The Money Book for Freelancers - A Review
By Eric Hammer
The Money Book for Freelancers, Part Timers and the
Self Employed, by Joseph D'Agnese and Denise Kiernan
- Three Rivers Press 2010
In any list of reviews of what are fondly known as "money
books," it simply seems to make sense that we should include
at least one book aptly called "The Money Book." Of
course, in this case, it's "The Money Book for Freelancers,
Part Timers and the Self Employed." Basically, it's a how
to guide for those who work for themselves (a demographic, which,
according to the authors accounts for some 30% of the American
This is no get rich quick book. There is no scheme here where
you do this, buy that and you'll be set for life. Instead, this
book is all about offering practical, genuinely useful advice.
The book goes step by step, showing you exactly what you need
to know in order to be able to make it financially as a freelancer.
It does defy the logic of some other books on Personal Finance,
but only in so far as it tells you what to do if you are not
in fact earning a steady paycheck with benefits.
Gone from this book is advice about maximizing your 401K plan
or deducting the cost of medical services not covered by insurance
(anything over 7.5% by the way is deductible, but your health
insurance, if employer provided is not, though it is 100% deductible,
even from Social Security if you are self employed). Instead,
you'll learn about paying for health insurance in a smart way.
You'll also learn about keeping enough in the bank so that
when April 15 rolls around and your friends who do the work a
day thing are celebrating their massive windfalls, you aren't
crying about how you can possibly manage to pay the massive tax
bill you accumulated for a year of working for yourself. The
Money Book for Freelancers, Part Timers and the Self Employed
in short, tells you what you need to know as a self employed
person who needs to take charge of his or her own life.
The fundamentals are still here though - it's not so radical
that the ideas presented are completely different from what you
might expect. For example, keeping a cushion of money to get
over the rough spots is still important (more important in fact
than when you have a regular job). Paying yourself first is still
a basic axiom. However, what is different is how you achieve
these things as an individual who needs to worry about being
paid late (or not at all) by clients who don't give a damn that
your rent is due and the electric company is threatening to cut
off your service unless you pay by this and this date.
Another important lesson taught here is that, unlike those
worker bees who have 401K plans, you are responsible for your
own retirement. You have to work hard and put money away on your
own. You'll learn about your retirement savings options as a
freelancer and how to make it work for your own, seemingly peculiar
In short, the Money Book for Freelancers, Part Timers and
the Self Employed is the personal finance bible for those who
get a 1099 instead of a W-2.
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