It is Rocket Science. Renee Horton Ph.D

Episode 126

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Episode Description

According to NASA’s Renee Horton Ph.D., It Is Rocket Science. Dr. Renee is a children’s book author, a compelling and international inspirational speaker who brings her epic personal story, expertise, and incredible personality to each of her award-winning presentations. Dr. Renee also serves as a NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Quality Engineer at Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and works diligently in the community for STEM education and STEM outreach.

She is also the founder of Unapologetically Being, Inc., a nonprofit for advocacy and mentoring in STEM. Dr. Renee is also the proud mother of three and grandmother of two.

Dr. Renee and Bob discuss:

  • Being jobless and homeless at a pivotal time in her life.
  • Accidentally becoming a children’s book author.
  • Long term benefit of investing over buying shoes.
  • Jar savings strategy for self-pampering.
  • Keeping it real and being authentic.

To learn more about Renee Horton Ph.D., click here, or to buy Dr. Renee’s children’s books Series, click on Dr. H. Explores the Universe: Mercury to Mars Jupiter to Uranus.

@reneehortonphd, @drhexplores

Dr. Renee’s Books

Episode Transcription

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Bob: [00:01:00] Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. And in this episode, we’re going to explore, question, examine, converse, dig deep, expose, laugh and cry about the money beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges of our next guest. Turn up the volume, listen, learn and laugh.

[00:00:24] Hey, I’m Bob Wheeler welcome to week two of March money mindset. We want to stay conscious and intentional in our financial decision-making throughout the month of March and beyond to help record your money journal and financial decision-making. We are giving away two free journals each day this week. Go to themoneynerve.com/freshstart 2021.

[00:00:46] Enter to win your free journal today. Come back next week for week three of March money mindset for more giveaways.

[00:00:58] I just want to tell you, I am not a rocket scientist, but my next guest is. Our next guest is Dr. Renee Horton, who is a compelling, inspirational international speaker who brings her epic, personal story, expertise and incredible personality to each of her award winning presentations. She’s an advocate for diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Called STEM.

[00:01:22] And she works diligently in the community for STEM education and STEM outreach. She’s also the founder of Unapologetically Being Inc., a nonprofit for advocacy and mentoring in STEM. She was named the Louisianian of the year, featured in Louisiana life magazine. And she is honored in a group of nine individuals who stand out in their professions and give back and represent what’s best about Louisiana. She’s a native of Baton Rouge and is a graduate of LSU with a PhD in material science, with a concentration in physics, from the university of Alabama. Go Bama! As the first African-American to receive this degree. In her day job, she serves, just her day job, because she’s got a million jobs, in her day job she serves as a NASA sponsor. NASA space launch system, quality engineer at Michoud assembly facility in New Orleans. And I said, Michoud, right, sorta  Throughout her academic career, she has received numerous accolades and awards, including the black engineer of the year trailblazer award.

[00:02:25] She is the author. This is my favorite part. She is the author of Dr. H explores the universe, a children’s series, Dr. H and her friends. And Dr. H explores the ABCs. She’s a proud member of Delta Sigma, theta sorority, as well as the proud mother of three and grandmother of two. And she still has tons and tons of energy must be from all those rockets.

[00:02:47] Renee. So good to have you here.

[00:02:50]Renee: [00:02:50] Thank you for having me, Bob.

[00:02:52] Bob: [00:02:52] So I love that the cosmos are behind you. You are a force. And we met through Dr. Lamar, Darnell shields on a summit. And you know, I had to have you.

[00:03:04]Renee: [00:03:04] Oh, I like the way that sounds Bob. Woo.

[00:03:09] Bob: [00:03:09] You have been getting around, you are on billboards. You are, you’ve got this, these books and what inspired you to write the books?

[00:03:16] Renee: [00:03:16] So I have to tell the real story behind the book and then the whole story I give the other one. So I didn’t know what a Bitmoji was and And then everybody was posting this stuff like these Bitmoji characters. And I said, one day, very boldly on Facebook. I want a  bitmoji. And then my girlfriend hits me and she goes, Oh, I got this illustrator who created my bitmoji.

[00:03:39] So that meant she didn’t know what it was either. And he could do you one. So I contacted this illustrator and he created The the character. Right. And then I posted it and I was like, look at my Bitmoji. And my son was like, that’s not a bitmoji, That’s an, avatar. That’s a character Ma.. I was like, Oh, that’s a  bitmoji.

[00:03:58] He was like, download the app. I created a Bitmoji. I was like, Oh, this was a lot cheaper. Cause that paid a lot, for the character, you know? And so I started using my character. Like on my presentations and people, finally, somebody asked me one day, like, what are you going to do with that? And I said Oh yeah, I’m going to write a story.

[00:04:19] And it’s the character. And they went, Oh, okay, well, when’s it coming out? And I realized right then, right. I was standing in a pile of poop or something because it was like, What did you say that for? And I was like I said it, but I had said it. And then people started asking me, people were like, those people from that conference were like, Hey, when is the book come out?

[00:04:40] Can we pre-order? And so we went into this …I went into this mode of getting the story created. Talking to the illustrator, trying to figure out how do you do this? And then I was talking to another guy and one of his goals in life was to illustrate a book to show his grandmother that he was using his skills outside of football.

[00:05:02] Right. He’s an engineer, so he’s brilliant. And then he, but he’s also an amazing artist. And so him and I talked about that. And then, so he created the storyboards for the story, and then we turned the storyboards over to the illustrator and then the book was like published. And then we were like, now what do we do?

[00:05:20] Cause you know, we sunk like about a grand into this book to get each book, cost me about a grand to get going. And and so for us, we, like, we got families and kids and he’s got you know, he’s got other stuff and he’s like, now what do we do? And I was like, I have no clue. So we immediately became Arthurs and book publishers and we didn’t know.

