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In order to grow your business, you need to have a digital marketing plan, a detailed course of action and be ready to expand your reach and your infrastructure at the same time. Nevertheless, it’s quite hard to coordinate between a growth in your capacities and the growth in the desirability of your products/services.

If the demand exceeds the capacities, you’ll be forced to refuse work, which is never a pleasant thought, while allowing your capacities to exceed the demand might be even worse. So, here are several strategies to scale your business instead of allowing it to grow faster than you can keep up with.

Create tutorials

One of the best ways to create content that adds value to your brand is to make tutorials. People who decide to make a purchase will most likely try to look up if there’s an authentic guide or tutorial, issued by the same brand that sold them the item. In this way, they can rest assured that the showcased item is the same model as the one they’ve purchased.

Another way in which this contributes lies in the fact that, if they find the tutorial useful, they are more likely to share, like or leave a positive comment, out of gratitude. In this way, you gain a two-fold benefit. One, you provide a complete customer experience and two, you increase your reach and boost your online reputation.

Reach out to adequate influencers

It goes beyond saying that there are some influencers out there who can give you a stellar boost even by slandering your corporate name online. The perfect example of this can be seen on the beef between Elle Darby and Charleville Lodge Hotel, which, jokingly even sent her an invoice for €5,289,000 after she accused them of bullying her online, which resulted in a massive increase in their brand awareness.

In reality, however, this is not such a great idea, seeing as how a PR scandal might not always work in your favour and, as such, isn’t something that you can rely on with 100 per cent reliability.

Another problem when it comes to dealing with influencers lies in the fact that you can’t always afford such publicity. A-list celebrities will not praise you randomly, seeing as how brand placement is usually one of their main streams of income.

Therefore, you need to look for influencers that you can actually afford and from which you can get an adequate ROI. This is where you need to look for micro-influencers, local celebrities and niche authorities.

Base your strategy on a feedback

One of the most important things you have to learn is how to make data-based decisions instead of acting on impulse. Still, in order to make these decisions, you first have to be 100 per cent sure that the data you’re gathering is reliable.

Therefore, you need to embark on an extensive social media monitoring campaign, which is a complex digital marketing task, you might not be able to do on your own. In 2018, all of this work is done in a digital environment, which means that you aren’t restricted to local companies.

So, you can find a way to outsource to a media monitoring Singapore agency, regardless of the location of the headquarters.

Focus on return customers

Re-targeting customers is much more efficient than attracting first-time visitors, especially if you create a positive impression the first time around. This way, you already have a 27 per cent chance that people will return on their own. The second time around, you have so much more data on them.

For instance, now that you have the info on what they were browsing the last time around, so, this time you can offer them a discount on the item they showed interest in. Needless to say, this kind of intelligent post-sale follow up and retargeting gives you much better results.

Don’t skip a platform

One of the most common mistakes that small businesses make is believing that they can just ignore a network since they believe their audience isn’t that interested in it. For instance, as a tech startup, you might set your blog and your YouTube account as priorities, while completely neglecting the need to make a Pinterest account, as well.

This, however, is quite short-sighted, due to the fact that just making an account doesn’t cost you any resources. Sure, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages are completely mandatory but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t diversify as much as you can.

Don’t buy email lists

Finally, there are some services out there that can offer email lists to buy and while this may seem like a great shortcut, it’s probably not something you want to do.

Think about it. An email list you’ve grown on your own gives you an access to people who are actually interested in your products/services, while with these purchased lists you have a completely random success rate.

Therefore, the size of the list may mislead you and make you believe that your company is performing far better than it actually is.

Conclusion

In the beginning, your progress may seem a bit slow, yet, keep in mind that your business grows exponentially and not linearly, which is why you might come to see the results of your hard work sooner than you expect.

The post Grow Your Business with These Digital Marketing Strategies appeared first on The New Savvy.

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The New Savvy was founded with the mission of empowering 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. Our team consists of women, to each their own, dedicated to contributing what they can, to achieve our common goal.

