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Another month has passed, bringing us closer to Christmas. I’ve finished work for the winter now as I had to use up my remaining vacation days. We plan to spend our first New England winter eating American festive food and traveling to local snow resorts while car camping.

Car camping was good in the summer, I hope it’s not too bad in the snow! We’ve kitted the car out with winter sleeping bags and have gotten ourselves some good thermal underlayers, we’ll also be picking up some Costco winter tyres later in the month.

The Numbers

Our investments have gone up considerably again as the market continues its recovery. I had a bit of a scare this month as my emergency fund almost depleted, we had a few big events crop up at once: purchasing the components to build 2 gaming PC’s for myself and my wife, an expensive work trip to New York which I had to front before getting it repaid, the tenants in our UK rental moving out and along with not paying the last months’ rent they left a looming huge repair bill, including a potential roof leak problem. There was also the possibility of needing to pay $2000 for a dental insurance claim that got rejected (the dentist luckily let us off). All of this made me worried that in the US I need a much bigger emergency fund. I’m aiming for us to have $20k in the bank, we should get there by reducing my pre-pension contributions down to $1k for December.


With ChatGPT taking the world by storm this month, I feel like everything has been completely flipped on its head.

The power of this thing is insane and it will completely change a lot of industries, especially software development. With ChatGPT as an assistant, what usually takes weeks of work by teams of engineers can be done in days by a single person.

It can be used beyond coding too in industries like marketing, blogging, news, and even novel writing.

Remember how difficult it was to learn something new before we had Google as a search engine? ChatGPT is the next iteration and it’s way more powerful.

I closed my $25k position in Alphabet this month and purchased more VTI directly because of ChatGPT. I’m now no longer holding any single stocks, it was probably the best course of action anyway.

I’m urgently trying to think of ways that I can utilize ChatGPT to build something before the whole world starts doing it.


I’m still anxious about layoffs, this month my boss asked me to rank my reports, not a good sign.

I’m hoping that due to me now being a manager, I may be a little safer, but I think my position is a lot more precarious now than it was as a top performing engineer (what I used to be a year ago). Engineers can easily join new teams, but managers can be cut as teams can be self driven and managers can run more than 1 team; especially as ChatGPT will soon mean teams can be a lot smaller.

To safe guard myself, I need to start contributing to the delivery and programming as well as managing, I should maybe brush up on algorithm practice too incase I need to interview. I’ll still be devastated if we have to leave the USA, but it will be better if I have another good job lined up if I do get laid off.

Looking Ahead

When I think about next year, I’m anxious, but I’d suspect as the year progresses I’ll feel less so. If I’m not laid off in Q1 and there are no more warning signs, I hope I can start to feel a little more secure. I have 6 more months until I can request that my company starts the Greencard process, if I get to this point and they agree, I’ll be happy.

I’ll write a more full accounting of this year and my future worries in the end of year review for 2022, a damn lot has changed this year!

Until then, have a great Christmas and I’ll see you in January!