purposeful with money

I’d like to be more purposeful with my / our money. So that when the visa bill comes, I’m not like. . . what? And, oh yes, the property taxes are due. We’ll have to take from savings. But, I also feel very restricted by keeping a budget and that seems to be the only way I’ve known to not get surprises and be planned. And I tell myself that it will take too much time. Please help!