From all across the globe, catch a glimpse of each and every member of the original #savvysquad in action. Here we have The New Savvy’s Brand Manager, Gloria Soh, sharing her values and beliefs for The New Savvy in Singapore.

The New Savvy: In the past, what were some common traits for women in your country? 

In the past, women are afraid to speak their mind because they feel the need to conform to social norms.

The New Savvy: Personally, do you think that they improved and have become more dedicated to achieving their goals (be it personal or professional)?

Yes, women, today are confident not just in speaking up, but also presenting themselves. They are bold, courageous, and knows how to stand up for themselves whenever necessary.

The New Savvy: The New Savvy believes in empowering women to achieve financial happiness; Why do you think it is important for the women in your country to be financially savvy?

I feel that it is important for the women in my country to be financially savvy because we should always take control of our money, not let our money control us. Being the master of your own finance opens many doors for you and gives you choices. When you are in control of your own finance, you are capable of creating the life you desire.

The New Savvy: How do you think The New Savvy can empower the women in your country?

Reading is probably one of the best ways to be financially savvy. The New Savvy provides us with insights on managing our personal finance, money, and investment. It is easily accessible at the comfort of our own home, at our own time.

The New Savvy: What are you personally hoping to achieve for The New Savvy in your country?

I would like to increase the awareness of The New Savvy among my peers. It is a misconception that one needs a huge amount of money or finance background to start investing or managing their personal finances.

The New Savvy has influenced me in thinking that it is never too early or too late to start saving, investing or improving yourself. I hope that sharing The New Savvy with my peers will help them to start making smarter financial decisions.

The New Savvy: What are your personal financial goals?

Firstly, I would like to clear off all my debts and liabilities and achieve financial freedom. I do not want to be tied down to monthly instalments that I need to pay.

Secondly, I want to let my money work for me by generating a passive income every month through investments. I believe that this would provide me with the financial independence I want in my life because ultimately, I want to be able to do the kind of work that I really love.

The New Savvy: How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?

I think that we should do something every day that will improve ourselves so that we can be better today than yesterday. We become the best person we are capable of being and I think that’s all that matters.

The New Savvy: Any advice for women looking to break gender stereotypes and advance their careers?

Have confidence and faith in what you do and never doubt your ability. You are more powerful than you think and you do not ever need to lower your standards for anyone or anything!

The New Savvy: What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?

Positive self-talk because our mind is the most powerful tool. It may seem like a simple thing to do but don’t you feel like it’s always easier to put yourself down than to hold yourself up? When we let our negative thoughts consume us, we may not even realise that we are putting most of our energy being afraid of failing instead of working toward success.

The New Savvy: What is the biggest challenge facing women today?

Women are still facing a lack of opportunity to take up leadership positions. From a research article by Harvard Business Review, despite women scoring better than men in a leadership competency test, top management consists of 64% men and 36% women.

The New Savvy: How do you improve your financial knowledge? What do you think we can do to improve financial awareness today?

Read up more on financial topics and talk to people to broaden our knowledge!

The New Savvy: What changes would you like to see more/ or implicated in your country?

I would love to see more women being involved in the financial movement because together we can make a positive impact!

The post The New Savvy Women: Gloria Soh, Brand Manager appeared first on The New Savvy.

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You may have heard the saying that money is a feminist issue. Maybe you’ve wondered what this means, and, if it’s true or not. And if it is true that money is a feminist issue, why is this so?

First of all, feminism is all about equality. This means giving women the same social, political and economic rights that are given to men. Sounds fairly simple, right? And it definitely sounds ideal. After all, in this modern day and age, there should be no earthly reason to give men preferential treatment.

Well, one area where money has been a feminist issue is with the so-called “gender pay gap.” This happens in many societies where men are paid more than women for doing the same job. For example, in the United States, in 2016 women were only earning 82 cents for every dollar that men were.

Does Singapore have a gender money gap?

The short answer to this question is yes, there is. The long answer is that the severity of the pay gap depends on the industry where you work. On average Singaporean men are earning almost 20 percent more than Singaporean women, according to ValuePenguin, a consumer research firm.

That’s a painful statistic to think about, isn’t it? But here’s what’s even more painful. In some sectors, the gender money gap is as much as 40 percent.

