When it comes to personal finance, it’s difficult at first to learn the lingo. Reading a credit card or bank statement can be a challenge if you aren’t familiar with the terms to describe the products you’re getting and for how much. And, your yearly tax form - which is another story.So, let’s begin with some of the most basic terms you need to know on a regular basis.AssetsAn asset is a tangible item that is yours (a car, a house, stocks, etc.) or belongs to a company. Assets are a major factor in calculating what a person or company is worth and plays a part in bankers’ formulas when lending money.LiabilitiesA liability is basically the opposite of an asset. While an asset falls into the positive column on a budget or loan application, a liability falls into the negative column. They are essentially any debts you (or a company) has incurred, such as mortgages, credit card debt or car loans.Bear/Bull marketThis term is important to know if you do any dealings, however basic or complicated, with the stock market. That includes RRSPs tied to stock market trading. A bear market means it’s on the way down or on the decline, while a bull market is when the market is moving in a positive direction.Tax DeductionWhen you file your taxes (or gone to ask your accountant to do so), it’s likely you’ve heard something about tax deductions. These are a way to reduce your total income on your tax return so you either don’t have to pay as much or you’ll get a bigger tax return from the government. There are limits to the amount you can deduct per year, but common deductions include moving expenses, childcare expenses, and amount for an eligible dependent.Tax CreditCredits are a great way to bring down the amount of taxes you owe to the government. But unlike deductions, they only help you if you owe money. If the amount of credits exceeds the amount you owe, you still won’t receive a cheque for the balance. Common tax credits include property tax credits, working income tax benefit and the sales tax credit. These can vary from one province to another, so it’s best to do a little research to make sure you’re getting all the credits you deserve.Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)RRSP’s are the traditional way Canadians save for their retirement. Canadians contribute taxable income into the plan and aren’t taxed (for the moment) when they contribute to their RRSP. That money accrues interest and grows over time, and once the owner reaches retirement age, they can withdraw money at a much lower tax rate. You can contribute to a certain amount each year directly based on your income. The more you make, the more you can contribute. Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)This is a way to disperse your income from your RRSP. The fund allows for steady payments based on a prescribed formula to be paid to the owner or beneficiary.Earned IncomeWhen filling out your tax forms, this term means all the income you’ve gotten from working over the past year. This number is the foundation for Revenue Canada to calculate how much you owe or how much of a return you’ll receive.Stock OptionsThis is a perk corporations often offer to new employees. A company will give you the right to purchase its stock at a set price for a certain amount of time. If that stock performs well and you exercise your right to purchase at the flat price, then you make a profit on those options.Mutual FundA mutual fund is a way to combine assets into a money pool to build more buying power. You pool your cash with other shareholders through a broker to invest in various stocks that you’re interested in. Normally, you may not be able to afford to invest in all the stocks that interest you, but when you pool your assets with others, your dollar stretches. You can also redeem your shares at any time and leave the mutual fund easily.