Adulting 101: Let’s Talk about Money

Welcome to March and the Adulting 101 series. In this series, we provide tips and tricks to be a successful adult! This week, we will talk about money.

Part 1: file your taxes

Filing your taxes is required for Canadian residents. Every year between February and April, we all need to file our taxes for the previous year. In this page, the government of Canada explains what you as an international student need to prepare for when filing your taxes.
When filing taxes, you need the following:
1. Social Insurance Number (SIN): you must have a SIN when applying for a job. If you do not have yours yet, check your study permit to see if you are eligible to obtain one.
2. Tax slips: you need T4 forms and T2202 forms.
If you worked part time or full time in 2020, your current employer should have given you your T4 form. You must also get this from any former employers you worked for between January and December 2020.
Schools also prepare T2202 forms for all students. As a Hanson student, Cambrian College will have provided yours if you were a student sometime between January and December 2020. Get yours from your myCambrian portal today.
You can watch this tutorial video for the instructions.
3. Other documents: Do you have a spouse or children? Do you have a house or car loan? Or did you get any other tax deductions? If so, you might need additional slips. Check the CRA website for more information.
4. Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB): Did you apply for CERB in 2020? If you did, you need to file for this as well. Check in your CRA account to see if you have a slip. For more information, click here.

What to do when you file taxes:
1. If you haven’t done so, make sure you have created an account with Canada Revenue Agency. If you have one already, make sure that your SIN and contact information are up to date.
2. Collect all the documents you need.
3. File your taxes by April 30, 2021. Here are some websites you can use:
Do note that there can be additional fees for using these websites, although many services are free for post-secondary students. Follow instructions for each website as they have different procedures and tutorial videos.

Part 2: budgeting

Keep track of your expenditure! You can create and take care of your budget by using free apps like Mint, Goodbudget, and YNAB. In our budgeting guide, we’ve compared and contrasted these apps in more details.

part 3: more resources

  • The Financial Diet – this YouTube channel has various videos suitable for Millennials, especially college students.
  • Online webinars – Join a free community workshop from the comfort of your home! You can sign up for webinars on topics including how to budget, understanding credit, ways to save on household expenses, and more.
  • PrepStep – PrepStep also has different courses on finances! Many courses are suited for students,


CRA is hosting free workshops about taxes. If you want to learn more, click on this link and register for the one titled “CRA International students presentation.”
There are also many YouTube videos and podcasts on money and finances. Browse around and find ones you like!
You can also ask your friends, family, colleagues or people around you for advice or inspiration.

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