ValuePenguin’s data from the Ministry of Manpower is based on the median gross monthly income of men, which is S$3,991. This is 18 percent more than the median gross monthly income of women, which is S$3,382. Both figures include employer contributions for the Central Provident Fund.

Still and all, Singaporean women are better off than their Asian sisters. In Korea, men make 37 percent more than women. In the Philippines, the figure is at 24 percent, in Malaysia, it’s at 21 percent.

In Hong Kong, interestingly enough, it’s a different story. Women in their 30s make 11 percent less than their male co-workers. However, the pay gap widens as the women grow older. By the time women in Hong Kong are in their 60s, they make as much as 50 percent less than their male counterparts.

One possibility that could explain the gender wage gap in Singapore is that of national service. There are employers who give men higher starting salaries as compensation for the two years served in the armed forces.

Which industries are better for women, and which are worse?

Forewarned is forearmed, right? For any young woman looking at a possible career for her future, it’s good to know what to expect from the industry she’ll enter. This applies to any woman looking to shift careers as well.

In the following industries, the pay gap between men and women is quite noticeable. “Health and social service, manufacturing, public administration and education, information and communications, financial and insurance services and professional services had some of the widest income gaps in the country, where men made more than S$1,000 per month more than women,” according to a Straits Times report from a year ago.

But the same report said that in the transportation and storage sectors, women earned much higher salaries than men.

Sectors where men and women earned pretty much the same amount of money are “arts, entertainment and recreation, labor-intensive industries like agriculture, fishing, quarrying, utilities, sewerage and waste management, and administrative and support services.” However, these jobs are mostly at the lower end of the pay scale. Incomes in these industries are between S$2,000 to S$4,000 per month. Industries that have bigger pay gaps between men and women pay considerably more money, between S$5,000 to S$6,400 monthly.

Surprise, surprise. The biggest offender when it comes to the gender pay gap in Singapore is in the highest echelons of the business world. Female company directors can be earning salaries as much as 40 percent less than their male counterparts. Ouch!

Are you happy with the job you have now, or are you looking to expand your career options? Let us show you how today more and more millennials are taking on multiple careers.

What can a savvy woman do to counter the gender pay gap?

Well, having learned all that, now what? Here’s the thing. Experts say it may take many years, perhaps even a whole century, to close the gender wage gap. This may be true, I don’t believe this is a reason to sit down and cry and feel hopeless.

All the more that women need to attain financial freedom. As Gloria Steinem said, “Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom.”

Therefore, the best thing that a woman can do in the face of the wage gap is to invest. This will ensure her financial freedom. We do not have control over the inequality in salaries. However, we do have control over what we do with our salary, and the best thing to do is to invest it wisely.

Let’s face it. Research shows that women are already better at investments than men are. This is partly because women are more risk-aware than men, which helps us make better decisions when it comes to money and investments.

Investing may be a new idea for you, or it may be something that you’ve been thinking of for a while now. If you ask me when the best time is to start investing, I would say, with all my heart, “Now!”

Don’t be afraid. There are investment advisors around who will put your best interests first. But before you talk to a financial advisor, I would encourage you to read this piece. It will explain why engaging one is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for your life.

There is much to learn about the different types of investments: bank products, bonds, investment funds, annuities, stocks, businesses, etc. But, as everyone knows, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The post Is money a feminist issue in Singapore? appeared first on The New Savvy.

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Growing up in a traditional Peranakan household, Kwek-Perroy Li Choo was exposed to the societal expectations for both the men and women in her family. Instead of following the conventional path of the women before her, she chose to forge her own.

Li Choo created opportunities for herself; by enabling herself, she eventually landed the position of Manulife’s Chief Customer Officer and Head of Bancassurance Marketing. In her role, she continues to strive to eliminate gender biases and discrimination.

The New Savvy: Tell us more about your story/background. How have your past experiences led you to become who you are today?

Li Choo: I grew up in a very traditional Peranakan family where none of the married women worked in an office or corporate environment – their jobs were to run the household. When I was growing up, I always noticed the women in my household being multi-taskers, very detail-oriented, having an opinion about almost everything and making most of the decisions at home.

