Buying your first car, moving into your own condo, traveling the world—these are some goals right on every thirtysomething woman’s horizon. But whatever your life goals may be, financial experts are unanimous on this: Practicing smart money habits from your 20s onward can help secure your future. Find out how financially responsible you already are by seeing if you practice these smart habits:

1. Creating a monthly budget.

Your budget is a financial roadmap that helps you determine areas where you can curb or adjust your spending to meet a monthly goal. Without one, you’ll find your income disappearing quickly into the clutches of an impulsive beauty buy from an online shop or a travel junket with your friends, which would only set you back financially. Manage your budget by using a spreadsheet template or a financial app to help you stay on track.

2. Paying your bills on time and in full.

Extra fees add up when you’re late on your payments for your phone or utilities, and the time you waste waiting in line to get your bills paid at a physical branch because you missed the online payment deadline only makes it worse. Sign up with your bank for direct debit or an auto-pay service so you don’t have to worry about scheduling your bill payments. This also gives you the added impetus for you not to overspend when you prioritize your bills first.

3. Establishing a financial plan for your long-term goals.

Taking the time to outline your long-term goals and come up with a comfortable nest egg for each of them is an absolute must if you want to accomplish them in the time you expect. But doing this also involves portioning your monthly income by how much you need to get rid of existing debt, save for an emergency fund, and invest your money. There’s the 50/30/20 budget principle you can put into practice, and there are financial well-being courses online that you can sign up for to help you create a plan you can stick with.

4. Learn to invest in stocks.

Investing in stocks is a longer-term smart money strategy that can reap bigger dividends for you. Educate yourself on the economic situation: when it’s experiencing high inflation rates, high interest rates, and a weaker peso-dollar rate, what does this mean? A good rule of thumb to follow is, “Buy low, sell high.” But don’t worry, you don’t have to have a background in finance for you to invest in stocks or understand the market—that’s what stockbrokers are for. Find a broker in one of the registered securities brokerage firms at the Philippine Stock Exchange, or your bank’s financial advisers can guide you in picking the stocks to invest in.

5. Park money in a time deposit.

If your appetite for risk is more conservative, consider investing your windfall or that 13th month bonus in a time deposit account like EastWest Bank’s Peso Time Deposit. For a minimum deposit and maintaining balance of P10,000.00 and a longer-term placement, you get a higher return on your deposit compared to a regular savings account with higher interest rates—as much as 3.25 percent* (3.25%) on deposits you entrust to them for as long as five years.

Get financially savvy with these practical smart money habits and learn more by visiting EastWest Bank’s
Facebook page. Click on this link to find out more about EastWest Bank’s products and services.

*Rates are as of Feb. 18, for time deposits of P2Mn for 90 days.

This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with EastWest Bank.