[00:05:40] And, but the first book did really well. We sold a thousand books the first on the first book with no major marketing, with no publisher behind us, just based off of social media and people knowing us and us just going places. And then it was crazy because. When it picked up, it picked up and it was like, people started requesting us.

[00:05:59] Like, can you come in and read the book during Dr. Seuss week? I was like, I thought we were supposed to read Dr. Seuss books. They were like, you are, but you’ll read the Dr. Seuss book first and then you’ll read your book. And so I have been all across the United States. I’ve been to Jamaica to read this book.

[00:06:12] I mentioned that I’ve been to the Virgin islands to read this book. I read this book and Uganda. So it’s just like I’m blown away at. What the doors that the book open. And I didn’t like, I wish we had brought somebody financial on the team though, because we brought everybody else on, right. Like creators and all of this stuff.

[00:06:33] And then it’s like, well, how do you pay for these books? And it’s literally. I have been paying for these books since 2017. So I have been paying pretty much everything since 2017 and they were like, you can get a backer. And then I had somebody offered me a contract and they wanted 33% and I was like, no, that’s okay.

[00:06:49] We’ll just go by. I that’s stupid. And I can do math. So I’m almost certain 33% is not a good deal. And so that’s how the book came across. And then they were like, what is your purpose of the book? And then it immediately was like, the purpose of the book is I really want to change the face of STEM right there aren’t books that aren’t a lot of books about black characters are bad characters that are in science and especially ones that are bald, beautiful, and hearing disabled that just, you know, I’m just that unicorn land by myself. And so we did the book and it’s always amazing. I’ll run into kids who are deaf or hearing impaired and they’re like, you’re like me, and then they identify with it. Right. Or a little girls identify with it. Oh, the sweetest one was this little white boy who says, when I grow up, I’m going to be just like Dr.

[00:07:37] Horton. And we all stopped. And I went, yeah. Just like me, he says, yeah, super hero. I was like, Oh God, thank you. That’s the wrong way? sweet pea.

[00:07:49] Bob: [00:07:49] Well, it’s, you know, I think, you know, you’re a big advocate for for diversity and inclusion. And I mean, I don’t have to be captain obvious here that like there’s just not equal representation in, in all of that.

[00:08:02]And Like how you, I mean, yes, you have to be a trailblazer, but it also has to be hard. Like there have to be a lot of challenges that other folks don’t have to deal with.

[00:08:13] Renee: [00:08:13] There are. And I’ve been in the game now awhile. I did my first public talk, like in 2000 and. I think 2005, 2006, right. Somewhere back up in there. And just that even to be able to be at some of the tables that I’ve been able to be at has been amazing. The barriers are still there. You know, I log on to Twitter to see the younger generation and they’re still having some of the same problems. Right. We still have a white male aggression and white male aggression is like running rampant right now in the U S Trump man, may some of y’all think that y’all got big balls and y’all don’t, but then, you know, you don’t, but you know, he gave them a false sense of power to see him be able to do whatever.

[00:08:59] Right. And so now we’re, we’re still dealing with that within, you know, within the academic. Community as well. And even in industry, in some places, and then there are some organizations that are really just getting it, right?

[00:09:11]Bob: [00:09:11] Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think, you know Because tying it back to, to NASA, you know, the movie Hidden Figures really made people much more aware who might not have been, I’m sure there are many people that were already very aware, but at least for white America to start to go, Oh my God.

[00:09:29] Renee: [00:09:29] I’ve worked for NASA and had never heard the story.

[00:09:32] Bob: [00:09:32] Wow.

[00:09:33]Renee: [00:09:33] Until the story was written and told. You know, and one of the things is I’m, I’m really big into like that black history. Right. And then that part of the richness of it. And the, one of the local, the local PBS channel here asked me to do a segment where we were being interviewed. And I didn’t want to do it because it was like, Oh, I don’t want to do that.

[00:09:54] And they call it, you know, they, she talked me into it and I finally did it. And. The guys at my job had constantly told me about these group of ladies, which they had deemed The Wire Harness Ladies. And these ladies were efficient. These ladies were like first pass quality. And first pass quality means that when it goes to get checked, it’s passing on the first time.

[00:10:15] So these people were like, first-class quality. He was like, they had a whole lot of pride. He was like, Hey, you just didn’t mess with them. Well, not one time in my brain. Did it ever occur to me that they were black?

[00:10:27] Bob: [00:10:27] Wow.

[00:10:28]Renee: [00:10:28] And then when I go to do this segment, they were like, this is so-and-so and so-and-so, and I’m looking like excuse me, like, you’re The Wire Harness Ladies?

[00:10:36] And they were like,

[00:10:37] Girl, yeah. They never said you were black. , and so those stories. It’s almost like either, they’re afraid to add the color into the story, or they don’t understand the importance of adding the color into the story. Right. I got a chance to meet Katherine Johnson and got to kneel at her feet, cried like a baby, because you know, it’s one of those things where I understand that.

[00:11:03] I’m standing on her shoulders, you know, in the work that I do. And she’s the one who opened the door. Her greatness opened the door. And it’s really important though, that at least white America understands that when we were deemed not to have the intellectual ability, right. That there were plenty of us that were taking us to the moon already.

[00:11:23] Bob: [00:11:23] Yeah, it’s such, yeah, it’s a super inspiring story. And also, wow, very eyeopening. Did you, since you didn’t know about these women, were you at five years old saying I want to be a rocket scientist. I want to work for NASA. Did you have those kinds of ambitions and was that fueled by your mom? Where did you getyour drive?

[00:11:47] Renee: [00:11:47] My my, I want to be in science or space or with NASA came at about nine when I got my telescope. So my dad bought us a telescope and I got it one Christmas and we had just a spot, a beautiful spot. We climbed up on the roof and. Parched up there. And we were able to see the stars and things like that.

