Whether it's the dentist, the vet or a mechanic — these types of unexpected expenses are the focus of a new social media campaign that aims to encourage young people to deal with surprise situations.

"The average Canadian can't afford an extra $200 expense," said Jamie Leong-Huxley, the #unexpectedexpenses campaign spokesperson on the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday.

Jamie Leong-Huxley

Jamie Leong-Huxley is the spokesperson for the Unexpected Expenses campaign. (Supplie)

"We are asking Albertans to know in advance how they would pay for an unexpected expense and save for a rainy day."

So she and a group of anonymous Alberta business leaders launched the campaign over the course of financial literacy month — each day in November someone will receive a $500 savings account for sharing their story of unexpected expenses on Twitter, Instagram or via email.

"It's to raise awareness about financial problems and to reduce the stigma of the need for savings."

"Our favourite story is being able to help a family reduce payday loan debt. They needed to take it out because childcare expenses and school fees raised unexpectedly at the same time," said Leong-Huxley.

The campaign targets people between 25 and 45 years old although they've received a broad range of feedback and plenty of the responses are tied to the current economic situation.

Two suggestions for stashing some cash away for a rainy day is to start a money jar, or ask an employer to set aside a portion of your paycheque. 

"Many people have talked about layoffs. We awarded one savings account to somebody who'd been laid off twice."

To share your story, make a post using the hashtag "unexpected expenses" or visit their website.


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener