Nov 2020: Expenses and Income (Youtube, Dropshipping, Sponsorships)

It's an exciting month as this was the first month of getting paid sponsorships on my Youtube channel. First was Rosetta Stone who reached out, then just a week later I got a six video deal with SkillShare spread out over the next couple of months! My dilemma now is how often I should publish new videos as while it was great having them come out every two days, it's honestly been a bit too much to keep up with. This is the case both from an editing and uploading side, but even for my viewers who may sometimes have a hard time even keeping up with new episodes. Plus now with the sponsorships, it actually makes more financial sense to only publish once a week or whenever there's a paid ad attached to the episode. 

Being a full time Youtube creator has been super interesting and opportunities really started to open up once I crossed the 40k subscribers mark. I'm curious to see what'll happen next month as I should be crossing 50,000 by then. I'm also really lucky to be one of the few content creators in Sri Lanka right now and having the country still be open for travel within. Although if I was stuck back in the US, I would either buy a Van to drive around the country in or just go down to Mexico, either way, I'd still be creating content and enjoying life, rather than letting the lockdowns dictate my life. 

Where I Traveled

At the start of the month we were still up in the hill town of Nuwara Eliya with plans to stay there for another week or two as the high season in the South of the country hadn't actually started yet. But times were uncertain then. Due to a second wave of covid near Colombo, there were travel restrictions and a curfew imposed in the capital city where the population is most dense. Luckily Kristina and I had left a few weeks prior as we saw the writing on the wall during the Brandix factory outbreak and saw that some businesses were closing including restaurants, cinemas, and massage spas. 

Things in Nuwara Eliya were actually fine, but just in case there was to be another inter-district lockdown, we decided to escape and move down South to Ahangama which seems to have become the hotspot for surfers and nomads for 2020. I've written in my previous posts about Sri Lanka, I really liked living in Weligama as it's the biggest city in the south and was a great place to base out of to be close to restaurants, grocery stores and within walking distance of everything. However this year, since a lot of the cafes are closed anyways, everyone has moved 15 minutes away to the quiet beach town of Ahangama as the accommodation here is both more spacious and cheaper. 

The 6 hour drive from Nuwara Eliya down South was both long, tiring, and a bit nerve wracking as well we weren't 100% sure if we'd even be allowed to travel through districts at that time as things were all up in the air. But overall I'm glad we moved as everyone from Arugam Bay on the East Coast has also moved back here and it's almost like those Hippy Market days once again, but this time in the south and about half the size as a lot of people have left the country already. But still, the vibe, meetups and pizza nights are still happening and there's always something to do and people to grab a drink with which is nice to have again after being alone for the past few months. 

Where I Stayed

According to my Youtube publish/release dates, I was in Nuwara Eliya the entire month starting at a really nice house in the Little England Cottages community. We had a really nice week there enjoying a taste of winter with a wood burning fireplace and nightly meals roasted in the oven.

We then moved a bit less than an hour away to spend another week near Ambella at a Farm House where we got to pick fresh vegetables in the garden, and live amongst cows and a horse on a real working farm. It was our way of semi-self isolating and getting away from everyone for two weeks during the second spike in covid19 cases in Sri Lanka. 

But after that we moved closer to Nuwara Eliya town itself so we could have access once again to restaurants, super markets, and be within an easy walking distance of everything. Here are some of those videos for you to see what life was like for us experiencing a few weeks of actual cold winter in Sri Lanka before we headed down to the hot beaches in the south.

Plans for December

It's funny that even though it seems like we just moved down to the south, at least according to our Youtube release dates which has currently been around 3 weeks behind, we're actually planning on spending just the first two weeks of the month here in the south then going back up to Nuwara Eliya to experience a bit of winter again for Christmas. 

As much as I hate sitting in a car for 6 hours, we're lucky to have the option of being able to change climate zones from tropical sun at the beach to cold winters in the hills as quickly as a half day drive or train ride. We've been offered a collaboration this month with a hotel up in Matale, just north of Kandy. We've been to the area recently so initially I would going to refuse it, but since it includes transportation from the south, I figured that it would save us an $80 taxi ride to Nuwara Eliya and it would also give us a reason to stay a few days after to explore a bit more of Kandy aside from just the botanical garden we've been to prior. 

We had planned to visit Nuwara Eliya again to spend Christmas with our friends Chris and Tatyana as it'll be nice to enjoy a cold winter again, but honestly sitting in a car for 6 hours is just brutal to me. So instead, if we do go, we're thinking about taking the train instead as it's a beautiful ride, and can be broken up with a few nights in Colombo in between. We'll see what we end up actually doing for December as I'm honestly perfectly happy just hanging out in our villa here in the south and picking up surfing again. Let's see what this month unfolds.

Expenses for November

We started this month in Nuwara Eliya and depending if you're following my schedule on Youtube or in real life, we either stayed there the entire month, or we moved down south near the start of it. But either way, the month was spent mostly at home and ironically the vill with the private pool you may have seen in my Instagram stories if you've been following me at JohnnyFDK actually costs much less than the houses we were renting in Nuwara Eliya. It's almost strange that pricing is like that, but I think it's because there is so much competition in the South that even though it's technically the start of high season here, places are still going for cheap 

But aside from having a few friends stay over when visiting, the other rooms have sat empty and my girlfriend Kristina and I have been able to enjoy the place entirely to ourselves. The only annoying things living in Sri Lanka is all tech related. Home and business WIFI in Sri Lanka isn't unlimited (due to the greed of the telecom companies) which means we're capped at 160gb a month before we have to start paying for data add ons. Also my original plan was to upgrade to an iPhone 12 and possibly to buy a new M1 Macbook Air, but this being Sri Lanka new Apple products are hard to get and cost around $300 more. Even though I can technically afford it, out of principle it's ridiculous to pay an extra $600 just to buy it here, which is why I'll hold off until I leave Sri Lanka to make any new purchases. 

