Special Ed Teacher and Personal Finance Author

Published On: January 16th, 2018·By ·

personal finance authorMeet Danny Kofke.

He's been on an interesting ride of late. He's a special education teacher who began writing about personal finance. His books led to appearances on over 600 TV and radio shows, including CNN's Newsroom, Fox & Friends, The CBS Early Show, and many others. To top that off, he has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, and Money Magazine.

You can learn more about Danny at his Wealthy Teacher website. Or, check out one of his books, A Simple Book of Financial Wisdom: Teacher Yourself (and Your Kids) How to Live Wealthy with Little Money. In 2018, he'll be publishing The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons for Prospering on a School Teacher's Salary.


Your Side Gig.
I am a personal finance author of three books (my fourth one — The Wealthy Teacher: Lessons for Prospering on a School Teacher's Salary — will be released in early 2018). I have had some success with my books that have brought in a little extra income (about $9,000 from the books) but, most importantly, they have opened doors for me. I left teaching for a few years and was a personal finance adviser for a company that oversaw the supplemental retirement plan for teachers in some counties in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee. I would travel to school districts and help teachers plan for retirement. This job led to a 45 percent raise from what I was making teaching and would not have happened without my side gig of being an author.

Tell us a little about your work.
Funny, but I have written all of my books from my living room — I don't have an office! I get up early (around 4 a.m.) before my kids are up and the school day begins and write for an hour or so.

What led you to work outside the classroom?
My wife, Tracy (also a teacher), did well with managing our money and other teachers suggested I write a book. This was in 2005 and I decided to give it a shot.

What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do?
Follow your passions. I never intended on having a side gig — I just enjoyed personal finance and helping others. When I am working on my books, it never feels like work. That is important since I have a full-time teaching job!

What's the biggest mistake you've made and what did you learn?
I can't really say I have made any mistakes when it comes to my side gig. I did not have any expectations so it has all been a bonus.

If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be?
Always live below your means.

If your FUTURE self in 20 years could look back at where you are today, what advice might the Future You offer the Current You?
Continue to follow your passions, but keep your day job so your side gig remains fun.

Which resources do you rely on the most?
CNN News and Fox News.

When are you the happiest?
When I am spending time with my family.

Do you have a favorite quote or expression?
Don't worry, be happy.

personal finance authorWhat 2-3 Books Do You Consider Must Reads?
The Millionaire Next Door, The Automatic Millionaire, and The Traveler's Gift.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try?
No regrets so far.

You're being shot at dawn; what's your last dinner request?
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

What's your next goal?
To expand my influence and hopefully be able to teach financial literacy full-time in some capacity.


What's one additional question we should ask and how would you respond?
What is one piece of financial advice that is timeless? Spend less than you earn.


This teacher profile is part of SimpleK12's Extra Teacher Income series, where we interview educators about the things they're doing outside of the classroom, for both enjoyment and also a little bit of cash. To read more in this series go here, or to suggest your own story and a possible profile, go here.

If you have any questions for Danny or anything else related to this topic (and there will be more extra teacher income profiles and stories coming soon), please leave them below in the Comments.

For a different extra teacher income story, check on what Heather Brandon  (blogging and educational consulting) is up to.

Or, follow along with full-time college prof, Dustin York, and his many side gigs.

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