For years I had terrible credit. I was the stereotypical college student who took out several lines of credit convinced that I would be raking in money upon graduation with whatever dream job I had in mind then. Eventually the reality of these burdens starts to set in and you struggle to keep up with the monthly payments. I was lucky when I finally found a reasonable job following years of grinding through hours of stocking clothes at a large department store. It was fulfilling to slowly start eating away the debt slowly each month as I would set aside a set amount out of each paycheck I received. The day I finally became free of credit card debt was as exciting as something as big as my college graduation. My mind felt a wave of relief and in part I felt like I had reached an important milestone in my development as a human being. When I eventually bought a house a few years later, I had enough credit to afford an upgrade on the home’s central heating and cooling system. The existing air conditioner and furnace were over 20 years old and desperately needed to be replaced. Because of my financial discipline, I could afford a line of credit to buy the most energy efficient heating and cooling system that was within a modest budget. The savings each month on electricity costs were projected to be high enough to offset the cost of the new system within just three to four years worth of use. I am going to do everything within my power to maintain this amazing machine so it lasts for decades to come.