Guest Blog from Sue Suttich: "401(k) = Cha Ching!"

Jan 19, 2017
Lesson Idea, Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers, NGPF Fellows

When she was at Summer Institute 2016, NGPF Fellow Sue Suttich told us about the “Cha-Ching” policy she uses in her classroom. Now, as a follow-up, she’s providing all of you with this catchy strategy she implements throughout the year to help her students remember the most important personal finance concepts. Thanks for sharing, Sue!


At the summer institute I shared my tip on getting my students to remember a concept. I give them a quick response to repeat back if they hear the concept. For instance, when I teach them about 401k’s and talk about how it is free money, how important it is to participate in it, how lucky they are if they work for a company that has one, etc. Then I tell them every time they hear me say 401k they must respond “Cha Ching” as free money is a cool thing and everyone must participate in a 401k! Then we practice it a few times with everyone having to yell “Cha Ching” as I say 401k. It works! I am confident that all my students know what a 401k is and that they will participate in one if given the chance! I believe the more we can repeat something, especially if you make students say it out loud, the more likely they will be to remember it.

Well, I have been coming up with other sayings for important concepts and once again my students have to yell something if I say the word. We go over a few at the beginning of each class for repetition so I can feel confident if they learn nothing else from my class at least they will remember these few concepts. I am even putting these sayings on my final! (They will ace it I am sure)

So if you want to try a few in your class here goes:

401k: Cha Ching

Class Mantra: Pay Yourself First

720 credit score: Dateable

Interest: Make it, don’t pay it

Needs vs Wants: Know the difference

Compound Interest: 8th wonder of the world

Budget: Gotta do it, Gotta follow it

Car Insurance: It’s the law

Emergency Fund: Must Have

Save for Retirement-No brainer

3 months expenses in a saving account: Smart Move

Renters Insurance: Got it

Index funds: Yes, please

I am constantly working on others and would love to hear some you might have for the concepts you cover in class.

Sue Suttich

About the Author

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.

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