[00:12:04] And that became like my immediate, I want to be an astronaut. I want to find out what the rest of the universe is like, right. Not what the rest of the world is like, but what the rest of the universe is like. And I was always inquisitive as a child and my parents were really good about pushing those things for us, everything I wanted to try before my parents divorced, I did, and they divorced at 13 and then, you know, things were really bad cause we were really.

[00:12:28] poor and then there was no, you know, my mom had to be extremely selective. Like, do I pay the light bill or do I pay for you to go to this enrichment course? Right. And so that’s kind of the thing, you know, that we had to deal with. But my love for NASA came from wanting to know what was out in the universe besides us.

[00:12:47] Bob: [00:12:47] That’s so cool. And did your parents, so they encourage you to do whatever and try things. Did you did they talk to you about money? Did they know?

[00:12:58] Renee: [00:12:58] I didn’t know anything about bills. I didn’t know anything about money. The very first time I took my kids to to Disney world, it cost me like. Seven grand.

[00:13:08] And I know there’s somebody out there, like you spent seven grand, Disney is expensive. We were a family of four kids, two adults. And it’s roughly about a grand. Maybe 1100 per person, 1200 per person. So roughly right up in there when you’re going and I’m talking about, that’s like the, we did the dinner packages, the hotel, we had to do two hotel rooms because the rooms are teeny.

[00:13:31] So we did two hotel rooms. We did the dinner packages. We talked about the tickets, the, the flights, the car travel from the airport. So it was like some mad, crazy number. Well, the catch is my father used to take us to Disney world. For like, there were five or six summers we went and like, after spending that money, I called my dad on the phone. Like, yo bro, like, I don’t even know how you pulled that off, but I need to say thank you for that experience because it made me want to give it to my kids. Not my kids talking about when you to take your grand baby back. Yes, me and the grand baby. I ain’t take nobody else. And it’s like in no parents, we all sleep in the same room.

[00:14:12] You know, I’m gonna feed them out my purse. I didn’t know that. Out my backpack, you know, like that, but it was like, no, we never talked about money. Never, not anything about the savings or any of that, or, or to be talking about like, what’s our plan for the future or how do we get there? All I know is just supposed to pay your bills. Right. And then you do what you want with the rest of your money and that’s it. And you know what my thing is,

[00:14:43] Bob: [00:14:43] We’ll get to that talking about walking, which is the transition from shoes, which then I’ve inferred that you’d like to spend money on. You told a story that I just think is so Well, it’s humorous. It probably wasn’t humorous at the time. But I think it’s something that people can relate to because we’re all sometimes out there trying to present a certain way. Right. And, Oh, you’re a doctor. Oh, you’re this? And so your life must be like that. So tell me about. Graduating.

[00:15:12] Renee: [00:15:12] So yeah, it’s about, and those, the stories I go, and I’m very, very focused on graduating. I’m I’m ready to get out. I had had enough of Alabama. I had had enough of the racism that was there. It was, I gotta get out here. I’m in jail is what I was thinking. And so we go and I graduate. And two of my kids are still at home with me and the catch is I graduate and I don’t have a job. And now I don’t have a place to live either because now I’ve run out of the school money and it’s like, yo, what do I do?

[00:15:45] And so I, you know, and I’m just a very prideful person. I was like, I’m gonna give myself 30 days. I might be able to, you know, shakes up and lose. Maybe somebody will be able to find me a job or something. I was in Al at the university of Alabama at the time. So I was thinking maybe I could just get an admin job, you know, or something.

[00:16:00] But I immediately found out that I was overqualified for everything. Nobody at McDonald’s would hire me burger King, nowhere. No, it’s like nowhere. And so for 30 days I crashed at two very good friend’s houses and they were like, you can always stay here. And he was like, I just didn’t feel right, right.

[00:16:19] But I was crashing every now and then, like when I need to shower, that kind of thing. And then the other days I was sleeping in my truck, like with all my belongings literally packed in the truck and, and then I had a Ram at the time with the open bed. So it was like, everything that could fit in the back seat was in the backseat or in the front seat, wherever it was.

[00:16:40] And then I had. Storage. And I could go back and forth, you know, to the storage, that kind of thing. And I was never really, it was just like, Oh, this is like an adventure. And that’s the way I kept looking at it. They were like, where are you? I was like, I’m homeless right now, but you can always mail something here and I can pick it up.

[00:16:58] And that would be like, You’re homeless. I was like, yeah, don’t worry about it. It’s not for ever. I’m going to find that stuff. So my mom kept saying, why don’t you just come, Oh, I want you to just come home. And you know, it wasn’t my home per se because my pet, my mother had remarried and this was the home her and my stepfather had built.

[00:17:16] So it wasn’t like the home I had grew up in or the home I was raised in with her, but she was like, come home. So finally, after about 32 days showering every other day and eating in other people’s houses and following other people’s rules, I had had enough and I said, okay, I’m, I’m gonna go home now.

[00:17:37] There’s also a little loophole to that. That was around the time the child support check came. And so now I had gas to go home right now. So I drive home and now I’m going to move in with my mom. And it was the most humbling experience of my life because immediately you, I was very focused on the fact that I do have a PhD. And th this was a twofold thing too, because the first thing was the guy I had been dating had actually put me out, like right after graduation and I had to actually stop and examine myself to say like, I must be a horrible person for somebody just, you know, be willing to let me be homeless. Right.

[00:18:18] Yeah. And so I had to work on me and then the other thing was my relationship with my mother was of such a dynamic that it was not great before I got there. But my mom’s house is upstairs, downstairs, and every single one and she would get up and she would say, Hey doc, thus, the reminder that I have this, and I have this status that I have this title, right.

[00:18:41] She says, do you, did you find a job last night? And the first time she did it, tell me, I was like, wow, like really? Like,

[00:18:53] so I was really like irritated and angry with her, but I answered. I said, don’t ma’am I didn’t. She says, well, I have a list of things for you to do. And that list included cleaning toilets, cleaning the baseboards, even do this shit, man. So now I’m cleaning toilets, cleaning, baseboards cooking. Just, they would make a request like, Hey, do you mind cooking this for dinner?

