3 | Cash Flow


An amount of money paid to a worker based on the number of hours or days they work.


An amount of money that the government requires people to pay. It can be dependent on your income, the goods or services you are purchasing, the value of your property, and so on. This money is collected by the government and used to run government programs and services.

Savings Account

A bank account where you can put your money to save it for future expenses.


An agreement to use money that belongs to someone else and pay it back at a later date.


Financial protection against possible loss or damage. You could have insurance on your house, car or life. In the event of accidental damage to the insured property or person, you would receive money to help deal with the situation.


The amount of money a person has coming in to their household.

Financial Literacy

The knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about money.


Items that money is spent on, such as rent, food, bus fare and clothing.


Money that is taken off your pay cheque. Some of the basic deductions in Canada are Employment Insurance, Income Tax, Employee Benefits, and Pension Plans.


A piece of paper that you can use to give permission for a bank to give money from your bank account to someone else. You can use cheques instead of cash. Cheques are usually printed by your bank and you fill in the information about who you want to give the money to and how much money you want to give, and then sign it. The amount you write on the cheque is withdrawn from your account, by the bank, and given to the person/business to which you wrote the cheque.


A document used to organize and track income and expenses.


This section talks about ways to get money and where it goes. After reading this section, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What are some potential sources of income?
  • Where does my money go?
  • What are my expenses?
  • Why was money taken off my pay cheque?

What Are Some Potential Sources of Income?

Income is any money that you get. It can come from a variety of sources. For example, a person can earn money through employment (including babysitting, yard work, and delivering papers), receive social assistance benefits or employment insurance, inherit a lump sum of money, sell something for cash, collect a pension, receive a settlement or gifts of cash, receive First Nation Disbursement, and so on.

When you are financially fit, you are able to make informed choices about finances and understand how your choices impact your wallet and your life.

Can you think of other sources of income? What are they?

It’s important to note that where, when, and how you get money can influence where some of that money goes.

So Where Does My Money Go?

Well, a number of factors influence where your money goes. For example, if you are a 10-year-old receiving an allowance, your money may go to buying a new toy or saving for a video game. If you’re a college student working part-time, you may be using the money you earn to pay rent, put gas in your car, or save to buy a new laptop. The following chart illustrates some examples of where people may spend their money. The examples are based on a monthly average.

Who Receives the $ Source of $ Amount of $ House Bills Living Bills Personal Items $ Suckers!
Single Mom with One Child Income Assistance (I.A.) and Family Bonus (F.B.) $945.58 (I.A.)
$123.50 (F.B)
$1069.08 Total
Rent $500.00
Hydro $70.00
Groceries $258.00
Diapers $75.00
New Shoes $36.00 Smokes $70.00
Bingo $30.00
Eating out $20.00
Single Elder Disability Pension $981.43 Mortgage 350.00
Hydro $114.00
Groceries $200.00
Bus Pass $40
Birthday Gifts for Grandkids $25 Casino $250.00
20 Year Old Minimum Wage Job 35 hours / week x 4 weeks $1225.00 $0 (Living with Parents) Car Payment $350
Car Insurance $125.00
Gas $90.00
Cell Phone $265.00
Clothes $179.00
Poker $240
Two Parent Family with Two Children One Parent Working 40 hours/ week x 4 weeks $2880.00 Rent $800.00 Car Insurance $121.00
House Insurance $140.00
Savings Account $150.00
Life Insurance $100.00
Groceries $320.00
Gas $130.00
Dog Food $70.00
Hockey Fees for Child $45.00
Clothes for Kids $90.00
ICBC Fines $150
Vet Bill $267.00
Car Repair $116.00

What Are Expenses?

Expenses are everything that you pay money for during the month. They make up a large part of where your money goes. Expenses can include rent/mortgage payments, debt or loan payments, utility bills (including hydro, natural gas, oil, water/sewer, telephone, cable, and so on), childcare fees, groceries, insurance payments, transportation, dining out, as well as miscellaneous items such as gifts, haircuts, and pet expenses.

Understanding Your Pay Cheque

Congratulations, you earned your first pay cheque! But be prepared when you open that first cheque because you might be surprised that you didn’t receive as much money as you expected. When you are an employee at a company, the government requires your employer to deduct part of your earnings. These deductions include taxes, Canada Pension Plan (CPP), Employment Insurance, and Benefits.

As soon as you start working, you need to think about retirement because the money you save now will grow until the day you retire. If you start saving early, you will have much more money when you retire.


Take the next step:  4 | Money Traps

 Learning Resources

These websites and video clips can help you learn more about cash flow:


This Service Canada page provides information about employment opportunities for Aboriginal people.

This video clip provides a great overview of financial literacy:

This humorous video clip shows how day to day purchases can add up over time.

 Tips Just for You…


This link has a great budget template for kids


Savvy Stuff: Top Ten Budgeting Basics for Teens


Book: Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robins

Visit this website for an overview of the 9 Step Process to Get on Track


Take the next step:  4 | Money Traps

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