Woman on phone with money rain New apps claim to help improve financial lives.

One thing I find amusing as a frequent traveler is watching the targeted video ads change according to my location while I catch up on episodes of my favorite TV shows through the networks’ apps on my phone. A few weeks ago, I repeatedly watched an ad about mixing summer cocktails using Maine Spirits from the couch at my Portland Airbnb. A week later, after traveling a few hours south, the ad switched over to one for a local Boston bank I had never heard of. Now, I’m seeing ads encouraging me to visit places like Magic Mountain and Universal Studios because I’m in Los Angeles.

But no matter where I go in the U.S., I’ve continued to see ads for the same type of product: An app designed to help people who are facing the very common dilemma of living paycheck to paycheck. One is called Flipp and aggregates coupons for groceries and other essentials from local retailers. Now, this could help anyone who likes to save money, not just the paycheck-to-paycheck crowd, but the ad features a woman who says most of her paycheck is spent on groceries alone. Ads for two other apps, Chime and Earnin’, caught my attention more because they venture into the territory of providing actual financial services. Both apps claim to help people access funds from their paycheck before their actual payday, interest-free and fee-free.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.

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