Personally, I'm a compulsive budgeter. I know exactly how much I have where and how I need to use it for bills, necessities (like tattoos), and fun. I'm sure my bank is monitoring my Internet activity and sending me recommendations for more financial tools.
Here's why: I was poor as hell in college. Got into some bad debt with credit card offers ("Sign up for this card and get a free shower radio!!), and just didn't understand how to balance a check book/control spending. After college, I got into more bad debt with financing offers from Aaronson (now bankrupt and gone) Furniture. Further debt from consolidation loans too. I was a debt monster. But that was nothing compared to a former roommate that was $50,000 in to credit cards before she graduated. Yikes!
Anyway, when I had the opportunity and was finally making a reasonable salary, I paid it down. Month by month. Shopped at the discount grocery stores, made friends with bartenders (read: "dated a lot of bartenders"), and ate Ramen like it was going out of style.
Now, financially solvent, I have found the below advice to be most beneficial. Listen carefully. It's important.