October 2020: Income, Expenses and Travel Report! (Youtube Earnings, Dropshipping Revenue, and Expenses)

Happy November everyone! I really can't believe it's winter already and that 2020 is almost over. It really felt like this year was just barely halfway through and already it's almost 2021. Up until this past month, there was still the possibility that I would hop on a plane out of Sri Lanka and either go to Ukraine, Georgia, Mexico or the USA, but now it's clear that I'll for sure be staying until at least the end of the year. America is all crazy right now from the 2020 elections and both the Trump supporters and Trump haters going wild on each other, so that's the last place I'd want to be. Europe including Ukraine and Georgia is getting cold and the last thing I'd want is to get locked down in the freezing cold for 4+ months. 

I'm lucky enough to already be in Sri Lanka right now as their borders are still closed, and that their immigration department just automatically extended all of our visas until December 5th. If Sri Lanka wasn't an option, we'd be heading to Mexico as that's the only open option, but as much as I like it there, with the number of people going there this winter, I have a feeling that they're going to have some huge outbreaks there and it may lead to a serious lockdown. Either way, I'm really fortunate and lucky to have stayed in Sri Lanka as right now everything is 25-50% of the price as it normally is and without the crowds.

Where I Traveled

If you've been following my travels on Youtube, then I started the month in the middle of the country near Sigiriya before meeting up with the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau to begin my two week trip around the country with them. Even though tourism isn't yet open to the country, their goal is to keep Sri Lanka as a dream destination in people's minds as well as introduce the island to those who are stuck at home watching Youtube and planning their 2021 trips.  It was a non-paid collaboration where they took us to places we never would have went or showcased on my Youtube channel if it wasn't for them them, and exchange the costs were covered and I got to keep creative control of the videos I made. 

We started by seeing the World's largest gathering of wild elephants outside of Africa,  in Minneriya national park, and got to see the only set of baby twin elephants in the world! This is the first of 10 videos I ended up making during the two week trip, even though my requirement was only to make a minimum of six, there was just so much to see that I ended up over delivering. 

After that we traveled up to Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka. It's one of the regions that very few tourists ever go to and that we almost skipped. Luckily the tourism board suggested we see it and i'm glad we did as it's an important and unique part of the country that we almost missed. 

There we had really unique food such as Seafood Kool and Jaffna Crab Curry, smoked Jaffna cigars, went on a boat ride with the Sri Lankan Navy and even met the Head Monk. 

Here's the first of three videos we made in Jaffna. You can find Part 2 and Part 3 here. 

After Jaffna, we headed back down south to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, went hiking in the Knuckles Mountain Range and visited the only real Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. That video got me a lot of unhappy Sri Lankans who insist that Pinnawala is a sanctuary for Elephants, which it may have started out as, but today they are more like the Sea World of captive animals.   

My goal isn't to shut down Pinnawala, but instead to promote seeing Elephants in the wild at places such as Minneriya or Udawalawe national parks. I'm glad that the tourism board suggested us to go to the Elephant Transit Home, which releases Elephants back into the wild instead of Pinnawala who keeps them captive for life, and many chained up so tourists can take instagram photos with them while sitting in their hotel pool. 

Our two week trip with the tourism board ended with a trip to experience traditional village life in Sri Lanka, followed by some great food in the capital city of Colombo. 

As my videos current have a 2-3 week lead time to edit, upload, and schedule, the reality is, we were actually in Colombo the first half of October. But since for whatever reason a lot Youtube viewers don't understand that videos aren't live nor shot and published the same day, I try to keep it less confusing by talking about my life in terms of where Youtube shows I am, than where I actually am right now. 

If you do want to see where I am live, follow my Instagram stories at JohnnyFDK. My goal is to get back to having just a 1-2 week buffer for my videos instead of 3 as I do like my videos to be fresh and time relevant especially with all of the changes going on weekly in the world. 

Life in Colombo

It's funny that out of hundreds of blogs and Youtube videos I've read and watched, and the dozens of travelers I've met and spoke to, they all said to skip Colombo as there's nothing to do or see there. Here's the thing, they are kind of correct if they're talking about a short 1-3 week trip to the country as there's much more to see on the rest of the island. However, as slow travelers, digital nomads, and expats, Colombo is actually quite amazing. It's kind of like a better version of Kuala Lumpur if you're ever been there. 

