Jackie Lam

Jackie Lam is a personal finance writer and and blogs at Cheapsters, which helps freelancers and artists get creative with their money.

Her work has appeared in Investopedia, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Acorns’ Grow Magazine.

When not writing about money she enjoys roller derby, volunteering, and writing fiction.

Posts by Jackie Lam:

by Jackie Lam on May 15, 2017

Small Business Grants – A Guide to Free Business Funding

Whoever said "there's no such thing as a free lunch" apparently hadn't heard of small business grants. Because when it comes to funding for your small business, there’s nothing more awesome than free money. Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re just getting your venture off the ground, or plans for growing your company is in the works, a grant can help with some of the capital you need to make your vision happen. Because it’s not a loan, with small business grants, you won’t have to worry about terms, interest rates, limitations, or wading through the application process. And the best part is that you don’t have to pay any of the money back. Here’s the thing: small business grants tend to be pretty specific. And just because it’s not a loan doesn’t mean there aren’t certain requirements and stipulations. The money given to you needs to be spent on whatever is…

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by Jackie Lam on May 11, 2017

Mom and Pop Stores vs Big Chains – How to Stay Competitive in 2017

Mom and pop stores have a lot going for them: Loyal, devoted team members; and a synergistic exchange of fresh ideas and knowledge between generations. However, they also come with their own host of challenges. We’ll cover some of the common problems family business owners face, along with some solutions: Mom and Pop Stores Must Clarify Roles & Responsibilities Delegating tasks and defining roles of your employees will clear up any confusion. In turn, you’ll be running an efficient, well-oiled machine. Create job titles and detailed job descriptions for each of your employees. Yes, do this regardless of your personal relationship. And just like any good employer, conduct annual employee reviews with your family members. It’s already a fuzzy line when working with family, so you’ll want to keep things professional as much as possible. Mom and Pop Stores Must Set Boundaries Between Home & Work Life There's no way around…

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by Jackie Lam on April 20, 2017

Microlending Means Big Opportunities for Small Businesses in 2017

If you’re on the hunt for ways to fund your small business, you might’ve come across something called microlending. But what is microlending anyway? Here you'll get the the lowdown on what microlending is all about, plus how to decide whether you should apply. Microlending: What is it for? As the name implies, microlending refers to loans smaller than $50,000. Besides the size of microloans falling under a certain cap, microlending activities are frequently most popular among nonprofit lenders. That’s right, these lenders are not out to make a quick buck. Instead, they lend money with a mission in mind. While funds are limited, they're usually allotted specifically for minority business owners or social enterprises serving underserved communities and creating local jobs. Learn more about Minority Business Loans Why choose microlending? If you don’t need a lot of borrowed capital to get started, then microlending could serve your funding needs perfectly. Microloans are oftentimes reserved for those with low…

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by Jackie Lam on March 21, 2017

Beware: One Crucial Thing Could Threaten the Future of Your Company

As a small business owner, you may be scratching your head when you hear the term “lien” being tossed around. You're not alone. There are many small business owners out there who are unsure of what a blanket lien is! After all, liens are written legal claims found in the fine print of a business loan, and you’d have to carefully comb through the legalese to spot it. But when it comes to blanket liens (also known as ABA liens,) what you don’t know could really hurt your small business. By understanding what blanket liens are, you’ll be able to avoid complicated legal situations and protect your business financially. Below we'll introduce liens, explain blanket liens specifically and how to best protect your small business against them. What is a lien? Simply put, a lien is a legal claim sometimes buried in the fine print of small business loan agreements whereby a borrower's asset or assets…

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by Jackie Lam on February 15, 2017

How to Follow Your Dreams When Your Family Doesn’t Support You

Taking the plunge into entrepreneurship can be exhilarating... not to mention a little scary. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or you're scaling up a small business, you're probably feeling a mix of emotions, like excitement and power— perhaps alongside fear, anxiety and doubt. To add to that, you may have some concerned family members who aren’t comfortable with the idea. You know that following your heart is the right thing to do, but you can't help but wonder what to do when your own family doesn't support your dreams. You’re only human, after all! That being said, you shouldn't let critical thoughts and self-doubt (whether they originate from you or from others) hold you back from following your entrepreneurial dreams. Here’s how to manage emotions and nagging feelings of self-doubt while dealing with nay-saying family members: 1. Everyone's a Critic: Learn to Use Criticism To Your Advantage When parents don't support your dreams, turn…

