Danny Kofke has never taken a finance class in his life, yet somehow he’s learned how to flourish on a teacher’s salary.
“If I can do it, you can do it,” he said.
Kofke, a 42-year-old part-time special education teacher at Myers Elementary School in southeast Hall County, decided to become a personal finance author 10 years ago to help other middle-class individuals better understand and manage their money.
His latest book, “The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons for Prospering on a School Teacher’s Salary,” hit the market on Jan. 16.
“It’s something that brings me enjoyment, and it’s fun to be able to help others at the same time,” he said. “My main goal is hopefully to inspire others and just give them hope.”
In the 10 years since he started writing, Kofke has had three other books published.
“At (the) point when I wrote the first book, there was a study done,” he said. “And it showed that something like 50 percent of teachers leave the profession within five years, and that was partially due to low pay. I know firsthand how tough it can be, but yet I know how rewarding it is to be a teacher. It’s not always going to be easy, but if you want to stay in this field, there are ways financially that you can make it and do OK.”
He said his most recent book is probably his best one yet.
“I think with anything you get better over time,” Kofke said. “(The book) is more of a blueprint for financial success. I kind of list bullet points and step by step what you can do.”
While the book was written for teachers, he said other people should read it as well.
“It can benefit anyone just to have a sound financial plan,” he said. “It’s geared toward those middle-class earners that do have disposable income but make choices and don’t have any money left at the end of the month.”
He said the topic of his book — finance — shouldn’t scare people away.
“I just try to do it in (a) simple, easy-to-understand format because many people get bogged down and they feel like financial information is so confusing,” he said. “I just want people to realize it is not as hard as so many people make it to be. Once again, if this school teacher can do it, then others can do it as well.”
While Kofke has found success with his books, writing wasn’t always his plan.
He said the idea of publishing a book actually came from his fellow teachers.
“My wife, Tracey, just started staying at home (because) we just had our first child,” he said. “Other teachers were like, ‘Gosh, you guys really do well with money. You should write a book.’ I never even really gave it much thought. Then one weekend I was home alone and God just put the image in my head to start. I had no clue what would come, but here we are four books later.”
And while he said he doesn’t know what the future will hold, he likes what he’s doing now.
“I enjoy teaching, so right now I’m having fun with (that),” he said. “I never know what God has in store for me.”