We've mainly cooked at home, so aside from the expensive taxi to the south and hosting Thanksgiving at our place for a dozen friends, we didn't otherwise spend that much money. It's a strange feeling as my decision to stay where I was during the covid outbreak instead of panic flying to another country like so many others did ended up really paying off. Never again will places like this be so affordable in the future when tourism opens back up again. But even though some people were upset that I spent so much last month, I think of it as keeping the local economy going and locals employed as if I wasn't renting this villa, it would most likely be sitting empty and the five caretakers of the property would be out of a job. That being said, here were my expenses for the month.

Taxi (Nuwara Eliya to Ahangama): $86.74
House in Nuwara Eliya: $978.94
Grocery Stores: $380
Wine and Alcohol: $60
Restaurants and Cafes: $80

Netflix (HD Plan): $14.06
Cell Phone: $27

Gifts and Other: $600 
Parent's Retirement: $1,000 

Total Expenses for November: $3,224.65

*decrease from $7,748.74 last month in October 2020

YouTube Earnings for November

I'm super happy to see that my income has increased by another 10% or so from last month on my Youtube Channel. Of course I'd rather see the numbers grow even quicker, but the fact that it's making upwards progress by growing in all four categories including views, watch time, subscribers and revenue, means that it's all going in the right direction. 

As for income, it's also really nice that I've started getting video sponsors by companies like Rosetta Stone and Skillshare as if I can find sponsors for each video, that means that i'll be able to essential double my Youtube income each month. I can't talk publicly about how much the sponsors pay or what the terms are as I had to sign a contact, but I do go over the specifics inside my private course where I openly talk about all of my income streams and show you the secrets behind them all. 

I've even added two new videos explaining exactly what I've learned from my mentors about growing my Youtube channel these past few months and how I could have done it years sooner if I had the knowledge that I do now. I also breakdown specifically how I got the channel sponsors, how much they pay, and how to earn a full time income as a Youtube content creator even if you're just starting out.

Dropshipping Sales for November

This has been another crazy good month for my dropshipping stores. It's insane to see that we're making more from our ecommerce store each month now for the past two months that we used to make in an entire year! All of the partners in this store are members of Anton's Dropshipping Course and we literally just follow what he has taught us. 

It's been an incredible year and I can't wait to do my end of the year review of how it all went as well as the accounting itself. Dropshipping has been my full time income since I first got into online business in 2013, and now that I have partners running the stores, I get to focus on other things I love. 

Total Income for November

What's great about having multiple streams of online income is that they are all 100% location independent which means that even through most of my income actually comes from the USA and 100% of it is in US Dollars, I can earn that money regardless if I'm physically in Sri Lanka, Thailand, or anywhere else in the world. 

I have also aimed to invest as much of the extra income as possible each month to not only plan for my future retirement, but also so that money can continue earning me money even if I stop working. This month I invested $9,000 into Worthy Bonds which pays 5% interest while helping small businesses get funding to buy inventory and continue their business even during this world wide pandemic. If you use my link to sign up for an account, we both get a free bond valued at $10.

Although I technically only spent $3,224.65 this month in living expenses, I didn't actually have $2,500 left over as there's a lot of businesses expenses I didn't include in my costs of living. These things include web hosting with SiteGround, VPN subscription with WiTopia, email hosting with Aweber, podcasting hosting and editing, and a whole bunch of other expenses that I don't count into my costs of living as it's doesn't usually apply to most people. 

Total Earned for December: $5,747.49

*decrease from $7,421.80 last month. 

Overall Thoughts for November

I'm very fortunate to be "stuck" in Sri Lanka during this world wide pandemic. Every once in a while I start day dreaming about where I would go next and countries that are open to travel, but ultimately I realize how lucky I am to be here where everything is 50-90% off, uncrowded and still open. Life is mostly normal here outside of the capital city where things are a bit more locked down. 

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner hosted at my villa with a dozen friends, and we're able to travel freely, go to restaurants, surf, and hang out without too many restrictions. But again, it wasn't luck, it was a choice to have stayed in Sri Lanka during the COVID outbreak while others flew home or to other countries. If it wasn't for choosing to get stuck here, I never would have had the time to sit down and develop my Youtube channel, and I never would have met my girlfriend Kristina.

Honestly, I do miss having no responsibilities, not having to spend hours a day editing and uploading videos, or the expense of supporting two people, as life would be easier if I was living in a cheap guest house near the beach, eating out each meal instead of cooking, and surfing everyday. But it's definitely comfortable living in nice houses, traveling around, and having a girlfriend to watch Netflix with. My goal though is to get back in shape again as I've gotten a bit too comfortable. My original plan coming to the south was to start surfing again everyday, but so far I've only been 3 or 4 times which is honestly a bit embarrassing. But let's plan for December getting back on track and back in shape.

With Love from Sri Lanka,

Johnny FD


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Income Report 3134468767422670113

Post a Comment

  1. How much did everyone earn, spend, or travel this month?

  2. I'm getting my househack up and running so lots of one time expenses on furnishings and renovations that I need to do..which is why this number is high. But even still it comes out to a 32% savings rate which is way more than the average still. I hope to get this number up to the 80%s after renovations are complete Q1 of 2021.

    Income: $8,985.13
    Total Expenses: $6,051.73
    Total Savings: $2,933.40
    Savings Rate: 32%

    'Living Expenses': $942

  3. Good stuff! A 32% savings rate is fantastic, and good job house hacking. Are you doing it through renting some of the rooms?


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