<<
this guy has an MBA???? what kind of advice didn't he understand?? save more, spend less ... what a joke ... talk about the dumbing down of entire generations. He works for a TMT? probably sells cel phones in a mall kiosk. And this is an example of the type of kiddies who are going to be 'leading' out future generations?? God help us all.
Posted by: Morrir | Mar 24, 2021 4:04:37 PM
Wow, you are all pretty angry about someones success based on your comments. The Point is to take control of your finances. Live with your mom, drive a cheaper car, whatever... we all have the ability to cut down on expenses and pay off debt.. Problem is no one does it, consumption is always much more immediatly satisfying. If you are really upset at his ability to pay off his debts then go back to school and get an MBA and earn $60,000 or more a year. Problem solved.
Congratulations on taking control of your finances!
Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2021 4:12:44 PM
You don't have to be "poor" to struggle economically. Life is not cheap, and 60K doesn't buy that much these days. I work full time at a job I love and make over 50K a year and still managed to get thousands of dollars into debt. By the time I paid rent, utilities, car payments, bought food and clothing, and paid for sports and tutoring for my son, I was spending hundreds more per month than I was making. I've recently had to make some very tough decisions. For one thing, I had to cut out the car even though it means hours on public transit everyday. And I have to pick up extra work on the weekend, even though it means I'm stressed out and don't have as much time to spend with my son. Not pleasant!! But no one guaranteed that life would be easy. Careful financial planning is necessary even if you make a so-called high salary. I wish I would have cut the car out years ago...or never bought it in the first place!
Posted by: Derek | Mar 24, 2021 4:14:07 PM
Moral of the article: Keep buying things like my useless self-help book to spend your way out of debt!
Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2021 4:46:26 PM
whoa! Is it envy? angry mob out here. Kudos to Adam for taking charge of your life! Well done! Am sure there are a lot of 30, 40-yr olds who can learn, but this is great for the younger generation, coming from one of their own.
I am buying the book to give to my son when he turns 16!
Keep it up!
Posted by: Brain Damaged at Birth | Mar 24, 2021 5:10:33 PM
I am as dumb as a sack of hammers, but, how much intelligence does it take to live within your income? Does one need to learn something to do that?
Posted by: hae | Mar 24, 2021 5:14:39 PM
As Adam's editor, I can say that his book is a huge accomplishment and something that should have been written for young people long ago. The lesson here is personal finance and how important it is to understand the value of a dollar. It does not matter how much money you make nor where you are living, people all over the world are struggling with debt because they were never taught how to manage their money or plan for the future.
This book is meant to empower & inform... and it does a very good job of doing so.
Posted by: kitty | Mar 24, 2021 5:33:25 PM
I commend Adam for sharing his story and making a really good point; it's easy to spend your way into oblivion if you don't think about the future and exercise discipline. He also makes the point that whether you're making lots of money or very little, as long as you're saving something you're taking charge of your financial future. For those of you that were so quick to pan the MBA, I should also point out that Adam took on a significant amount of risk by going further into debt to invest in his future. For all those of you who were quick to judge how easy paying off debt would be if you could live in your mom's basement making an MBA salary, I would ask how many of those same people would have the guts to take control of their life in this way? If you aren't happy with how much you're making, then you should go back to school and get a job so that you can invest in your success. Pursue something you're interested in, and it doesn't have to be an MBA to make "big money". There are lots of jobs that pay far better than an "MBA job". Trades, for example, can make tons of cash. A good crane operator, electrician or plumber with a bit of experience can easily make six figures in a year. That's far more than the $60k that Adam is likely making. Follow Adam's advice, and you'll end up ahead and debt free.
Posted by: Allan | Mar 24, 2021 5:37:23 PM
money in, money out, it's as simple as that!
Posted by: Sharon Wilson | Mar 24, 2021 6:51:36 PM
It's good to hear a success story in today's world of bankruptcies and foreclosures.
Posted by: Stefanie Hartman | Mar 24, 2021 6:54:07 PM
I think more of the younger generation will take more from this since it's coming from someone they can relate to, instead of an older person who they probably think could never understand them.
Posted by: Justin | Mar 24, 2021 7:14:23 PM
As a twenty something with a under control million+ debtload I find this a sad commentary on our generation. We are supposed to emmulate Adam because he was able to get himself out of a self-made mess so that he is now "almost" even in life (60K a mountain of debt, get real). He managed this by dropping out of society to live at home with mommy to do his laundry. Commendable? No, depressing that this is a shining example. I live the life I want (travel, skiing, nice new house, nice SUV, etc) and average 40K of debt repayment every year. Understanding money is important to not going broke but understanding investing, leveraging, taxation, etc is critical to being wealthy.
So no I won't cheer that a 20 something managed to break even in his twenties with an MBA under his belt. Adam has aimed for mediocrity and has landed squarely in it. From that position I certainly wouldn't brag or write a self-help book. ROFL.
Posted by: Andrea | Mar 24, 2021 9:04:11 PM
A few years ago I was well over 600K in debt, now I have only 350K to repay. With a little luck I'll be debt free in about 4 years. I have my own business, and so is my husband, a big house, 2 cars. Should I mention that we came in Canada 6 years ago with 4 suitcases and $6000 in our pockets? Maybe I should write a book too :-))
Posted by: ed jones | Mar 24, 2021 10:40:02 PM
I have a friend that I've known since high school and 25 years later he's still screwing it up....even with his MBA. At one point he was making $200k a year and HE WAS ASKING ME to borrow $20 when we went out....and I was still a student. Let me tell you, I can still make $20 go further than he can with $100 burning a hole in his pocket. You don't need to read a book to be smart about money....just stop spending it. In his case it was clothes and eating out. Now he's divorced, lost his job numerous times, declared bankruptcy and has nothing to his name and he's 43. Don't ask me how he going to retire because I don't have a clue. Me, well, my family's net worth is now in the 7 figures. I've NEVER bought a new car (never will either...hellooooo Adam, even Warren Buffett drives an old Oldsmobile), the computer I'm typing this on is used, I don't download music or videos, we don't eat out, we don't have a walk-in closet and I do all our home renovations. For that, we have a house in a neighbourhood that most would be envious of, a cottage on a lake that very very few can afford, we go on vacation out of the country every year and our son is in the very best daycare money can buy. Yes, between my wife and I, we make a good income but we couldn't afford what we have if we hadn't been prudent in the past and continue to be prudent...and no, that doesn't mean cheap. The message is that you have to live well (and I mean WELL) within your means. Too bad more parents don't teach their kids this very basic idea. See you on the beach at 55!!... maybe earlier. Kudos to you Adam that you figured it out before your 43rd birthday....
Posted by: ed jones | Mar 24, 2021 10:43:15 PM
forgot something....Adam, WHY are you leasing a car?
big mistake my friend. you're cash-flowing...not a smart idea.
Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2021 10:49:01 PM
he wrote a book and made money off it, wow what a great story
reminds me of JK Rowling, now that's someone who went through financial trouble
and JK Rowling made children happy
this guy prob used some concepts from one of his MBA textbooks, and its his fault for lousy squandering, if he was actually even in debt
probably sitting at home watching the money from book sales come in