Getting the most from your beginning teacher salary...

There are many teachers who struggle and live paycheck to paycheck. Because I walk in their shoes, I understand how difficult it can be to make it on a teacher's salary. To help combat this problem, I decided to write a book titled “How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s Salary.” A true how-to manual, complete with personal examples and formulas for success, my book is written by a teacher for teachers.

I have been a teacher for almost ten years and am proud to say that passion for the craft keeps me in the classroom but smart savings and basic understanding of financial principals have kept my wife (willingly!) at home with our children. Many find it hard to believe that one teacher can support a family of four, but “How To Survive” explains the steps necessary for other teachers to follow suit and save for life’s journeys.

People always talk about the cost of living and saving for retirement and I think many people will be shocked to learn that teachers too can achieve financial success. When you think of a single breadwinner providing for an entire family, you usually think of a wealthy executive. I want to break this perception and show people that teachers -and anyone willing to save wisely- can achieve this too!

I have taught kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes. I currently teach special needs children. I am married to a former teacher, Tracy. In the seven years that Tracy and I have been married we have lived in Europe for two years, visited ten countries, paid off two cars, are on track to retire at sixty as millionaires, and are even able to afford to have Tracy now stay home and raise our two young daughters - all on a teacher’s salary! In my book I describe how we accomplished these feats.

Here are the summaries of each of my chapters...

Chapter 1- Laying the Foundation

This chapter tells how the author first learned the value of money. At the age of 14, he worked hard during the summer delivering appliances to earn enough to buy a car.In addition, learn how Mr. Kofke and his wife paid off their $10,000 wedding and they applied and got accepted to teach abroad.

Chapter 2 - The Beginning of Financial Freedom

The author talks of his time teaching overseas and how he and his wife began using his budgeting system. He also shows how much you pay in interest when using a credit card.

Chapter 3 - Practice What you Preach- Our European Experience

Kofke tells how he and his wife traveled to 10 foreign countries during their 2 years teaching overseas. In addition, he tells how they returned to America with over $20,000 saved.

Chapter 4 - Moving Home

The author tells others some places to visit when they are looking to buy a house. He also shows why it is important to own your house, rather than rent, and how to pay off a 30 year mortgage in 20 years or less. In addition, Kofke shows how compound interest works and explains what Roth IRA's and 403b's are.

Chapter 5 - Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

This chapter tells why it is important to obtain disability insurance, why you are losing money by keeping your paycheck solely in a checking account, and how to budget a teacher's salary to make sure you are paid during the summer.

Chapter 6- First Comes Love, Next Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby in the Baby Carriage

Kofke tells how he and his family ultimately made over $1,500 by obtaining disability insurance and how to use the Family Medical Leave Act to your advantage.

Chapter 7 - The Summer of Hurricanes

The author tells how his family managed to benefit from hurricanes and how teachers can boost their incomes.

Chapter 8- A Summer of Change

Kofke tells how he and his family became debt free (except for their house) and his career change.

Chapter 9- A Change of Plans

The author re-discovers his love for teaching and prepares his family for a major change.

Chapter 10- Another Stroke of Good Fortune

Kofke describes how his family made a profit of around $100,000 by selling their first home.

Chapter 11- Help, I am Knee-Deep in Debt and Can't get out

The author shows how to pay-off $11,000 in debt and still save at least $81,000.

Although "How To Survive" is only 85 pages long, it is a very powerful and fact-filled 85 pages. I am confident it will help all who read it THRIVE on their teacher salaries too!

- Danny Kofke