The November 2016 campaign is over now, but check out the resources below the next time you have an #unexpectedexpense

1 Nov 2016

I have a ๐ŸŒฒ air freshener in my ๐Ÿš—. Now I have a much larger ๐ŸŒฒ ON my ๐Ÿš—. #unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

Quick poll. Should I eat this month or pay the parking ticket I just got?๐Ÿ— or ๐Ÿ‘ฎ?#unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

Itโ€™s cool that you stole my ๐Ÿšฒ. I was only riding it several times every single day.๐Ÿ˜” #unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

Thought I was getting a tax refund, but I owe ๐Ÿ’ต this year? And I already bought that new ๐Ÿ’ป#unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

I love sports, but some kid just threw a ๐Ÿˆ through my kitchen window and Iโ€™m having second thoughts. #unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

How long can a family live with a broken ๐Ÿšฝ? Weโ€™re about to find out. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ#unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

Broke my ๐Ÿ‘“. Canโ€™t see what Iโ€™m writing unless I hold my ๐Ÿ“ฑ right up to my ๐Ÿ‘€. #unexpectedexpenses

1 Nov 2016

Everyone has

The November 2016 campaign is now over. But, unexpected expenses happen every day. Know ๐Ÿ‘‰ all of your options for getting money before you really need it. ๐Ÿค‘


Nearly 60% of Albertans are within $200 of not being able to cover their expenses each month.

If you need ๐Ÿ’ต,ย you have a lot of options.
Which one is right for you?

Does your bank account have overdraft protection? ๐Ÿง

Ask your bank about adding overdraft protection on your account for a monthly or one-time fee.

The bank covers transactions when you don’t have enough money in your account.

Make sure you know when payments coming out of your account. Non-Sufficient Fund (NSF) charges are expensive.

Maybe your boss ๐Ÿ‘‘ would give you an advance on your paycheque.

Your employer may be able to provide a salary advance that would be deducted from your future paycheques.

This solves an immediate problem, but make sure to plan ahead for the reduced paycheque you can now expect.

Ask your employer to deposit your salary directly into your bank account. That way you can withdraw your money right away and avoid going to expensive cheque cashers.

Ask your employer if they can change your pay schedule to match the due dates for your expenses.

A good way to save is to ask your employer to put some of your pay into a savings, RRSP or RESP account. If you don’t see it you don’t tend to spend it.

Thereโ€™s always a payday loan, if youโ€™re desperate. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Payday loans can cause you to be in an endless cycle of debt. Before you take out a payday loan, make sure you can pay it back on time!

If you regret taking a payday loan, you have two days to cancel the loan and return the money without paying any additional fees. This is called a Cooling Off Period.

Payday loan regulations in Alberta have reduced the fees a payday loan lender can charge, but a service fee of $15 per $100 borrowed, per 14 days, still equates to a 390% annual percentage rate. In comparison, the Cash Crunch loan at First Calgary Financial and Chinook Financial has a 19% annual percentage rate, with up to 18 months to pay it back โ€” and when you do, it improves your credit score.

Take care when looking at online lenders. Those outside Alberta don’t face our tough regulations. Some borrowers are great, while some just look great and pretend to be all about being cool and fun.

Ask your bank ๐Ÿฆ for advice about payday loan alternatives!

First Calgary Financial and Chinook Financial offer Cash Crunch loans of $500-$1500 with 6-18 months repayment terms.

These loans have lower interest rate than a conventional payday loan and longer repayment terms that help with budgeting.

Servus offers a Fast Forward small loan of $200 to $2500 with repayment terms of 2 to 24 months.

Having a good relationship with a real bank helps when you need to borrow money.

If you pay back loans, your credit score improves. Payday loans and pawn businesses do nothing to improve your credit score.

Itโ€™s okay to ask your friends ๐Ÿ™‹ and family for help!

Ask friends or family members if they can provide a short term loan.

Be specific about when and how you will pay back the loan.

Offer to provide post-dated cheques.

Keep the relationship positive by paying the loan back on time โ€” or early.

If itโ€™s an emergency, take a cash advance from your credit card. ๐Ÿ’ณ

If you have credit cards, choose one with a low interest rate for cash advances.

Interest starts the day you withdraw money and continues until you pay it back in full.

Some department store credit cards allow you to take cash advances โ€” but with higher interest rates.

Donโ€™t apply for too many credit cards or have too many you don’t use. Both hurt your credit score.

