You talkin’ to me? Money-coaching apps are using tough love to scare spenders

Americans are bad at saving — and banking apps are trying to talk them into doing better.

Almost 60% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and nearly 80% live paycheck to paycheck. A number of artificial intelligence-powered chatbots are trying to talk people into improving, offering help like budget coaching, unsubscribing users from unnecessary recurring costs, and telling them whether they can afford that take-out order on Friday night.

But when your bank talks to you, how does it sound? That depends on the app, and who you are, said Bethy Hardeman, a personal-finance expert at Tally, a smart debt management app.

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