The Almost Millions Manifesto

A Personal Finance Site For Freelancers, 1099ers, And Independent Contractors

Like so many other things, the idea for this site began with an Uber ride. I’ve worked a mixture of full-time, part time, and freelance jobs (as a writer at publications like Fast Company and the Los Angeles Times, as a content consultant, and in other roles) over the past decades. Because it was close to April 15, my Uber driver and I were talking about tax deductions and how we handle our employment on our taxes.

Something hit me like a sack of bricks: My Uber driver and I were facing the exact same tax issues. My work as a writer meant that we deal with the exact same confusion–endless deductions, Schedule C’ing, and trying to predict how much money we earn each month–despite the very different nature of our jobs.

Both my Uber driver and I are part of something called the 1099 economy. According to Bloomberg View’s Justin Fox, the 1099 economy (named for the IRS form members receive each year) consists of “People who get app-development assignments via Upwork, dogsitting jobs via DogVacay, car passengers via Uber or consulting work via the Business Talent Group — to name just a few of these new intermediaries.”

However, it’s not just on-demand workers. The 1099 economy includes everyone who’s a solo entrepreneur or a full- or part-time freelancers. The 1099 economy encompasses architects, seasonal temporary workers, auto mechanics, yoga teachers, freelance journalists, freelance graphic designers, software developers, artists, consultants, and hundreds of other occupations. 1099 professionals and contractors don’t have taxes automatically taken out of their paychecks, and are responsible for everything from paying the IRS to saving for retirement.

The 1099 economy’s also staggeringly large. Data from the IRS indicates nearly 130 million 1099-MISCs were issued in 2014. Members of the 1099 economy share common concerns: How to balance personal checkbooks while thriving professionally… and it’s hard to learn how to do that juggling act.

That’s where Almost Millions comes in.

Almost Millions Manifesto 1

Becoming Money Champs

Almost Millions’ goal is simple: To give freelancers, solo entrepreneurs, and 1099 employees of all sorts easy access to financial information. We aren’t here to tell you what to do or to yell at you.

We’re here to turn our readers and fans into kickass money ninjas. Our goal is to provide information, advice, and endless damn financial love that helps readers thrive in their work life and their business life.

Our services include an extensive website filled with free information, a soon-to-be launched series of ebooks, and other tools which we’ll talk more about soon.

Almost Millions recognizes that if you earn a 1099, your main goal is simple: Doing your job. Learning about how to keep your personal and business books separate, avoiding tax penalties, how to grow your business, and how to handle the financial portions of your independent business are hard work. When you start out as a graphic designer, software engineer, or editor, you might not know about all that hard financial stuff.

For myself personally, much of the best business and money advice I received came over cups of coffee and pints of beer with fellow freelancers in bars. I’m blessed to have a lot of friends and to know many people working kickass jobs, and I’m grateful for their advice. But the experience made me realize that there needed to be an easy, one-stop source for freelancers and contractors to get business information and resources.

Enter Almost Millions.

Almost Millions Manifesto 2Almost Millions’ worldview revolves around one big ol’ idea: The personal is the professional.

Making Money Less Scary

The personal is the professional? For freelancers and contractors, this means that your business life will never be entirely separate from your personal life… and that this extends to your finances too. Almost Millions is built around the concept that your personal finances and your work life as a 1099 are forever linked–and that making more money and living a happier life comes from recognizing that connection.

Freelancers and independent contractors often make silly mistakes like not creating separate bank accounts for their professional life and for taxes. They don’t realize when incorporating or forming a LLC could save them thousands of dollars each year. They take on expensive credit card debt to make their one-person business grow, when they could take out low-interest loans instead.

At Almost Millions, our goal is to help readers become smarter and more aware when it comes to money and personal finance. We’re not trying to sell you on products from our advertisers, to capture your email address for one company or another, or to lock you into using a single software product. We just want to teach you to avoid the potholes in the money road and learn the skills you never learned in your old 9-5 life.

That’s why we want our readers to become better at money. Almost Millions comes from the perspective that you want to spend more time DOING, and less time WORRYING. The rich might have their problems, but it’s really hard to grow your business or take on more work when there isn’t any money in your pocket. Our resources are designed to give you the tools to thrive professionally, and save money in the future.

So stick around for the ride. There’s plenty of great free information here as you click around, there are some amazing products for sale which can help you become better with money, some great discussions on our Facebook page, and we’re introducing some new things to the site in the next few months I think you’ll like a lot.

Neal Ungerleider

November 2016