The women would always be busy as there would always be something happening at home – be it festive activities, family gatherings, celebratory meals. It was always my mom, grandmothers and aunts who would do all the work, from running errands, doing up the house, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

As such, I grew up surrounded by women were doing everything they can to keep a family happy, putting delicious food on the table – and being wonderful at that. That’s always led me to think women were extremely capable human beings who kept things going.

My very first school was an all-girls school; while I was there, I had superb teachers who instilled in us the importance of seeking excellence in everything we do. And that’s stuck with me even till now – the notion that women are capable at everything that we have a chance to try, and when we do, we should always strive to be the very best that we can be at it.

The New Savvy: Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

Li Choo: I typically wake up at 6:00 am. The first thing I do is check my calendar for the day, simply because at Manulife Singapore we have a dress-for-the-day work policy, so that determines if I can wear casuals to work for the day, which is something I prefer. I take my breakfast and then on alternate weeks (my husband and I take turns) I send my son to school before heading to work.

My days are usually filled with meetings. I have lunch meetings where possible if the other parties are comfortable with meeting over lunch. I tend to reserve two hours at the end of the day for people who want to meet me or to have ad-hoc discussions and/or meetings.

Personally, I prefer to clear as much work as I can during working hours so that I can go home early to my kids, rather than to stay late at work. I bring work home systematically; I get to work again after dinner when my kids are in bed.

The New Savvy: What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?

Li Choo: Listening and people-influencing skills.

The New Savvy: Which parts of your job do you find most challenging?

Li Choo: Dealing with pessimists, and people who are not open to new ways of doing things. I believe everything can be improved for the better at work and tend to be very persistent, especially when dealing with such people. I’ll counter the challenge by trying to show them small successes so that they’ll be convinced by the continuous improvements and results they see over time. I especially like the “see I told you so” type of moments.

The New Savvy: What do you find most enjoyable?

Li Choo: Working with my team, seeing them grow in their jobs and achieving success in their respective areas of work.

The New Savvy: What do you think corporations can do to help the minorities of different genders and religions develop their careers within organizations?

Li Choo: There are a few points that corporations can take note of:

  • Not to have any pre-conceived notions of anything/ideas of people.
  • To be truly objective in letting people try out new things.
  • Letting people put up their hands for things they may be interested in.
  • There may be a need to show the way to or even prompting the less courageous to go ahead and try, even if they may be afraid or not confident of taking something up.
The New Savvy: What are the top three common diversity and inclusion mistakes that you have seen made by companies in Asia?

Li Choo: First and foremost, the fear of talking openly about LGBTQ matters.

Next is thinking that gender diversity/gender bias is a topic that’s limited only to women – people tend to see women as the weaker gender and that they are more likely to need help, while the stereotype with men is that they are generally able to take care of themselves, and that’s fine.

Lastly, companies not putting much effort to break through racial stereotypes, which are still prevalent in today’s society.

The New Savvy: How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?

Li Choo: I think success is where, at the end of the day, if I’m able to describe everything I do to my kids and family and they feel proud of me, then I’ve succeeded. Do I measure up to it? I think so far, I’m on track! [laughs]

The New Savvy: What is the most useful tip you received/ follow when you manage your money?

Li Choo: Don’t spend beyond your means.

The New Savvy: Do you invest? Why or Why Not?

Li Choo: Yes, and very conservatively. Actually, my husband is the exact opposite of me in this regard. Between him and me, we have a good balance.

The New Savvy: Any advice for women looking to break gender stereotypes and advance their careers?

Li Choo: Don’t be afraid to try, and to speak up. The worst answer you can get is ‘no’.

The New Savvy: Do you believe in the traditional roles of men and women?

Li Choo: I think we’re naturally attuned (emotionally and physically) to what we feel needs to be done – women are the ones that bear children and nurse them, so naturally, we’re more emotionally sensitive to how our kids feel and all.

