Making Kids Money Masters

Who is Walter the Vault?

Hey there! I’m Walter the Vault. I am here to teach kids like you all about money.

You will learn that money is used to pay for things that you want and need. You will learn how to become a smart shopper and a good saver. You will learn the importance of helping others who are less fortunate than us.

I will teach you how to make wise decisions about money and, at the same time, make sure that we both have fun doing it!

walt

“I’m Walter the Vault, I’m friendly and nice,
I’m filled up with rhymes and financial advice!”

“Save your nickels, save your dimes; listen well to all my rhymes.
If you do, it’s me you’ll thank, it’s money in your bank.”

W

Wait before you spend any money.

Take a moment and step back from the situation. Waiting before you spend gives you a moment to gather your thoughts. Sometimes, when you rush into a decision, you may make the wrong choice. Instead of being in a hurry to buy something, take your time.

When you see something you want, write it down. Then wait three, four, or five days. After several days, if you still want it, you buy it. But, many times, after waiting, you realize that it’s something that you can live without. It’s better to save that money instead.

So, the next time you are faced with a decision to spend money or not, Wait!

A

Ask yourself questions. Or ask questions of your parents or teachers.

If you are in a store, about to buy something, ask yourself, “Do I really need this or is it something I just feel like buying? Ask yourself, “Am I better off putting the money into savings, instead?”

Ask your parents, “What are some ways that I can earn more money?” or “Where should I put my savings?”

Ask your friends, “Do you want to trade any old items that you no longer want or use?”

Ask your parents, “Are there extra chores that I can do around the house?” or “Where can I donate my time and money to help others?”

Remember, when you need to know something, Ask!

L

Look around for opportunities.

Look for opportunities to save money by buying things when they are on sale. Look to see if there are discount coupons online or in the weekly newspaper. Look to see if your friends, family or classmates have things that they may want to trade. Look to see if there are people in your neighborhood who need help. Looking around will open your eyes to new possibilities. Look!

T

Think before you buy. Think about whether the item is affordable. Thinking will help you make a better decision. “Think” means that you should use your brains before you act. Don’t just do something because the idea just popped into your mind two minutes ago. Think about how you might feel about your decision in a day from now or even a month from now. Tomorrow, will you look back and regret the choice you made today? Remember, before you act, Think!

Karen Tenenbaum, Esq., CPA, LL.M

An attorney for over 35 years, Karen and her team represent taxpayers in IRS and NYS tax matters. Karen is a frequent speaker on IRS and NYS tax issues for numerous professional groups on topics such as New York State residency, IRS and NYS collections, and more. Her knowledge and leadership have established her as a leading tax attorney in the NY area. She developed an interest in promoting financial literacy from her first-hand experience helping others with tax problems. 

Karen is the founder of Money Masters, Inc. and co-creator of Walter the Vault. Walter the Vault is an animated character who promotes financial literacy for children. He focuses on how to save reasonably, spend responsibly, invest wisely, give appropriately, and budget regularly. The ultimate goal is to teach children how to make responsible and informed decisions about money.

Karen is the co-founder and served as chairman of the board of directors for Commerce Plaza, Inc., a nonprofit company promoting financial literacy. Commerce Plaza introduces children to the business community in order to prepare students for employment and a successful future. “The Children’s Business Center” teaches elementary students about the free enterprise system, careers, economics, citizenship, and the general skills needed in the world of work. Through a hands-on and simulated work environment, students receive paychecks, made bank deposits, write checks, operate businesses, prepare cost sheets, think critically and work as a team.

Karen is a frequent speaker both on IRS and NYS tax issues for numerous professional groups, as well as on issues relating to financial literacy. She was recently interviewed by Fox5 on “Speaking to Children About Money” that aired during Financial Literacy Month. She is featured in news articles, on local cable television shows and radio programs, including Money Magazine, Long Island Business News, The New York Times, Newsday, The Trusted Professional, Channel 12 News, Channel 12 Job Line, Bloomberg Radio, Telecare “Family Comes First” and Bonnie D. Graham’s “Something to Talk About.”  

Karen is the past chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Tax Law Committee and a past executive board member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Nassau Chapter. She is also the past chair of the Financial Literacy Committee of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Nassau Chapter. She has been selected as a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer as a practitioner of Tax Law. Karen received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and her LL.M. (Taxation) from New York University School of Law.  Karen is admitted to the State Bar of New York and to the U.S. Tax Court. Karen is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Richard Weinstein

A business owner for over 30 years, Richard owns a New York City based electrical contracting firm. He currently holds three electrical licenses; New York City, Valley Stream, NY and Long Beach.

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE: Richard has designed and managed projects ranging from $1,000.00 to $1,000,000.00.

CREATIVE EXPERIENCE: Richard has a lifetime of experience writing stories and poems for children and adults. He has ongoing involvement in art, music, painting, poetry and dance. He has a passion for educating children of all ages. Along with his sister Karen Tenenbaum, Richard is a co-founder of Money Masters, Inc. Using Walter the Vault, a character created by Richard as a guide, Money Masters Inc. produces products, games and educational material designed to teach children about money. Richard, on behalf of Money Masters, Inc., recently published a booklet for use by Alex Brands, a large toy manufacturer, for inclusion in its line of money related toys.

EDUCATION: Richard received Bachelor of Science degrees in both Accounting and Economics from Brooklyn College.

PERSONAL: Richard is the proud father of two beautiful, successful daughters.

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