Expected expenses can be saved for with ease, but the unexpected expenses? Well, they can catch you off guard. Our next client heroes James and Morgan can attest to this and are the perfect example of the balance between both.
James is a local entrepreneur who owns and operates SYNlawn Landscaping. We are pretty sure he was born an entrepreneur with a keen eye for opportunity and eager to do a little hard work. Remember those cute little kids who would knock on your door and offer to shovel your walk for $5? That was likely James!
Morgan is a grade one teacher with a passion for cooking as well as inspiring the young minds she interacts with every single day. You could say she’s a bit of a foodie with a taste for learning!
With their first baby on the way Morgan and James want to be able to save for their new little one while still being able to have money set aside for unexpected expenses. That sounds impossible, doesn’t it? Far from it! Read on to learn a little more about this power couple!
What is your occupation?
James: I am the owner and operator of SYNlawn Landscaping.
Morgan: I am a grade one teacher with the public school division.
Where do you live?
We live in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Where are you from originally?
Regina, born and raised!
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
We are both twins!
What is your favourite quote?
Morgan: “The best teachers are the ones who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to find.” (I’m not sure who said it)
My proudest money moment:
James: When I bought my first house in 2007 while still in university. I saw house prices climbing and decided to invest some of my hard-earned tree planting money. It really paid off when I sold it a few years later and used the profits to boost our down payment on our next house.
Morgan: Finally hiring TCM to help us talk through financial planning and decisions! Every year we mean to come up with a better financial plan and never get around to it. It feels good to get on top of things!
What is your top money frustration?
Surprising unforeseen costs, like when we unexpectedly had to spend $1,500 on vet bills! Our cat is worth it…but still!
Financial security to me means . . .
Not living paycheck to paycheck… being able to meet our needs now, while saving to meet our needs later…having a safety net for when things don’t go as planned.
What is your favourite splurge?
James: We have a wet bar in our basement and I do like to keep it well stocked for when guests come over.
Morgan: I can get pretty excited about something new for the kitchen, like when we splurged on a nice blender, or our juicer, or every once in a while when we grab some special ingredients for something super tasty!
If you had a chance for one do-over in life, what would you do differently?
If we had to pick one thing to try differently, each of us would have liked to travel more, or for longer, before getting settled into our careers.
James: What motivated you to start your own business?
Ever since I was a little kid I’ve just had that entrepreneurial spirit. I wanted to get out into the world and make money! Growing up I had several jobs delivering papers and flyers, and would go door-to-door and offer to rake lawns or shovel sidewalks for a small fee. Getting older I knew I wanted to work for myself. While in business school the opportunity presented itself and I took it.
Morgan: What is your favourite part of being a teacher?
Working with the most excited, enthusiastic, inquisitive scientists and artists and thinkers there are: kids! It’s hard to be down on life when you’re surrounded by people who jump up and down and laugh and explode with excitement at the sight of a ladybug, or the first snowfall, or a seed sprouting. It’s pretty fun!
We love educating people about personal finance. What question would you like us to discuss in our next blog post?
With our first child on the way, we are curious about the advice you have for new parents when it comes to personal finance.
TCM: Be sure to check back next week for our response to James and Morgan’s question. It is certainly one that most new parents are facing. We might have to wait a little longer for the answer to the other question you might be thinking about – will they have twins? Stay tuned.