Having grown up in a very traditional family, I do believe there is a role for the mother (and women) to play in bringing up kids. In fact, I think that’s a very important role that quite often gets underestimated.

Our kids will grow up to play their respective roles in society in the future. How well they play their roles depends to a large extent on how we as mothers have educated and influenced them in their formative years.

Having said that, there are clearly increasingly more families where men do take more time with their kids, and it’s a conscious decision made between the couple. There are more men who feel they can take on the so-called “traditional” roles, and there’s nothing wrong with that too.

The New Savvy: Which women do you most admire in life?

Li Choo: I have a lot of respect and admiration for my mom and my grandmother. They both grew up in the era where their parents did not believe it was important for women to be educated. Despite that, they found their own ways to be resourceful about learning and were/are happy and successful in life.

The New Savvy: What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Li Choo: That I should not be afraid to try, even if I’m unsure.

The New Savvy: What was one of your most defining moments in life?

Li Choo: I have many defining moments in life! At different stages of my life, I’ve always had something that happens to me which made me learn more about myself.

The New Savvy: Give us a parting quote!

Li Choo: Don’t count on others if you want to be successful in whatever you do – you need to help yourself be the very best version of you. And always learn from people who have gone before you. Experience does matter and allows you to take a quicker route to success.

The post Overcoming Social Barriers with Manulife CCO, Kwek-Perroy Li Choo appeared first on The New Savvy.

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The New Savvy was founded with the mission of empowering 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. Our team consists of a group of women, each dedicated to contributing what they can, to achieve our common goal.

From all across the globe, catch a glimpse of each and every member of the original #savvysquad in action. Here we have The New Savvy’s Chief Marketing Officer and Hong Kong Chief Ambassador, Natalie Pringle, sharing with you her hopes and dreams for The New Savvy in Hong Kong.

The New Savvy: In the past, what were some common traits for women in your country? 

Natalie: Whilst women have traditionally held the homemaker role, due to the prevalence of Migrant Domestic Workers (now approximately 380,000 in HK alone) this has increasingly allowed women the time and opportunity to focus on their career whilst also making quality time for their families as they have been able to outsource other household responsibilities.

This is quite a unique situation and as a result, women have been able to pursue their careers and launch businesses in an environment which is very welcoming to start-ups.

The New Savvy: Personally, do you think that women have become more dedicated to achieving their personal and professional goals?

Natalie: In this environment, women are very dedicated to building a successful career and although there are still some cultural influences which instil more ‘traditional’ values on women, those who have studied abroad and been more exposed to Western societies are eager to build something independently. These women understand the importance of forging their own way in the professional world and securing their future professionally and financially.

A number of women who have moved to Hong Kong as Expats from other countries also use this opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally, seeking out new experiences and having the freedom to dedicate to their goals without the family ties that they may have had at home.

The New Savvy: We believe in empowering women to achieve financial happiness. Why do you think it is important for the women in your country to be financially savvy?

Natalie: It is incredibly important for women in Hong Kong to be financially savvy because there are now even more opportunities for women to climb the corporate ladder, embrace a career pivot into a different industry or start their own business. Whilst we are making great advances professionally, we also have a responsibility to know what we are doing with the money that we are earning. We need to understand concepts which are interlinked with things like debt, credit and interest.

We are in possession of a greater proportion of the overall wealth now and we must safeguard our own futures by being aware and financially literate. In one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is crucial that we plan and have well thought out goals so that we can work towards those and protect ourselves throughout the circumstances we may encounter in our lives.

The New Savvy: How do you think The New Savvy can empower the women in your country?

Natalie: By opening up the conversation and allowing these incredibly accomplished women to feel comfortable being vulnerable about where their knowledge gaps are and their individual concerns when it comes to financial literacy. Very few of us learn how to properly manage our money or how to make our money work for us. These are things that we can help women with, without the fear of being misled or feeling naive.

We explore a number of areas across Finance, Investment and Career and run events which promote open discussion and learning so that we can empower women to take action and be aware of the realistic steps they can make towards achieving their goals.

The New Savvy: What are you personally hoping to achieve for The New Savvy in your country?

