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Independence in financial decision-making has led to a sense of personal empowerment in women, with 44% saying they prioritised creating a financial plan, 40% saying they committed to saving more, and 23% increasing their investments. One in five women (22%) started to invest for the first time amid the pandemic. 

These are the findings of an annual survey by digital wealth manager Scripbox on women’s investing habits and financial goals. The survey highlights a growing trend of women taking greater control of their money, accelerated by the economic impact of the pandemic.

Scripbox digitally surveyed over 750 women across India through February 2022, on women’s communities on social media, including Gurgaon Moms and Mumbai Moms.

Women are proactively seeking to educate themselves on money matters, reveals the survey. Nearly 30% of women share that they had sought to educate themselves on personal finance during the pandemic. 30% of them rely on digital investment platforms for information on financial planning and investing, 20% depend on friends and family and 15% refer to articles on personal finance.

Around 70% of women (60% in 2021) have said that they are either independently managing their own money (32%) or are actively involved in financial decision-making with their spouse (38%). Compared to last year’s survey, there is an 11% uptick in the number of women who are independently managing their expenses today. Prudence has been the order of the day, with only less than 10% of women resorting to revenge shopping.

Despite these strides taken with investing their money, women continue to be cautious with their savings. Mutual funds is the most preferred investment instrument among 22% of women surveyed, followed by shares and gold. 34% of women prefer to put their money in a mix of traditional investment options like fixed deposits, recurring deposits, PPF and savings accounts.

“The survey highlights a progressive reduction in gender role gaps and increased independence in women with wealth management. With an increase in awareness and interest in financial planning and wealth creation, we are witnessing a positive shift in investment preferences, goals, behaviours and mindsets. Women are motivated to save and invest and take control of their financial journey now more than ever. As a digital wealth manager, our aim is to help investors make these informed decisions that allow them to achieve their life goals," said Atul Shinghal, Founder and CEO at Scripbox.

Long-term life goals continue to be a priority. Saving for retirement (20%) and for children’s education (20%) emerged as the most important financial goals for women across India. While women under 35 years wish to make more money as their next financial goal, women over 35 years have said that they would prefer to create an emergency fund.

“The simple truth is that being in control of your own money, means you’re in control of your own life. Investing, just like any other skill, needs to be developed. It’s encouraging to see women bring their natural predisposition to action to this important area of their life. Only positive things can come from this change!" said Neela Kaushik, Founder and CEO, GurgaonMoms & a Community Specialist & Columnist.

Taking money matters into their own hands helps create a virtuous cycle of benefits. 70% of women have said that it gave them a greater sense of confidence and independence, and helped improve their overall well-being.

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