(CBS) -- Jamil Mangan is an aspiring actor who also works a temp job...always worried about surprise expenses.
"Emergencies always pop up, and they pop up when you least expect them," he says.
But now, he has a lifeline in the palm of his hand.
He's one of more than 100,000 people using DailyPay, an app that allows workers to tap into their current earnings days ahead of payday.
"I use it probably about twice a month, in times that I'm sort of in a bind, and I need some cash for the metro, or a cable bill comes in," he says.
"Our users range from the minimum range hourly employee, all the way up to someone who makes 6 figures a year," says DailyPay CEO, Jason Lee.
The app is just one of several insta-pay apps that are partnering with employers and their employees.
"This is not folks trying to buy a new flatscreen TV. This really is 'Hey, I've got rent coming due, and I'm just $80 short,'" Lee says.
Fees range from just $1 to $3 a transaction, a far cry from high-interest, high-fee payday loans. But critics of insta-pay apps say they can lead to bad habits, like not planning ahead and not saving.
Mangan tries to be responsible.
"I can determine whether I get paid instantly or whether I get paid on Friday," he says.
It's a new way to make ends meet.