Natalie: To empower women in Hong Kong to feel comfortable asking questions about finances, understanding concepts which previously seemed to be confusing and complex and to allow them to take action in controlling what happens with their money, now and in future.

The New Savvy: What are your personal financial goals?

Natalie: To become more confident when investing and be more comfortable in taking calculated risks which will benefit my portfolio and help to secure capital growth for the future.

The New Savvy: How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?

Natalie: By doing something that they truly believe in and having an impact on those around them in a positive and meaningful way. Sharing knowledge is a huge opportunity to give to others and also learn something new in return.

In our busy lives we often forget that many people experience the same or similar struggles to the ones we are going through. Only by sharing can we fully understand the solutions and how to keep growing.

The New Savvy: Any advice for women looking to break gender stereotypes and advance their careers?

Natalie: To keep moving forward, look for opportunities to up-skill and always have your eye on the next challenge. It is important to dream big and not to let self-limiting beliefs stop you from doing the things that you want and being the person you aspire to.

In many industries which are now emerging, there is a “new normal’ being created and this is something we should embrace and take full advantage of. Play to your strengths, stay flexible and keep learning every day so that you can stay current, aware and ready for the next move.

The New Savvy: What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?

Natalie: To ask questions and not be afraid of not knowing the answer. By showing this vulnerability with our peers and those who have more knowledge in areas of Finance and Investment we can help each other so much more and all learn something new.

The New Savvy: What is the biggest challenge facing women today?

Natalie: Having the confidence to speak up and acknowledge where there are inequalities or gaps in the opportunities which are available to us. A number of female founders still find it difficult to secure funding for new businesses and this is something which still needs to be improved with greater education both for women in business but also the VC’s and investors who could create more opportunities. Once we have that financial support, and that very clear expression of confidence, then there is very little that can hold us back.

The New Savvy: How do you improve your financial knowledge? What do you think we can do to improve financial awareness today?

Natalie: By asking questions, staying curious and working every day to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Attending events on topics to do with personal financial management and mixing in networking groups where these topics are discussed is a great place to start. Find a mentor who has experience in the area that you want to learn more about and take time to prepare well thought out questions which can help you once you have done your own research to understand the salient points.

Be proactive and understand that you won’t be able to know everything but know when to ask questions of ‘financial experts’ and banks when it affects your money and the costs that you will be facing. There is no excuse for not knowing and a lot of the time it comes down to a lack of confidence which we need to overcome.

The New Savvy: What changes would you like to see more/ or implicated in your country?

Natalie: For Fintech to be used not just to enable inclusion in the Financial services industry but to provide more education and a focus on financial literacy. Having one without the other is not addressing the true cause of many of the financial problems that people encounter and there should be a greater awareness of this.

We now have so many opportunities to help others and empower through a greater understanding and accessibility but the majority of the time it comes down to what is the most profitable and exciting, rather than looking at the long-term benefits.

The post The New Savvy Women: Natalie Pringle, CMO & Hong Kong Ambassador appeared first on The New Savvy.

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The New Savvy was founded with the mission of empowering 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. Our team consists of women, to each their own, dedicated to contributing what they can, to achieve our common goal.

From all across the globe, catch a glimpse of each and every member of the original #savvysquad in action. Here we have The New Savvy’s India Ambassador, Sneha Sultania, sharing her ambitions and aspirations for The New Savvy in India.

In the past, what were some common traits for women in your country? 

Sneha: India has a population of 1.2 billion people and is currently growing at 7.1%. Economists around the world believe the economy to be a powerhouse amongst its Asian counterparts. This optimism in the growth and development of the economy can be further fueled by the maximum participation of both men and women in the workforce.

According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, achieving gender equality in India would have a larger economic impact there than in any other region in the world – approximately $700 billion can be added to its GDP by 2025. However, a structural transformation of the economy is required to achieve this.

Women form about 48.7% of the population in the country, but their situation has been grim. For centuries Indian women have been denied opportunities for self-growth in the name of religion, tradition and socio-economic barriers.