Choose cards with low or no annual fees and low interest rates. Airline reward and cash-back cards can be more expensive.

A line of credit is great for times like these โ€” ask your bank! ๐Ÿฆ

Lines of credit are great for unexpected expenses when you need money instantly.

You can use your maximum approved amount for any need, with no set payments and no interest charged until you use the account.

An unsecured line of credit is offered to those with a good banking relationship. A secured line of credit requires collateral.

Have you heard about secured credit cards? ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿ’ณ๐Ÿ‘

If you want to build your credit rating, get a secured credit card.

The card is secured with cash. With $500 in a bank account, your secured credit card will have a limit of $500.

Each purchase and repayment improves your credit rating because the transactions are reported to a credit bureau.

A consolidation loan ๐Ÿ—ƒ might get you out of a tight spot.

Visit your bank and ask about a consolidation loan. You might have multiple debts that can be rolled together into one loan.

Avoid visiting too many banks and having your credit bureau checked repeatedly โ€” this can lower your credit score.

Do you have something a pawn shop might want? ๐ŸŽฟ๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ’

Pawn shops are a fast way to get cash if you have an item of value.

The pawn shop will offer you less than your item is worth.

Make sure you are clear on the terms before handing over your item.

Pawn shops are unregulated in Alberta, so the rules vary.

The stakes are high, but you could try a title loan. ๐Ÿš—

A title loan means that your purchase โ€” be it a car or couch โ€” are collateral until you repay the loan and fees.

The interest will be unusually high and if you miss a payment the collateral will be repossessed.

These Alberta organizations and individuals understand unexpected expenses.

Being short on ๐Ÿ’ต can make you feel a little ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ
These โ›“ can help!

Find programs & services

Inform Alberta (or dial 211)
Find non-emergency social, health and government services 24/7

24 hour Emergency Income Support Centre 1-866-644-5135
Call to get help in an emergency with basic needs like food, shelter, clothing and transportation

Financial Coaching & Workshops

Money Mentorsย 1-888-294-0076
Alberta-based, not-for-profit credit counselling agency.

Credit Counselling Societyย 1-888-527-8999
Registered, non profit service for consumers that helps you solve debt problems, manage money better and use credit responsibly.

Find workshops at Momentum in Calgary, where individuals and families living on low incomes take control of personal finances, secure meaningful employment, borrow and repay loans for business, and even purchase homes.

Help for Students

In addition to financial aid programs and scholarships, almost every university and college has a financial literacy program including things like free tax filings, food banks and discounts.

Free Money

Government Benefits – Are you missing out?
Find non-emergency social, health and government services 24/7

File your taxes
You may be at risk of missing out on thousands of dollars in benefits and credits. A family of four with combined income of $40K could qualify for over $13K in government benefits. Call 211 to find free tax filing help.

Easy Child Tax Benefit Calculator

Calgary Fair Entry Program
Apply once and get access to free/reductions in transit passes, recreation programs, pet spay/neuter, seniors services home maintenance and property tax assistance.ย 

Edmonton Leisure Program
The Leisure program helps low-income Edmontonians access recreation facilities.

Matched Savings

Empower U Edmonton
Save $1 get $1 through financial literacy programs for women of diverse backgrounds who are experiencing low income or poverty. Offered through several community agencies.

Momentum Calgary
Learn about money and participate in a variety of matched savings programs for adults and youth that help you save for education, starting or expanding a business, medical needs and even damage deposits and down payments


The November 2016 was a campaign launched by a group of concerned citizens and community groups to raise awareness about financial literacy.ย 

Alberta Government
ATB Financial
Bissell Centre
Bow Valley College
Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Calgary Economic Development
Calgary Financial Empowerment Collaborative
Chinook Financial
City of Calgary
City of Edmonton
Dolan Wealth Management of Raymond James
Edmonton Financial Empowerment Collaborative

Enough for All
Fiasco Gelato
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
First Calgary Financial
Fort Saskatchewan Families First Society
Good Win Communications
Intolla Incorporated
Money Mentors

Norwood Child & Family Resource Centre
River City Credit Union
Ryan Murphy Inc.
Servus Credit Union
Trico Homes
United Way of Calgary and Area
United Way Capital Region
Vibrant Communities Calgary
Zinc Ventures

If you would like to join this list, please email us and we’ll add you. Thank you!

Weโ€™re a province full of hard workers who understand that things donโ€™t always go according to plan. Every Albertan should have access to safe and affordable loans.