Every player starts a CS:GO match with a specific amount: $800. Successful actions, such as kills or planting/defusing a bomb, generate money. Losses are also profitable, and even with a lost round teams get something to their account, but the sum is significantly smaller.
The general formula is: the more successful your team is from round to round, the more money it has. And therefore, you and your teammates have funds to make effective purchases (if necessary) and have even more victorious rounds.
Part of the money is earned by the whole team and divided between the players: wins/losses and bomb planting/defusing. And some is strictly individual: the kill bonus, which depends on the weapon. Each player can have up to $16,000 in their “pocket”.
In the very first round, the game only allows you to buy pistols and equipment. Results of the pistol round dictate your economic actions — whether you have funds for the best guns or if you should save money and try to earn as much as possible with the low-cost/high-reward weapon type. Then, deep into the match, you make similar decisions after each and every round. The strategy might be based on spending everything with the risk of losing it. Or you may decide to save what you have for a powerful strike in a couple of rounds. The current match score and the number of remaining rounds directly affect these economic decisions. Your opponents’ money is also a significant factor.
The whole concept is pretty simple, but as is usual with competitive gaming, only practice can transform knowledge into skills. Our CS:GO economy guide lists direct steps for you to avoid going astray in this journey.