Widespread illiteracy, forced child marriage, heavy domestic work-load which remains unpaid and unrecognized, the absence of career and mobility, poor work conditions and wages, would tell you the story of the state of Indian women in the past (and for some parts of the country, maybe even today).

It’s easy to spot the patriarchal nature of the society, where the rate of female infanticide is one of the highest in the world and the dowry system makes daughters “an unaffordable economic burden.”

Indian women, in the past, have undergone a slow process of denial of their self-worth – a lack of which can be seen in the majority of Indian women even today especially when it comes to anything remotely close to managing finances.

Personally, do you think that they improved and have become more dedicated to achieving their goals (be it personal or professional)?

Sneha: Over the last decade, India has shown considerable improvement as compared to its immediate neighbours (Pakistan, Bangladesh) in achieving gender equality in areas such as education.

However, the latest report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), conducted in 2015-16 – indicated a stark decline in the female labour force participation when compared to the numbers a decade ago. It also revealed that while more than 53% of women still earn less than their husbands as compared to 73.7% in 2005-06, a significant increase in the % of women earning at par or even more than their husbands is heartening to see. (shown in the graph below)

Source: NFHS

The New Savvy believes in empowering women to achieve financial happiness; Why do you think it is important for the women in your country to be financially savvy?

Sneha: Financial independence is key to making one’s voice heard at the table. If women in India wish to get their voices heard, it’s important they learn about the art of making money. Moreover, empowering women economically has shown to reduce poverty (a major detriment for India’s economy) as women tend to invest more of their earnings in their children and communities.

In a country like India, where women have hardly been considered to be at par with men, it’s only vital to raise voices and bring in the required reforms that women can fight for and achieve – by taking the first step of being financially savvy.

What are you personally hoping to achieve for The New Savvy in your country?

Sneha: India is an extremely important country for the broader cause of The New Savvy – which is to empower 100 million women around the world. It offers a large varied population and geographies, to begin with. Every city and village has it’s own flavour and culture, which The New Savvy’s India team hopes to tap into.

For example, in Bangalore, where we launch, we hope to support the growing number of female entrepreneurs and investors, as well as the large population of women in the IT services sector booming in the city.

In Mumbai, we would like to start with bringing together women who are working in the financial space, larger corporations & MNCs stationed there. In Kolkata, we’d want to reach out to the large population of homemakers and the growing number of talented boutique fashion designers in Delhi.

Creating a strong network and supporters in these cities to build a strong community will be the key mission for The New Savvy in India.

What are your personal financial goals?

Sneha: I feel fortunate to have been exposed to managing my finances from a very early stage in my life. I have learnt that it’s important to plan for everything – be it something as short-term as a pair of shoes or a weekend getaway to something as long-term as buying a house or funding a post-graduation abroad.

My end goal is to save for and invest into a comfortable living for myself and my family and into checking off at least 90% of the short term and long term items of things to do on my life’s bucket list.

How do you think modern women can be more fulfilled in their lives?

Sneha: I strongly believe that the modern women in India need to take charge over their own financial decisions. A large percentage of women in India, despite being educated and working, tend to shy away from these decisions and entrust their husbands or fathers with it. I feel this needs to change. At the rural as well as the urban level.

For the homemakers as well as the working professionals. It’s important for them to understand how financial liberty can bring in individual freedom as well – which directly undermines the disparate social beliefs and perception about the inability of women to multiply money for themselves and the household. This change will be extremely fulfilling for women all over India.

Any advice for women looking to break gender stereotypes and advance their careers?

Sneha: In the survey done by NFHS in 2015-16, it was found that a large percentage of women drop out of the workforce with the most rampant reason being – “attending to domestic duties.”

In India, if both the husband and the wife are high-income earners, it is highly likely for the wife to give up work or be made to believe that she doesn’t need to since the husband earns a high income anyway. This psyche leads to many employers (who might have experienced this even once in their team) falsely believing that women won’t be around for the long haul, leading to undercutting the responsibilities given to existing female employees.

This makes it challenging for ambitious women to advance their careers. It then becomes extremely important that they communicate to their managers their intent to work as hard or maybe even harder than their male counterparts and display their intent to be a team player for the long term. It’s important for them to ask for challenging roles and clinch opportunities as quickly as they arrive.