[00:19:14]My stepfather loves my white beans. So he would say, Hey, you know what? You make me a pot of white beans. Would you make some smothered chicken? And I’d be like, sure. You know, that would be in the kitchen. And the entire time I’m thinking in my head, right. I cannot believe this is what I’m doing. And then my uncle’s wife. Called in a favor and got me a job at office Depot. And the folks at office Depot had no idea who I was, no idea what I was doing. No nothing, but the manager did. And the manager was like, no, you’re not going to stay once you go. You know, once you get a job, he was like, but I’m just happy you’re here. And that was, he was like, do you want to go into management?

[00:19:54] I was like, no, I just want whatever job I’ll even clean the toilets. And he’s like, no, we got to clean the service for that. I was just happy to be functional and making a little bit of money different in my pocket. Right. And so I went to work every day early and I worked every day in the copy center as the bestest copy center girl, I could be, I was really excited.

[00:20:18] I was excited about all the stories people would come in and all the people that I can help. And then the day came and somebody dropped a gift off for me and it said to doc, And somebody else read it. You know, your coworkers or nosy coworkers are very nosy people out. And so the coworker says, why he call you dad?

[00:20:39] And I was like, I don’t know why he wrote that on there. And the girl was like hold on. And then she goes, is she still got my bag though? Right. And she goes to the manager and she goes, do you know who doc is? And then he was like, yeah, that’s Dr. Horton. That’s probably hers. And immediately everyone was like, what kind of doctor is she?

[00:20:58] He was like, yeah, she’s got this physics degree. And she used to work for NASA and they came out and he goes, well, this shit ain’t rocket science, why you  here. And then I got a job. Which was about an hour, maybe hour and 15 minutes away, hour and a half away. But I still worked for the company all the way through the beginning of the year.

[00:21:17] Bob: [00:21:17] Wow.

[00:21:18] Renee: [00:21:18] As my thank you. I worked during Christmas season as my thing.

[00:21:22]Bob: [00:21:22] Oh my goodness. And and then it launched from there.

[00:21:26] Renee: [00:21:26] Yeah. Well, there are some other things I did this 90 day transfer. I was with my mother 90 days, maybe 95 days or a hundred days. And I did what I considered to be my 90 day transformation.

[00:21:37] I really dug into who I was wanting to change who I was. And I don’t think if I had done that. Maybe nothing else would have launched. I ended up going back to NASA eight months afterwards, and then I moved back home after two years and I can honestly say. Moving back home. So the 2014 is the launch period that things really started taking off.

[00:21:58] Bob: [00:21:58] Yeah. And did, do you and your mom still talk or did that end it?

[00:22:03] Renee: [00:22:03] No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I was actually very grateful for her. Treatment. Yeah, it was that, that, that keeps me extremely humble. Right. What I do understand is that God could give you whatever, but he could take it away whenever. And so you could be up today and literally lose everything tomorrow.

[00:22:22] I put my money in some crypto. I didn’t tell you that part. Yeah. And I’m mad like, Oh, I lost my money and they were like, girl, leave the money in there. I’m like, let me taking my money out of there. My love $40 is not doing so.

[00:22:38] Bob: [00:22:38] You took it out?

[00:22:40]Renee: [00:22:40] No, cause they told me to leave. They said you have to leave it.

[00:22:44] Bob: [00:22:44] It’s a long-term, it’s a long-term thing. You cannot make emotional investments. You have to put the money in and not. Look at a daily because otherwise you’re going to do something long haul. I left it, I left it alone and left it alone. So good. Now, do you talk with your, you you’ve got three kids. Do you, did you talk with your kids about money? Did you ever, or even just like, Hey, we ain’t got it today.

[00:23:09] Renee: [00:23:09] So yeah, that was My, my experience with my children was extremely different about money because I was poor poor. When I went back to school, like I was making nine or $10,000 a year with three kids. So we’re a family of four off of nine or $10,000 a year.

[00:23:26] That’s less than a thousand dollars a month. And so the kids, you know, I got child support for the boys. I got child support. I was with my little girl’s dad off and on. So he took very good care of her, but as far as money coming into my household that I earned because I was a student was right at a thousand or maybe just a little bit less than a thousand.

[00:23:47] So I’ll always say it’s about nine to $10,000. I remember one year my income tax was about nine to $10,000, but so I took out my student loans and so my kids understood that we lived on a budget and, but on a budget. I did so much better with that money than I think I do with this money. Because knowing that it was very limited, right.

[00:24:08] It made you have to think of other ways to get things done. Right. So when people would say, what do you want for Christmas? I’d say, Oh, I want Two museum passes or, you know, I want a family pass to the children’s museum and people went buy those things. Right. And then I would use those throughout the year to be able to treat the kids.

[00:24:28] And, you know, those passes worked all across the United States. And so I did so many of those resorts. Deals where they tell you, come in and look at the reason I was the queen of booking notes because I wasn’t buying nothing cause I had no money. And then I would go in and we’d had his free stay for three days and then we’d find the museums or find the beach and you know, and do all of those.

[00:24:50] And so I think I was better with my money when I had little than I am now, but now everybody’s in my money. And so my oldest is a lot better with money than the other two. And I think it’s because he probably went through so much with me with the, when we didn’t have, versus when we did have, whereas my daughter, her father was an OB GYN and was loaded.

[00:25:14] And so she’s always used to saying, well, can I have, and you know, and then it shows up. Right. And so that they’re very different. And they’re eight years apart. And their ideal of money is very different. My oldest is a saver. I just got him to start saving, to open his Vanguard account to start his.

