Is it normal to have these (financial) decisions be last-minute?
Yes it is.
Have your hand-over documentation ready by the last week. Have all your personal belongings out by the beginning of the last week.
Based on past experiences, if the person you report to does not know, or cannot/will not tell you, then presume the worst and that you will be cut loose when the time is up. The worst example I experienced of this was in a financial corporation (it was regulated as a bank yet took no deposits) and they never told contractors that they were let go. You get to work on Monday and your card won't let you in. The armed guards downstairs would let you know you were history and to get lost. Personal belongings left at your desk were routinely picked over by the survivors, and it was well known that getting caught discussing looking for another job was your last day at work (being a bank, all calls in/out were recorded). Extremely few companies are that Machievellian, but I knew they were going in, and they paid a steep premium to get developers because of their rep.
That being said, I've also had some situations where a renewal had not been decided upon by the folks above the person I reported to until the weekend after what I thought was my last day. Things can go either way. This is one of the risks of contracting.
? Further, this is my first contract-based employment, is this a normal thing to deal with?
Yes it is. Hiring contract workers makes for agile staffing decisionmaking at the managerial level.
it is difficult to plan for the future when you're unsure of your employment status two months
If this uncertainty is bothering you, then you should not be a contractor.