For us after being in small beach side towns, local villages, and holiday resorts for more than eight months now, being back in a big city was like a dream that we've missed. Colombo is super developed as has incredible malls, restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, and food. The WIFI in the capital city are really good, and unlike the rest of the country, everything just works as expected. Even though we stayed in some really nice 4 and 5 star hotels in the rest of the country, the food, service, internet speeds, and working infrastructure was never quite perfect. But in Colombo you get American and European standards for everything and I can see why so many locals and expats alike base themselves out of the capital city and use it as a hub to travel on weekends to the rest of the island. 

The only downsides of life in Colombo is that even though there are nice ocean views, the beach there isn't somewhere you'd want to actually swim in or spend time on, plus there's no surf, so you'll want to go to the south or east coast for that. Most things are super affordable like cheap Uber and PickMe rides, metered tuk-tuks, long term apartments, many restaurants and movie tickets, etc. However somethings are overpriced like hotels which often get together and price fix at $200 a night minimums so that there's no competition or other choice. Luckily there's Airbnb as an option (get $50 off new accounts), cheaper alternatives like hostels, and the fact that right now since the airport closures, hotels are finally competing by dropping prices letting people vote with their wallets. Eating out in Colombo has been 100x better tasting than the rest of the country, the food in the capital really is much better than the rest of the island. 

How Much I Spent

This was a strange month as even though almost half of the month was paid for through the collaboration, I still ended up tipping our driver, the hotel staff, restaurants, etc. for great service and because I knew they weren't getting much business otherwise. Abdul our driver was one of the kindest guys I've ever met, so even though the 10,000lkr ($55) tip I gave him on top of what the tourism board already gave him was much more than he was expecting or normally receives, I'm glad to have been able to help support him and his family a bit this month. 

Kristina and I were both so exhausted from driving around the country and filming non-stop for those two weeks that we both wanted a nice comfortable place just to relax, recharge and do nothing for a few days before settling down somewhere to edit and upload the videos. Luckily, since the travel bans, most hotels have 50-75% of specials right now. Annoyingly a lot of them are only valid for Sri Lankans and residents which we didn't qualify for. Luckily though, some hotels were welcoming to everyone, and we ended up choosing Marino Beach Hotel even though they had a terrible website and social media presence. I asked around as prices at JetWing, Mövenpick, Kingsbury, and a few others were all in the 10,000lkr ($55) a night range, but we liked that Marino was right on the ocean and had some nice extras like a roof top green space, nice gym, olympic size pool, and the biggest rooms. 

We ended up liking Marino Beach so much that we decided to extend our stay for an entire month at 9,000lkr ($49). If you remember my apartment prices in Kabalana and Arugam Bay, even though I was always near the beach in a hotel room, the prices were always in the $250-$350 a month range all included. I knew that we could have easily found a nice apartment for less than $600 in Colombo, but I also knew that this was a once in a life time opportunity to be able to live in a world class 4-star hotel for $1,500 a month as normally it would cost 3x that price. I justified it in my mind by including the costs of a nice gym membership, swimming poo, and daily breakfast, but in reality it was much more than we needed to spend. Here's the video tour of our hotel accommodations that isn't actually published live yet, so you get to see it first as a blog reader even before it goes public on Youtube!

Total Costs Breakdown

Here's a list of everything I spent for the month of October. Having a non-German girlfriend drives up those costs significantly but since Kristina helps with the filming and co-hosting of the Youtube videos with me I figure that it's fair for me to pay for our travel and living costs. Also even though we paid for an entire month at Marino Beach, we actually still have a credit as since there's a second outbreak of covid in Sri Lanka, we had decided a few weeks ago to early and go self-isolate out in a remote small town instead of being in the big city, which ended up being a good idea.

We also spent a lot of money eating out at nice restaurants, and although some of them gave us our meals complimentary as they knew my videos would be good promotion, we still ended up spending a lot more money on dining that we normally would have. 

Then there was the shopping for new clothes, both for Colombo as well as for cold weather gear for our Nuwara Eliya trip, and since it was Kristina's birthday this month I bought her a new phone and some AirPods. Oh, and not to forget, this month I also bought my parent's an early Christmas gift and paid for their property taxes, as I have been doing for the past 5 years now. So, it's a strange month where even though I earned a lot more though my Youtube videos while getting a lot of things for free, I ended up spending way more than I normally would have if I had just stayed in Arugam Bay, surfed all day, and ate local rice and curry and chicken biryani like I've grown accustomed to. 