[00:25:33] And so I’ve had those conversations with them, like they know we have life insurance. They know those are things that you actually pay for, and that are a part of who you are and, you know, those kinds of things. Those are the things that you prepare for. And so it’s. It’s definitely the more that I learn, the more that I’m able to teach them now.

[00:25:51] Whereas even with my parents, we learned absolutely nothing. Yeah. No,

[00:25:56] Bob: [00:25:56] Well, you know, I do, I totally agree with the piece though, when you don’t have a lot of money, because we had a big family, not a lot of money, and even after college, didn’t have a lot of money. You get more creative. You have to, you, you gotta, you gotta get creative. Or you go without. You know, aluminum foil was my best friend, make a costume. You can make a casserole, dish, man, all kinds of stuff.

[00:26:23] Renee: [00:26:23] But you know, now it’s like, you know, and they laugh at me because they’ll see me draining my grease. I’m from the South. I’m trying to, I’m not throwing that away. He was there 12 times, probably about the 10th time. I might need to check it, but, you know, and so people come in and I kind of throw them off as a doctor, right? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t have a ma I do have a chef. I do love eating. And so my son is a chef, but I also have another chef here in New Orleans that when I really want something great, I can call him up and he’s reasonably priced.

[00:26:54] He absolutely loves the idea that he’s cooking for a rocket scientist. Right. I love it. And that’s the thing too. I haven’t really taken advantage of all the things people always want to do. And I know that that would save me money. I’m like, no, I’ll just pay full price. My girlfriend is like, they don’t want you to pay full price no more,

[00:27:12]Bob: [00:27:12] They don’t want you to pay it.

[00:27:13] Renee: [00:27:13] I don’t even want you to pay, but you know, and so. Hmm right now, I’m like in that in-between I work for the government so anybody can look up my salary, but, you know, I don’t make a lot, but I make a lot, you know, I’m above the medium income here. And so, you know, for other people here, it’s a really big deal.

[00:27:31] How much money I make. And then again, I have to tell people, well, you know, I was doing really good before Corona. Before COVID right, because it was just me and I was taking care of my household. Well, now I’m taking care of two households. And as you know, sometimes I don’t even have a, you know, I’m not even sure if I’m going to have enough money to, to, you know, for the next week I’m back in the freezer, you know, looking to see.

[00:27:53] You know, what can I get 10 minutes, you know, five meals out of this, you know with that right now. But you know, we have light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m happy about that, but it’s just like, you know, people have expectations of me as a doctor and I don’t have those. I don’t, you know, I just don’t, I don’t have those anymore, but I did do better with less.

[00:28:15] Bob: [00:28:15] I love that you’re a doctor who drains the grease. Cause I don’t think anybody else knows about those little cans and the little we had one of those and I’m like, where can you find those? Right? They don’t have mountain California. I think they, no, you don’t just go get ’em. So, you know, the containers, like people always put their cereal and stuff in.

[00:28:32] Well, they sell these silver ones and I got a silver one, like with just a clear top and the knob on it, but it was for something else, right. It was for though. Just, I don’t know what, and then I take, I’m just a strainer, like the strainer that I can use for my juicer. Or the good old fashioned way. He puts the paper towels over the top. You pour the grease in, you put the top on you let it

[00:28:57] Sort of like a cheese cloth, but a little less expensive.

[00:29:03]Renee: [00:29:03] Cover with a paper towel on there. And you know, and I make people laugh. Cause they’ll be like, You know, you would just buy more,Why you want me to keep buying more oil?

[00:29:15] Bob: [00:29:15] Right here in my container. And you also spend on a chef, right? So like both ends. Right?

[00:29:22] Renee: [00:29:22] My chef only comes in certain times though. Like if I’m having a business dinner in my home, I no longer. Like doing business dinners away from home because of my hearing one, but two people recognize me and then it kind of disrupts everything.

[00:29:38] So if I’m going to be doing business, especially where I want to negotiate, it puts me a little further up on the negotiation when I ask people to come into my home. Right. But I don’t want the home to smell like food, food. Like right then when they’re coming. So usually I’ll ask the chef to prepare and then he’ll, he’ll come in.

[00:29:56] Sometimes he comes in and serve or sometimes he’ll, I’ll pick it up and then just reheat. So,

[00:30:02] Bob: [00:30:02] Yeah. And what, like a lot of people would say, what do you mean? You hire a chef here and there, like, it wouldn’t be in their mindset to even have that occur to them. What. Inspired you or, you know, just, well, I need a chef, like, and I’m just going to go get a chef. .

[00:30:17] Renee: [00:30:17] So actually this particular chef, like I ran into him, he was, I used to pay for a hotel room, write it off as a business expense. Right. But pay for the hotel room for two days and then go in there, mad, crazy, and then crank out, advertisements whenever I needed for Dr. H to survive my character, my book to survive off of the next three or four months while I was doing this once a quarter.

[00:30:43] And then I would go in, well, I was, I go to the same hotel because when I’m not cranking out stuff, I’m watching the airplanes it’s hotel is right. Was right by the airport. Great. They got so used to me coming that they. Negotiated a cheaper rate for me. Right? Because that was the one I was constantly frequenting.

[00:31:01] And then the chef I met the chef one day, he was like, Hey, we’re going to be doing this taste testing. Cause we’re rolling out the menu. Well, him and I became really good friends after that because I was really critical. Right. I was like, you know how I like this, but you know, it was too much of this. And he goes, usually people won’t tell me.

[00:31:17] You know, if there’s something just not right. I was like, I don’t know, my, my palate is just like either excited or it’s not. And if it’s like in that in-between, then I could kind of say something to you. I’d rather just say something to you. Right. And so him and I became really good friends, but he gets a kick out of being able to tell people he cooked for a rocket scientist.

[00:31:37] So, you know, there’s a trade off there. Right. You know, there’s that trade off.

[00:31:41] Bob: [00:31:41] So it’s a win-win. Yeah.

