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Indians and Saving: Scripbox survey for World Savings Day

9 out of 10 Indians say that financial health has a profound impact on their well-being, and yet only a minority of Indians invest their hard-earned money. A recent survey conducted by us at Scripbox, on the occasion of #WorldSavingsDay, produced some interesting insights on one's relationship between wealth and well-being. Read on.

Financial and physical health have been among the top two stressors for Indians amid Covid-19 ahead of relationships and family. At a time when economic anxiety is increasing, an overwhelming 90 percent Indians identify financial health as having a profound impact on their well-being. 

These findings are based on a survey we recently conducted on ‘Wealth and well-being’, to understand investor behaviour and sentiment amid Covid-19, as well as to create awareness on the importance of saving and investing.

Respondents polled for this survey cite that having a financial plan in place (42 per cent) and investing in wealth creation (23 per cent) would lend significantly to their optimism about the future and their sense of well-being. 

However, most Indians do not save enough. Nearly 50 per cent save 0 to 20 per cent, and 20 per cent save between 20 to 30 per cent of their income. Indians also prefer to play it safe with their savings, with a majority preferring fixed income products such as PPF, LIC and other tax saving schemes, fixed and recurring deposits, or just letting it lie in their savings accounts. One in four respondents invest in Mutual Funds.

Interestingly, millennials (those under 35 years of age) are far more likely to let their savings lie idle in their bank accounts than those over 35 years, who would rather invest it than let money lie idle, indicating the maturity of understanding of financial planning. 

Gender and age differences throw up interesting insights

Compared to women, men view investments such as MFs and Shares and Stocks more favourably. Among men, 2 in 3 continued to stay invested in equity markets during the pandemic, whereas less than 1 in 3 women respondents continued to do so.

Interestingly, millennials (those under 35 years of age) are far more likely to let their savings lie idle in their bank accounts than those over 35 years, who would rather invest it than let money lie idle, indicating the maturity of understanding of financial planning. 

An emergency fund is a priority now but retirement also needs work

In the backdrop of the pandemic, emergency fund creation tops the goal that 54 per cent respondents want to save/ invest for, followed by children's education (46 per cent) and retirement (43 per cent). While creating an emergency fund is a priority for both men and women, a higher percentage of men, 47 per cent, would like to prioritise investing for retirement, while a majority of women, 55 per cent, for their children’s education.

Despite the intent to do so, saving for retirement is not taking priority right now, sidelined by other financial goals. 56 per cent say that they do not actively invest to set up a retirement corpus.

Given the correlation between wealth and well-being, nearly 50 percent of respondents would like to advise their younger selves to start investing as early as possible in life. 

Saving and investing are like two sides of a coin. While saving is about setting money aside systematically, investing is about growth, and essentially, the key to financial freedom.

Methodology

In an online survey, Scripbox polled 630+ respondents in the age bracket of 25-55+ years across India. An equal number of men and women responded to the survey. Among the total number of respondents, 50 percent were under the age of 35, the other over 35+. 

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