I’m in the same situation. I started on the 30th of the last month. I’m on level 4 but I should hit level 5 by this Saturday according to WaniKani Statistics., That is when most of the kanji left for this level will come up for the last review before passing on to Guru.
My levels have been getting progressively longer:
Level 1: 4 Days 7 hours
Level 2: 5 Days 0 hours
Level 3: 8 Days 9 hours
And if I finish my reviews as soon as they are available, I should finish Level 4 in 8 Days 21 Hours.
Also I’d like to note that your math is wrong. If you can go at 4 levels a month, it will only take you 15 months to hit level 60, which is significantly shorter than the 5 years you came up with to get the $1000 price tag. btw price is capped at $199 (I think) since they offer life time membership for that price at the end of the year. Even without the discount lifetime membership is $299.
Even at a more relaxed pace of 3 levels a month, it will take you 20 months.I really do not know how you arrived at the 60 months/$1000 conclusion.
Still I can somewhat relate since I do feel that this is taking too long. Knowing at least 1000 core Kanji would make the other aspects of my studies like creating flash cards much more efficient.
As it stands I have to make my flash cards using kana since I don’t know what Kanji to use so I will have to update them in the future.
I already have a copy of Remembering the Kanji, which I planned to use to learn how to write kanji. Maybe I will use that to learn the most used 1000 kanji, or at least the meaning of these kanji, while still doing WaniKani to get more in-depth reviews the readings and additional vocabulary.
I should note that meanings of the Kanji, at least so far, have been quite trivial. I remember them on the first go 96% of the time. The readings, especially the initial reading WaniKani gives is another matter.