[00:31:43] Renee: [00:31:43] And so for me, sometimes, you know, sometimes you gotta be able to have. The ability to do something for yourself. When it comes up to my birthday, I saved my money in a jar. That’s over here in the corner and I put all my change in there and I put all my $5 bills in there.

[00:31:57] So I go into my wallet. If there’s a $5 bill in there, I stuff it in there. You know, sometimes I’ll put twenties in there. If I do a gig, I’ll take that and stuff in there. And then for my birthday, whatever is in that jar. Is what I spend on me and I don’t say no to myself. So if I’ve saved up $1,200, I’ve got $1,200 to spend in 16 days.

[00:32:17]You know, sometimes I’ve only been able to save $50 and $50 is what I spent, but it’s like not in the budget, it’s the, you know, it’s the thing outside of it doesn’t affect anything else. And that kind of thing. And one, you know, one year I was like, I’m spending it on the chef and. Brought the chef in and treated my friends and they were like, we’re paying for the chef.

[00:32:37] And then they paid for the chef and my money went back to my check. That’s nice. And how long have you been doing the $5 in the jug? I love that I do that too. I try to tell people, put five bucks in a jar before the weekend, so that it goes into your savings instead of a, to the bar. When I went to the bar last night, so you’re going to have to move my date to wings day.

[00:32:59]But the fact, so the whole jar thing came about when I was in undergraduate with the kids. And like I said, it was extremely poor. What I would do is that I made a rule that if you came into the house, you had to give us your change. And so when people would come to visit, it became like a ha you know, they were excited like, Oh, I got the change for the kids, you know, and the kids would count it out and separated out.

[00:33:21] Right. And then we put it in a jar. Well, that jar we collected over the year was our vacation jar. And so we would take it and we would calculate out of it, like how much was in the jar. And then sometimes my mom would match it. Right. Or my little girl’s dad would say, well, you guys save yours and then I’ll match it.

[00:33:42] You know, I always would come in like, ah, give us twice as much. And then now we’ve got a better vacation, but we would, you know, so we were doing those kinds of things. And so that’s where the jar idea came from. That’s how my son saves his money in the jar in a jar. So that’s how it came about. And then for each one of the kids’ birthday I would start just a little box.

[00:34:03] And then the money that would be in the box is what their gift was. And then now it just gets to the point where when I get my income tax, I bought a hundred dollars each one in a boxes, and I’m done like they, this is what you getting for your birthday. There’s hundred dollars, like a bag gift, or you have what you want.

[00:34:18] And they’d be like, my son, the oldest one wants to gift the other two were like, give me the cash.

[00:34:23] Bob: [00:34:23] Yeah, I think that’s so awesome. I actually have a lot of jars in my house with the coins and quarters and it adds up, it does, it adds up just a little bits here and there. I love that everybody get a jar and start saving. Family vacations or whatever it is save for the future.

[00:34:42]All right. We’re at the fast five. I got to ask you these five questions and the first one. Well there, we’ll just going to go through them fast five top of mind.

[00:34:50]How many pairs of shoes do you own?

[00:34:53] Renee: [00:34:53] All right, so that’s five top of the five. I probably have at least 60 or 70 pair of shoes and of that 60 and 70, I’m going to say at least a half or a little bit more than half are tennis shoes. Okay. And have you worn all of them? Yes, yes. Yeah. So I usually buy them and wear them within 30 days of purchasing them. The question you probably should ask me is how am I more than worn them more than once? And that answer would be not all of them.

[00:35:22] Bob: [00:35:22] That is too funny. You’re almost up there with Emelda. Is your, is your glass half empty or half full?

[00:35:31] Renee: [00:35:31] Is my glass half empty or half full? My glass is overrunning actually. I just, I, I, I look at things just a whole lot different I’m counting what my blessings are every day. And so for me, even when the glass has been drained, it’s still not empty to me. So, and it’s still not half full. I just think maybe the glass shrunk and so it’s still full.

[00:35:53] Bob: [00:35:53] I love it. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?

[00:35:58]Renee: [00:35:58] Craziest thing I’ve done now up until the other day. No, I’m done. I was mad crazy about this guy. I just knew I was in love with him. Right. And he turned out to be a jerk, but I wrote his name on the space hardware that went into space and that’s a bad idea. You know, the relationship burned up right. About the same time that that piece of hardware burned up coming back in to the atmospheres thing. Yep.

[00:36:30] Bob: [00:36:30] Oh my God. That is funny. Not many people can say they’ve done that. Very few. If you were the ruler of your own country, what’s the first law you would introduce?

[00:36:41] Renee: [00:36:41] If I was the ruler of my own country was the first law. I would introduce that everybody was equal.

[00:36:48] Bob: [00:36:48] That would be an awesome rule. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

[00:36:53] Renee: [00:36:53] Oh my goodness. If I had a warning label I think it will have to be with, a friend of mine just said and I’m gonna give him a shout out, this is Chief Daughtry, the chief of police and Natchez said, girl, you are on fire all the time. So I would have to say my warning label would, be careful highly explosive.

[00:37:15] Bob: [00:37:15] I won’t disagree. Oh man. You are on fire. So so for money and motivation, our M and M sweet spot, do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom, something you’ve learned over the years, sort of like your jar story, like for people out there that aren’t rocket scientists that you know, yeah. I want to do something slightly different little piece that helped get you through, you know,

[00:37:42] Renee: [00:37:42] Bob, it really was about starting small. What I learned was if I took it directly out of my check before my check ever came to me. Right. I didn’t miss it and it wasn’t part of the budget either. Right. And so, yeah. When I first started with NASA, y’all going to go look this up. I was making $56,000, which is nothing. Once they take out everything, it really comes out to be about 37.

