Skip to content

July Wrap Up

August 5, 2020

Net Worth and Money News

The major money news this month is that we started the process of a refinance! I looked at refinancing into a 15 or 20 year mortgage, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on a 15 year and the rate on the 20 year was not any better. So, we’re refinancing back into a 30-year mortgage at 2.75%, although I fully expect we can pay it off much sooner if we so choose. We did have to bring cash to the table – not to cover closing costs (it was “no cost” or covered by lender credits) but to get the mortgage to a specific threshold that resulted in lower rates. Our month payment is dropping by about $700/month, but we are sinking tens of thousands of cash in. We’ll coast with the lower payment and rebuild our cash, although we did have more cash on hand than we need to anyway. It is only a slight discount from our previous rate, but still too good to pass up.

Our net worth is fine, and hit a new high, which seems like such a disconnect with the world at large. I’m not sure what to think at this point. We are still so far from many goals, but we have more than I can properly comprehend.


July was our first month of the return to daycare, and it has made our COVID-19 life much less stressful on a day-to-day basis than before. My job has been intensely busy, so having access to child care has been a life saver. Our county numbers are not great, nor terrible. We are still basically not leaving the house except for walks and to bring LO to daycare, occasionally picking up takeout. On the other hand, having LO in daycare brings a different kind of stress, worry and uncertainty. It is a no-win situation, but we made a choice.

Local schools have announced distance learning only, which I understand and basically support – I don’t think they can reopen safely right now. The whole situation is frustrating, even though we aren’t yet in the school system. I’m not yet sure how I can help, but I’m trying to see if PTAs or other organizations are looking for monetary donations to… help? I’m not sure what I can do.


Again, I haven’t had time to examine my transactions. Food spending is still up, I’m sure. Travel spending is non-existent, but I didn’t budget much. Our daycare bill finally dropped to toddler rates (which is still very very expensive).

House Projects

Nothing major this month. Some landscaping cleanup. Next month is the new roof, which I’m excited about! It should help a lot with ventilation in our home, especially after we add a whole house attic fan. We don’t have air conditioning, and it is mostly fine. However, if we have too many hot days in a row, the house just doesn’t cool down in the evenings.

New windows are on hold, since we are using a bunch of cash to get our refinance going. We still might pursue them in about 6-12 months, otherwise we’ll do them in about 2 years (original plan).


LO is getting to be such a big kid. She has had a few sputtering of sentences, and is generally a really good communicator. She also is starting to go through a major “dad” phase, sometimes pointing at me and saying “Mom. Go!” and asking me to leave the room. Rude! She’s very physical, likes running and climbing. She learned how to jump. She’s still sleeping well, and is in fact going down for naps and night time with much less fuss than before. We’re considering the transition to a toddler bed, but not ready to pull that trigger yet. She surprised me by counting to 5, but isn’t so interested in learning the ABC song. She knows many letters, but not all.


As I mentioned, this is an ongoing category, but probably light for July and August. All that I have is my monthly donations, combined with abject horror at the ongoing fascism in Portland (and everywhere).


The culmination of over 5 years of work occurred this past month! Everything went smoothly. It isn’t the end, but it is the beginning of a markedly different new phase. The project had so many ups and downs, but I’m glad that I stuck it out.

My newer project has been on the back burner, but is entering its first milestone review this month. I haven’t done the work up to my standards, but I hope it is good enough.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2020 3:15 pm

    The 2.75% 30 year mortgage rate is incredible! We have a 7/1 ARM at 3% that I’m now really glad we did because the jumbo market seems to have frozen up and I wouldn’t want to pay down the mortgage enough to get out of jumbo territory to refinance.

    I’m glad everything went smoothly with your 5 years of work culmination!

    I hear you on the activism donations – it’s really hard to watch. I finally started a monthly donation to the ACLU and to one of our local general help organizations.

    • August 5, 2020 4:25 pm

      The 15 year was at 2.5%, so tempting! But 2.75% is good enough for me. We could have gotten sub-3% without paying down any extra, but really wanted to grab the lower rate.

  2. August 19, 2020 10:58 pm

    Ooh who are you refinancing with? Has the process been ok? I’ve been keeping an eye out for any good refi options and can’t find anything worth doing (I’m looking for sub 3% too). I’m wondering if it’s because we’re still way in jumbo territory now, reading Leigh’s comment.

    LO must be so fun right now, JB misses their small friend and thinks of y’all.

    Activism – Cloud at Wandering Scientist recently posted a great list of things we can do right now that might be handy for you.

    Congrats on the culmination of the work project!

    • August 20, 2020 6:34 pm

      From the Costco mortgage page we were linked up with a lender. You should be able to use the Costco website even if you’re not a member and see what the current rates are without being subjected to any phone calls (unless you ask). We ended up with strong home. No issues. But yes I do think that jumbo is a different story right now.

      I will check out the links. It is always helpful when someone smart does the research for me!


  1. Money & Life Report: August 2020 « A Gai Shan Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: