Joe Mihalic is a changed man. In 2011, he led the typical the Harvard-MBA lifestyle, with a lucrative job at a big tech company, a house in the suburbs, two cars and a motorcycle, and frequent travel—but he felt trapped. “I wasn’t working at a company I loved or in a job I loved. I wasn’t living a life I loved,” Joe says. So he changed his life drastically, becoming a minimalist. And that decision led him to pay off $90,000 in student loan debt in just seven months.
Joe, who lives in Austin, Texas, chronicled his journey to payoff success in his blog No More Harvard Debt. His posts resonated with many young grads, and his blog went viral in 2012. Now debt-free and an operations manager at a company he loves, Joe says he’s found inner peace. But he hasn’t let go of his frugal lifestyle— his work shoes attest to that. While paying down his loans, he wore the same shoes, even as holes appeared in them. Today, he won’t buy a new pair of shoes until the soles wear out.
Joe didn’t take every possible road to pay off his student loans—for example, he didn’t refinance, or take advantage of a student loan forgiveness program. But his “all in” approach offers many takeaways for MBA grads facing mortgage-sized loan debt.Read more