[00:38:05]You, it, but what I did was when I started with NASA, I immediately set up like those the ability to be able to make into other accounts deposit into other accounts. I have like seven accounts open, right? Too, and there’s money going. There’s a count. I don’t have access to that. I have to drive to the bank for that money is still there and I never want to drive now.

[00:38:27]And then I have accounts that can be switched in between, and then I have accounts that are. At totally separate banks. I bank with three separate banks, two credit unions, and then a bank. And I handle all of those things very differently. My mortgage is an account by itself and the money goes into the account for the mortgage.

[00:38:47]I don’t have a debit card for it. There’s no way to take it out. It’s limited. I had the bank set it up to where it’s limited on. Withdrawals. So there’s only three withdrawals a month and I know one of those has to be my mortgage. So if I have to move something, I have to be very mindful of that.

[00:39:05] And then I have two other accounts where there’s the screw off account, where there’s a budget in there. And when that money is gone in the month, if I spent it on a pair of shoes, it’s gone. But if it’s not, if I hustle up and do anything on the outside I’m teaching. And so I get $200 every two weeks from a teaching gig that goes into there.

[00:39:24] And so now I’m all excited. Cause then I got $400 for screw off money. Right. And that, but that’s in there. And so, and people go, how do you keep up with all that? Well, you don’t really have to, right. Like if you know, your bills are going to cost, you. Outside of my mortgage. The other bills are roughly about $1,200, right?

[00:39:42] Not credit card stuffs are up to about $1,200. Well, that goes into a separate account. All of those are automatic draft. I don’t do anything. They come out the money’s there. It never runs out. It never overdrafts itself. So those are just little tidbits that definitely helped me out. You know, and I got those tidbits from other people, you know, I’ve heard the envelope, right?

[00:40:01] The envelope saving when you write on there, which you want, but that never worked for me. Cause the kids would find the envelope and they’d go. I found the envelope that you had for your Tad’s. I am going to come take $5 out of there. Okay. So the envelope does not work for me, but No, they do not bother the jar.

[00:40:17] And then, but the bank accounts worked for me because even when I’m out of the country or somewhere else, and I have to move something or do something, I can still take care of it.

[00:40:26] Bob: [00:40:26] Yeah, I think that’s so important. I have followed a similar path. I’ve got different bank accounts that aren’t linked to my main account so that I can’t get to the money.

[00:40:36]If I’m going to get the money, it takes five or 10 days. So it’s just easier to just fricking leave the money where it’s at. And then I’ve got my screw off money. My play money. If I save it up and I get a thousand bucks. Fantastic. If I got 20 bucks, I got 20 bucks, but I don’t. You know, what’s in, there is in there.

[00:40:54] Like I don’t get to go borrow from other accounts. So I think, you know, you asking people and helping you get to do that. That was just so spot on. So I totally think people should do it. Baby steps, small, small bits, lots of accounts. So you sort of lose track of all the money that like…

[00:41:13]Renee: [00:41:13] When I started with stash, cause I, you know, a friend of mine was like, you should open a stash account.

[00:41:17] I’m like, sure. I’ll just do that. And I opened it up and I started with $5 and then now I think I transferred maybe $50. And at one point I was transferring a hundred dollars and then next thing I knew I had. The $3,000, it took to open the other account. I was like, Whoa. And then I took that money out and then that opened the other investment account.

[00:41:38] And I set up, you know, for deposit to go into other investment account. So it felt really good to be able to do those things. And this is, you know, this is why I’m still. Supporting a second household. So I’m about to get some relief in that in about three months. And I’m like, woo. I’m about to be big ball in bacon.

[00:41:56] Like get me two of them. Vanguard accounts, you know, so,

[00:42:00] Bob: [00:42:00] and a couple pair of shoes.

[00:42:01] Renee: [00:42:01] No, no, no, no, no. So this guy named Bob. Convinced me that I probably shouldn’t keep buying shoes. So what I did was I have got it down now and the shoes will only be bought during October. So my birthday month when I don’t tell myself, no, unless it’s just a die for pair of limited edition, it has to be something like that.

[00:42:26] Right. Yeah. But yeah. I actually started really looking at, like, after you said that to me, like, don’t buy any more shoes, Renee. I went back in my closet, right. And I pulled out boxes and I said, you know, if I only had 10 pair of shoes that were related to work, you know, I don’t consider the work shoes as part of the shoes.

[00:42:45] Like I have to have steel toes. Those are not cute. But when I’m looking at everything else, right. I’m really looking at like, I’m about to be 50. My body hurts in places now. Like, are these shoes. Like the best shoes. They’re cute, but are they the best shoes? And I just gave away 4 pairsof shoes this last time we gave to the to the veterans association that picks up.

[00:43:04] So you, you, you hit a nerve with my shoes. And so definitely, but I have been more conscious and I’ve been talking money with my friends. Oh, cool. So that changed as well. After we had the conversation and look, guys, I was in a panel with, on a panel with Bob and we were in the green room and I was like, yo bro, are you financing it all?

[00:43:25] Can you give me a tip? And he gave me some tips and, and believe it or not, I follow them. It hasn’t been 90 days and I’ve actually followed his tips and I feel better about something financially and started talking to my friends and they’re, you know, they’re heavily investing as well. And they’re looking at, Hey, I want to retire in 10 years.

[00:43:45] I’m like, what are you going to do? And they was like, and if you hit it big, I was like, if I hit a big, I’m getting Bob to money and figure out what to do with their money. And then. Then he could give me an allowance for shoes.

[00:43:56] Bob: [00:43:56] There you go. And you can buy them in May and October.

[00:44:01] Renee: [00:44:01] Yeah.I like that!

[00:44:03] Bob: [00:44:03] Spread out the love. Yeah. Well, you know what I mean? The, one of the things that I love about you, Dr. Renee, is the fact that you’re. Real, you know, you’re, you’re a doctor, but you don’t have this presentation in your head that, Oh, I need to perform a certain way. Even though other people may expect it, you know, you’re saving the grease.

