I'm the kind of person who really likes to have balance and symmetry in everything - including my budget. When months like this come along, it can really wreak havoc if you aren't prepared. It took me a while to figure out how to even out the hills and valleys of our finances.
We are fortunate that we are self employed and we both receive a salaried paycheck. We know exactly how much will be available every single week all year. Our bills however are all over the place. Some vary every month, some are paid quarterly, and others are annual expenses.
So how do we keep from freaking out when the expenses are more than our income? We set aside money for every expense category every week. This is often referred to as a sinking fund. So those three doozies that hit every November for us: annual car insurance, annual house insurance (including an umbrella policy), and annual house taxes (I don't do fall/spring payments), those things are planned for all year long. By time the bill arrives I already have the money set aside.
Now I'll start planning for next year. Divide the amount by 52 weeks and round up by a few dollars - 'cause let's face it, they aren't going down are they? For example, the house taxes were $3221. Divide that by 52 weeks and get $61.94, which needs to be set aside weekly. I round up to $65, maybe $70 if I think we will have a decent increase. That's it. I'm budgeting and ready for next years bill when it comes.
I do this with all of our expenses. I calculate the annual amount, divide by 52 weeks, round up, and go. Only a couple times did I have the expense climb higher than planned. I "stole" a little cushion in another category to cover the difference and recalculated the budget amount for the next year.
With this kind of plan, there's no need to panic when there are loads of money going out the door in one month. Every dollar has been budgeted. I still hate to see the money go, but it must be done. It's one of those wonderful things about being an adult: bills, bills, and more bills.