How often do you get paid as a 1099?

As a 1099, you are not going to get paid every two weeks. Typical payment terms are usually “net-30,” which means the company will pay you thirty days after you invoice them.

In practice, you will invoice at the end of every month, and then get paid thirty days later. Let’s say you start your 1099 work on April 1st. On April 30th, you send the prime an invoice for all of your April work. You won’t get paid for your April work until the end of May, which is two months worth of paychecks you would have received as a W2.

I recommend you build up your savings to at least six months of living expenses as a 1099 but to get started, two months is fine to deal with the immediate cash flow interruption.

I’ll also note that if you have significant savings (one year or more of living expenses) already, you have enough money to walk away from your job which gives you leverage if you are planning on using the "job conversion" method form my book.

If you actually quit, a program manager that previously refused to discuss a 1099 arrangement may suddenly become more amenable to the 1099 idea.


If you have questions feel free to reach out to me directly at I can also add you to my informal mailing list in case I have updates or news or whatever.


I write about managing invoicing and payments in my book.

You can read more about it here:

Going 1099: How to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money and unlock more free time