[00:44:23] You’re buying in your shoes, you bring it in your chef. Like you just, you…

[00:44:29]Renee: [00:44:29] eat the ends of the bread. Me too.

[00:44:32] Bob: [00:44:32] And I think that’s so important because I think. It’s great to have money. Money is certainly very helpful in living. But happiness and experiences are so much more important. And being able to take your kids to that Disneyland trip and and going never it’s freaking expensive.

[00:44:50]It really is. But like it’s so important and you’re, you’re helping out your kids and you’ve got two households you’re covering and like, you’re not. You know, you’re not creating mountains of debt. You know, maybe you are that you secretly didn’t know. No, you know, but you’re not keeping it real you’re living.

[00:45:06] Renee: [00:45:06] I got student loans. I could probably touch another 50 people who got student loan debt. I got a hundred K in student loan debt and people say, Oh my God, look, I pay my debt. I’m paying it. You know, and guess what I found out, it helps you build credit. So, you know, I got my student loan debt. I have my, I got a few credit cards.

[00:45:26] Less than 20,000 in debt and credit cards. Cause there’s, I just don’t, you know, just don’t do that with them. I actually use the credit cards to finance. The business, the books and all of that stuff. And so when I do make any money, we, a percentage of that goes back to paying those credit cards off. And I know it wasn’t probably the best way, but I own it it’s mine.

[00:45:46] And so if it ever gets to the point where we’re making a million dollars or somebody.

[00:45:51] Bob: [00:45:51] Whenit get to the point…

[00:45:53] Renee: [00:45:53] You’re right. But that’s what I’m saying. I don’t want anybody, anything except these credit card people. And so, and then not pay that off and then that’ll be that. And then guess what we’ll be, we’ll be walking around here, you know just doing it by shoes and stuff. And take a vacation, take a vacation, fly to the moon.

[00:46:11] Bob: [00:46:11] Where can people find your book?

[00:46:13]Renee: [00:46:13] It’s an Amazon and Amazon books, a million Barnes and noble. The paperback is going to be out of commission for a little bit while we reform it over the next two months. But I do have copies at www dot Dr. H explores.com.

[00:46:27]You can order directly from me and new orders that come directly from me come autograft. And usually. We usually give you a little trinket or something extra in there. But Barnes and noble Books-A-Million Amazon are all places you could get the hard back so you can select the hard bag and get the hard back.

[00:46:42] Bob: [00:46:42] Cool. And where else can people find you on social media? If people want to have you come speak for them inspire kids, inspire adults. Where else can people find you on social media?

[00:46:52]Renee: [00:46:52] Have me come speak for you. You can go over to my webpage and sign up for some time to speak to me and give me your logistics or shoot me an email. Email is Renee at Renee Horton PhD. Dot com the website is www dot Renee Horton, phd.com. And believe it or not all my social media, somebody helped me with branding very well. But you can find me at Renee Orton PhD and Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn dynamo. Oh, God. Yeah. Just started doing this Tik TOK stuff.

[00:47:24] I’m not great at the Tik TOK, so don’t be over it. They get some stuff about to go down. But one of the girls, I took this I was in this class the other day and she was talking about using tick-tock for your business. Right. And then like getting on there and doing some stuff inspirational or funny or whatever it is.

[00:47:41] But tic doc’s just not my thing. I don’t mind going on and watching and looking at it, but that’s a. That’s a different generational stuff. I’m on Instagram quite a bit. Twitter, Facebook is pretty much populated. There’s a business page, a regular page, you know, those kinds of things. And so I keep trying to populate those.

[00:47:58]During the summer I’ve used students and they come in and clean the pages up. Oh, for the book you can go to Dr. H Explorer. So Dr. H explores has a Twitter. It has an Instagram, and it has a Facebook as well. Good. Well, we encourage everybody to go out and buy a book so we can get you to that million dollars a lot quicker so you can get your shoes.

[00:48:16] Bob: [00:48:16] So I want to say to our listeners out there, please, don’t forget to share the love. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And you can give us a like search for money. You should ask all one word,

[00:48:25] subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast player. Visit Apple podcasts and search for money you should ask. Or click on the link below.

[00:48:32] If you prefer to watch your episodes head over to YouTube and subscribe to our channel for more tips, tools, and how to learn, how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd I’m both, but Dr. Renee. It has been such a pleasure.

[00:48:48] I just love your energy. I just want to see you go to the moon and back.

[00:48:53]Renee: [00:48:53] I have to tell you my secret. I got them the first time we got off the phone, I called my girlfriend. I said, Oh, I’m gonna marry, that little white boy,

[00:49:04] Bob: [00:49:04] do I have to come to LSU?

[00:49:05] Renee: [00:49:05] Or. No, no, we can be crossed the world. I don’t even care if I’m gonna marry that little white boy, white boy made me want, . I want to be better. And then I posted on my Facebook page. If y’all not supporting me and being my cheerleader like that little white boy, ain’t got no chance. He is all in.

[00:49:27]Bob: [00:49:27] I am in,

[00:49:28] Renee: [00:49:28] you all use the cheerleader. I love it. I love it too.

[00:49:32]Bob: [00:49:32] It has been so much fun. It’s so much fun.

[00:49:36] Renee: [00:49:36] Are we wrapped up?

[00:49:37] We are wrapped. We just have to wait. We have to …

[00:49:41]Anthony: [00:49:41] Did you say thank you Dr. Horton?I did say,

[00:49:43] Bob: [00:49:43] I did say thank you, Dr. Horton. Thank you, Dr. Horton, just in case I thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Dr . Super thank you, Dr. Horton.

[00:49:53]Renee: [00:49:53] You’re Wecome

[00:49:54] Bob: [00:49:54] I’m being beaten by the, you know, the, the New Zealander. I mean, the Aussie .

[00:50:01] He’s an Aussie.