2022 Budget: World Record Train Trip and Skating


Who knows what 2022 is going to hold? Will it be the EXACT same monotony as 2020 and 2021? Will it be a completely different year where I get to attempt a world record train trip? Will I actually make the income I’m hoping to make?

Each year I publish an estimated budget and then reflect on how I did at the end of the year. Here is last year’s budget and the mid-year report  on how I did  and my final round up.

In addition to this written estimate, I also walked through my 2022 plans and budget in this livestream.

Projected 2022 Spending: $22,968

Household & Insurance – $9,465 ($789 per month)

  • Rent: $8,235 ($686.25 per month) Our lease is up in August 2022, and our rate is set through then. I have budgeted in a rent increase after that.
  • Water, Commons, Sewer: $330 ($27.50 per month, level billing)
  • Trash: $90 ($7.50 per month, level billing)
  • Electricity: $420 ($35 per month average) This includes higher average bill in summer due to portable AC unit when the air is bad quality.
  • Renter’s Insurance: $138.50 ($13 saved monthly in sinking funds)
  • Household Items (detergent, TP, toothpaste, razors, etc): $180 ($15 per month average)
  • Internet at Home: $0 This is now paid for by SSO’s employer due to being remote employee, was $20 per month.

Basic Food – $2,256 ($188 per month)

  • Basic Groceries: $1,680 ($140 per month average) – this is estimating a higher level based on the increase in food costs.
  • Treats: $180 ($20 per month average) – this is a category for cookies, chips, things I don’t really need but get as a “treat”. I track it separately from regular groceries just to be aware. My 2019 average was $20/month, my 2020 average was $15/month.
  • Coffee/Tea For Home: $216 ($18 per month) Once I stopped getting free coffee through work, this increased significantly!
  • Farm Share: $0 We are likely not getting a farm share again this year. 

Local Transport – $390 ($32.50 per month)

  • Bike Repairs & Parts: $150 I expect to need a new chain and possibly a drivetrain on my bike this year.
  • Local Transit Trips: $240 – No more free transit through work, and when I go to the further away (bigger) rink, I usually take the MAX which costs $5.00 for a day pass.

Fitness – $100 ($8 per month)

I’ll probably spend some money on things like stretching bands or new running shoes.

Health Care – $1,200 ($100 per month)

I am getting health care for the first time through my partner’s employer, an HDHP which is going to cost us $115.00 per month in a pre-tax deduction through on their paycheck. Because this is not a direct cost for me (and we don’t have combined finances), I’m not including it here (it will come out in the wash in our married filing jointly taxes).

Per usual, I expect most of my costs will be covered by the co-pay assistance program for my drug (which costs a whole $10,300 per month currently!) and then we’ll hit our out-of-pocket maximum for the year quite early. After that, my medical expenses will be $0 out of pocket.

  • Copays: $690 This will cover my other drugs not covered by co-pay assistance and provider co-pays for physical therapy.
  • Dental Exams/Cleanings: $50 This is the co-pay for 2 cleanings through my partner’s work dental plan prior to hitting deductible.
  • Contacts: $260 Cost of a one-year supply after vision insurance.
  • Skin Care: $200 Twice annual refills

Figure Skating – $1,895 ($157 per month)

In 2019, I took up figure skating again after a 15-year break from the sport. I love it and am better at it than I am at most things. It’s exercise, community, meditation, creativity, sparkly costumes, and skill, all rolled up into one big expensive package.

I barely skated in 2020, however –  with the combination of working three jobs, the general pandemic worry (especially as someone who is immunosuppressed), and the rinks in the area being closed for most of the year due to covid (over 8 months of the year), I barely skated.  I skated a bit more for the very last part of 2021. I have skating goals this year, so I’m hoping to allocate more money and time to it.