What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?

Sneha: Since a gender pay gap still exists in not only India but the world today, it’s important for women to save and invest their money wisely and bridge the gap to be able to afford what men would with their incomes. Women should definitely make time and effort to learn about how every rupee they earn and save can multiply tomorrow.

What is the biggest challenge facing women today?

Sneha: Lack of self-confidence. I have met extremely bright women in India who have achieved so much and yet lack the confidence to take financial decisions autonomously.

How do you improve your financial knowledge? What do you think we can do to improve financial awareness today?

Sneha: I think the way financial content is delivered today tends to overlook how a majority of women (who don’t have any prior financial education) absorb knowledge.

I personally (even though I have majored in Finance, work within the industry and track worldwide financial news) try and relate the content to my own life and how it affects me – this helps me in understanding the jargons better.

Delivering financial knowledge and content in a way which would help women from any background understand the concepts of saving and investing simply is key to improving financial awareness amongst women in my opinion.

What changes would you like to see more/ or implicated in your country?

Sneha: India has come a long way since its independence in terms of uplifting the social and economic status of women in the country. There are steps being taken to change the grim picture of women here.

The World Bank, for example, is attempting to ensure that its projects in India are structured to foster greater economic participation by women. They have invested over $3 billion to support state governments to empower poor rural women through self-help groups, over the past decade. More and more such projects can help in bringing about the awareness amongst women and their families.

Moreover, steps should be taken for relieving family pressures off women and equitably dividing household work between men and women so women don’t have to drop out of the workforce despite being highly skilled and capable of high income. Changing social norms around marriage, work and household duties will have to be a major part of the agenda to bring about any long-term change in the country for the women.

The post The New Savvy Women: Sneha Sultania, India Ambassador appeared first on The New Savvy.

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If you and your friends are planning to celebrate Halloween; it is important to take note of the costs that come along with a night of spooktacular fun. Whether you want to trick or treat, costumes, food, and transportation can make your bank account scarier than ever.

Costumes

In Singapore, there are various costume shops where you can get your freak on! Instead of buying a costume, you can rent it out for a day or even consider DIY. With Halloween only being celebrated for one day, you can afford to save and wear something that will not burn a hole in your pocket.

Renting a Halloween costume ranges from $20 to $100 per day, depending on what you want to get. Find out where the best costume shops in Singapore are!

Halloween Horror Nights 2018, Universal Studios

If you are looking for a good scream with your friends – you can visit Universal Studios Singapore (USS) where they have the annual Halloween Horror Nights from 27 October to 31 October.

Not only will you be able to scream your lungs off in iconic USS treats such as Battlestar Galactica but also the exclusive local-themed haunted houses, scare zones and shows that bring to life the subjects of many childhood nightmares. (Bonus treat: There is even a haunted house with Netflix’s Stranger Things theme!)

Tickets start at $58 for general admission per person.

Food and Drinks

Whether you decide to go to Halloween Horror Nights or simply just go around town walking in your costumes, you need sustenance. Buying food and non-alcoholic drinks for the night can approximately be $20 per person and $50 per person if you decide to go to USS.

If you are over 18 and decide that a little liquid courage is something that you might need for the night, this price can even double!

Transportation

Going out means braving the swarm of people dressed in extravagant costumes. You can save a lot of money by taking the trusty Singapore bus & MRT services. However, if you’d rather not brave the swarm of people dressed in an extravagant costume, a cab’s fare is from $10. Split the bill with your friends so you would not have to cover the full damage!

In Summary…
Costumes $20
Halloween Horror Nights Tickets $58
Food & Drinks $20
Transportation $5
TOTAL $103

Therefore, spending your Halloween out can easily cost more than $100! If you’re thrifty, you can skip HHN and opt for a night in altogether instead.

You can just microwave some popcorn and have a little Halloween marathon featuring the scariest movies of all time! With the only price, you’d be paying for is the lack of sleep.

The post Celebrating Halloween in Singapore: How Much it Can Cost appeared first on The New Savvy.

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