Hotel Room Colombo: $48.85 x 19 = $928.15 (Marino Beach Hotel) 
Nuwara Eliya House: $37.99 x 12 = $455.88 (Various Places) 

Taxis, Trains and Tuk-Tuks: $45
Tips and Gifts: $800
Clothing and Stuff: $200

Food and Drinks: $500 
Other and Misc: $200 
Parent's Retirement: $1,000 
Property Tax for Parents: $3,619.71

Total Spent this Month: $7,748.74

*Increase from last month's $2,679.43

Lunch at Ministry of Crab

Earnings this Month

Whatever I ended up earning this month defiantly didn't cover my costs as for the first time in years, I saw my bank balances drop to under $1,000 and not replenish. In the upcoming months we'll be spending less money for sure, and hopefully earning a bit more as well. 

YouTube wise, we had another good month of growth adding 4,300 new subscribers and breaking another revenue record. Unfortunately it didn't double like it did last month, like I was kind of hoping for, but still nonetheless it was a solid upward trend earning me $2,273.84 this month as a full time YouTuber. If you haven't already, subscribe to my channel at for all the new releases as they come out. A few people have suggested that I start a Patreon account for the channel, but aside from giving people early access to the videos, I don't know what else I would offer, so at least for now I'm skipping it as an option. But let me know in the comments if you would sign up as one, how much you would pledge and what benefits you'd want from it and if I get some good suggestions I may do it. 

Dropshipping Revenue

Luckily I still have my dropshipping stores that are doing well. This is one of the stores that I helped start and own 25% of, but since my partners control the finances, I haven't actually gotten paid my share of the profits yet. Hopefully they'll send me my check soon as this was the best month we've ever had! 

The crazy thing is that the entire formula of starting these high ticket dropshipping stores is taught step by step in Anton's DSL course and all we did was follow his method. 

If my personal finances ever get tough I could always start another store on my own, but I'm not going to lie, it takes a lot of time to setup and get started! But as you can see, the end results are definitely worth it! P.S. If you do ever start an online store, use my Shopify link to get a free trial and give me credit for referring you. 

Other Income

Luckily I still have some passive income from other sources that I build years ago. So whether someone signs up for my Income Boss course, buys something like a new Macbook like the one I use, I get paid for the referral. 

My investments, although always up and down earn interest and dividends. My favorite current investment is with Worthy Bonds which pays 5% and is liquid which means I can withdraw the money anytime without penalty. It's become my new savings account as everywhere else is paying 1% or less. We can both get a free $10 bond when you sign up and make your first deposit. 

Aside from the above, I also earn a bit of money from ads and sponsorships on the Invest Like a Boss Podcast, taking on a few coaching calls per month, my courses on Udemy like my Small Talk Networking course as well as the money I make from any of the hosting or software I recommend inside my free dropshipping course.  All combined I earned a decent amount the month, which almost just covered my insanely high monthly expenses for October. 

Total Income: $7,421.80

*increase from $5,533.91 last month.

Monthly Wrap Up

I spent way too much this month, ate too much, and exercised too little. My waistline got bigger, while my bank account shrunk, but it was kind of a one off month. My plan for November is to eat healthier again and get back into a good exercise routine. 

Unfortunately I decided to start drinking alcohol again so that may not help, but this time around my goal is to do it casually, so 1-2 drinks maximum a few nights a week instead of going out and partying and binge drinking like I did when I was single.

I still have around 10 videos I filmed and edited from these past few weeks that need to get published before we're caught back up to live. But if you want to follow me @JohnnyFDK on instagram you can check out my stories to see what i'm up to at the moment.

With Love from Sri Lanka,

Johnny FD

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Post a Comment

  1. How much did you spend this month? Was it more or less than you earned?

  2. Spending less than I earned and under $500 in Chiang Mai. I too have considered going back to the USA and on to Mexico but not a great idea now as you said.(Trump supporters are not going wild on others- unlike the others) Also, its going to be a year at least before people can get back in here, IMHO. Let COVID settle down...enjoy the sun and (myself as well) have it made now compared to those in the USA.

    1. That's awesome you're in Chiang Mai! Have you been there since March or how did you get back in?

  3. Johnny do you have any plans to come to India after Sri Lanka? You and Christina would really like New Delhi / Gurgaon in the mild winters!


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