  • Ice Time: $945 this is honestly quite low
  • Coaching: $660 (Private lessons)
  • Fees: $100 (annual USFSA membership)
  • Skate Sharpening: $40
  • Costumes, Laces, Bunga Pads, + Tights: $150

Looking Good – $510 ($42.50 per month)

  • Hair: $380  4 professional haircuts, 2 bang trims, and restocking supplies.
  • Makeup: $130 A professional necessity.

Clothing – $500 ($41 per month)

  • Clothing: $500  I’m hoping to focus more this year on mending existing garments rather than purchasing one-offs on poshmark.

Education – $500 

If I am able to re-enroll in German class in 2022-2023, this is the cost.

Food & Drink Out – $360 ($30 per month)

  • Restaurants + Bars/Takeout: $240 this is pretty low, but yet still higher than my historical numbers (about $7 per month).
  • Tea/Coffee Out: $120  ($10 per month average) consistent with 2017/18 levels, way above 2019 and 2020 averages.

Citizenship Costs – $250

I applied in 2021 for  Croatian citizenship via heritage (my grandfather emigrated from Yugoslavia). I will find out either in 2022 or 2023 if we have been granted citizenship, and this is my estimated cost of getting a passport and doing the official swearing-in (possibly in LA?) if we are approved.

Giving/Gifts – $600 ($50 per month)

  • Charitable Donations: $500 I do most of my giving through Oh My Dollar!
  • Gifts: $100 – A pretty consistent annual amount, give or take a wedding/baby.

Flotsam $121

  • Spending Money: $120 $10 per month – This is for candy, library fines, random things not captured elsewhere.

Moving Expenses: $900

We don’t know when we’re moving out of this apartment but the end of our lease is this summer, and we are hoping to have the new place ready to move into by end of 2022 –  but we’re not really in control of that.

Travel:  $900

I’m hoping to be able to go to a conference in Wien in March 2022, and I am also hoping to be able to travel to Kenya later in the year for a canceled trip that was supposed to happen in January 2022. I have lots of money in my “travel fund” and also a TON of points.

Travel:  $900

Guinness World Records Trip – $3,021

I talked more about this on my livestream about my budget for 2022, but I’m hoping to attempt (covid and finances willing) Guinness World Records trip in 2022. This is for “fastest time to visit all EU capital cities by scheduled surface transportation”. My current estimate is that this will take 21 days.

I have a bunch of spreadsheets to estimate the costs. Here is my current rough estimate.

  • Food and Coffee: $800 this is an average of $40/day, which is high but not unreasonable when I don’t have access to cooking facilities on the trains/buses.
  • Train, Ferry, and Bus Tickets Cost: $1,655
  • Lodging $566 – based on the private hostel room costs for nights that I have to stay over

Savings Goal: $13,200 ($1,100 per month)

This is all retirement savings (SEP IRA). If I can stretch my income this year, then I will be able to save more. My real goal is to save 22% of my income, and my goal is to make $60,000 gross this year.

My stretch, streeeetch goal is to save $20,220 as part of the 22 in 2022 Challenges we’re holding over at the OMD forums. 

Monthly Business Overhead Costs: $228.98
Not in personal budget!

I have a number of regular costs that are not reflected in my personal budget. Most of these would not exist if I did not run a business and are used 90%+ for business purposes.

This does not include costs like equipment, paying contractors (editors, transcriptionists, assistants), Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), or the hundreds a month I spend on shipping. All of that appears on my monthly reports.

Below is my monthly overhead, including my cell phone, paid for by my business.

  • Mobile Phone Plan through Mint: $25 per month 
  • Adobe CC Membership: $29 per month
  • Shopify: $29 per month
  • Convertkit:  $49 per month 
  • Web Hosting: $30 per month 
  • Google Storage: $1.99 per month 
  • Backups: $5 per month 
  • Apple Storage: $9.99 per month
  • Patreon Memberships: ~$50 (spread over many creators) This is done prior to my own cash out, so it doesn’t appear on my monthly reports.

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