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by Jackie Lam on May 10, 2017

Business Owners: 5 Truths Your Banker Doesn’t Want You Knowing

When looking for the best banks for small business loans, Bank of America and Wells Fargo may come to mind. However, big banks aren’t always the best choice to serve your funding needs, especially if you have a small business or a start up. Here are 5 crucial details your bank is conveniently leaving out of the conversation: 1. Big Banks Not Lending Money To Small Business Is Intentional After the financial crisis of 2008, banks are reluctant to loosen loan terms for small businesses, making it harder than ever for small companies to secure financing from traditional financial institutions. Big Banks Often Consider Small Business Loans Too Risky Because small businesses tend to be more sensitive to fluctuations in the economy and have fewer assets to provide as collateral, lending to small businesses are seen as risky. And according to a working paper by the Harvard Business Review, access to bank credit…

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Ditch Your Banker: Find The Best Loans Through Alternative Lenders

by Eric Goldschein on May 25, 2017
The world of lending has shifted. No longer are banks the sole gatekeepers of capital, which is good news for… Read more

Business Owners: 5 Truths Your Banker Doesn’t Want You Knowing

by Jackie Lam on May 10, 2017
When looking for the best banks for small business loans, Bank of America and Wells Fargo may come to mind. However,… Read more

An Epic Guide to Business Credit Cards, Charge Cards, & Lines of Credit

by Eric Goldschein on February 2, 2017
If you’re a small business owner, you know how important it is to always have extra capital on hand so you… Read more

A Complete Declassified List of Tax-Exempt Fringe Benefits

by Amy Fontinelle on January 30, 2017
With all the uncertainty surrounding Trump's tax plan, tax saving tips for small business owners are as important as ever. Finding… Read more

Hero Companies Who Are Helping Small Businesses Succeed

by Caitlyn Rose on January 19, 2016
These are challenging times for small businesses. Luckily, however, the news isn’t all bad. Read on to learn about three… Read more

Bank Turn You Down For A Business Loan? Here’s How You Can Get Alternative Funding

by Caitlyn Rose on January 7, 2016
If you're like most small business owners, your first stop for financing needs might be your local bank. Unfortunately, the… Read more

Corporate Bylaws: Why Your Business Can’t Function Without Them

by Ronis Gracie on December 10, 2015
While “corporate bylaws” may sound like something that only giant companies need, the reality is that every corporation has to… Read more

An In-Depth Look at How Invoice Financing Works

by Ronis Gracie on November 30, 2015
As a business owner, you probably experience a multitude of small frustrations each day. But perhaps one of your biggest… Read more

Minorities, Women, and Veteran Business Owners – Get Extra Funding Here

by Ronis Gracie on May 15, 2017
Keeping a business afloat can certainly be a challenge, particularly during rocky economic times. No matter how poor sales may… Read more

Complete Business Funding Glossary – 2017 Edition

by Ronis Gracie on March 1, 2017
When you were a kid, you probably had a special group of friends who stayed together no matter what. You… Read more

A Complete Guide to Business Loans for Funding a Bar

by Ronis Gracie on January 16, 2017
One of the most exciting and rewarding types of businesses to operate is a bar. Whether you run a neighborhood… Read more

New Ways to Get Money Out of Your Business That You Might Not Have Thought Of

by Ronis Gracie on November 17, 2016
You have finally reached that milestone you have anticipated for so long: Your business is making a reliable profit. As… Read more

Infographic: The Rise of Marketplace Lenders

by Caitlyn Rose on January 12, 2016
Sooner or later, most small businesses will require an infusion of cash. The need might arise almost immediately during the… Read more

Bank Turn You Down For A Business Loan? Here’s How You Can Get Alternative Funding

by Caitlyn Rose on January 7, 2016
If you're like most small business owners, your first stop for financing needs might be your local bank. Unfortunately, the… Read more

5 Types of Grants For Women-Owned Businesses

by Caitlyn Rose on December 29, 2015
If you are a woman thinking about starting a small business, you are part of a growing trend. Since 1997,… Read more

Your First Small Business Loan: What You Need to Know

by Caitlyn Rose on December 16, 2015
When you set out to find the first loan for your small business, you’ll probably have many questions but few… Read more

Interest Rate versus APR: What You Need to Know to Price a Loan

by Ronis Gracie on December 8, 2015
Small business loan terminology is complex, and many of the terms are similar enough to be confusing. Two such phrases… Read more