I have written before about the decade I spent getting out of credit card debt. It was a slow, very painful process, and I have tried my level best to not go back to that life*. It's not always possible because emergencies do happen, but I've been fairly lucky overall.
The process I used to get out of debt was the "snowball" method where you consolidate as much as you can into lower-interest debt, then pay off the remainder by making minimum payments on everything except your smallest balance. On that account, you throw the maximum amount of money you can to get it paid off. Then you move to your next smallest balance. And so on. Until finally you're on the low-interest mega-balance, which you put every last cent into paying down.
I think the process took just over seven years, where I only spent money on the absolute bare essentials... eating and living as cheaply as possible so I had the most money to pay off debt.
Back then I used a spreadsheet to budget and plan.
Now I use financial apps which link to your various accounts and estimate your bills so you can get an overview of how much money you have and how much you owe. They're really handy.
For the longest time I used Truebill, but they started sending my financial data unencrypted through the email and said "Oopsies, there's no way to stop this from happening," so I moved on to Mint which had been bought out by Intuit. Mint is a fucking abhorrent app. I hate it with every fiber of my being. You can't turn off notification, which are constant and annoying. You also can't turn off ads, which are also constant and annoying. But it's free... so whatever. I deal with it.
Except now Intuit is shutting down Mint, so I'll be saying goodbye. Because it's so shitty, I won't miss it. What I will miss is having a way of tracking my finances that's free. Rocket Mortgage bought out Truebill, so what I may do is go back to that to see if the privacy bullshit has been cleared up. So long as you don't update more than daily, it's free.
Or maybe I'll move on to a paid solution and see if it's worth it to me. I mean, anything is worth not going into debt again... I just mean that it's worth not going back to a spreadshet.
*Well, except for my mortgage, because it's actually cheaper to go into debt buying a house than it is to rent now-a-days.