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Q: My wife plans to stay at home with our baby for a couple of years. How can we budget accordingly?

Diana says....
First, spread the good news! Make a list of items that you need for the baby and share it with your family and friends. People will appreciate knowing what you need and helping you out. As for budgeting, create a separate “home” account right away for unexpected expenses that may arise that will impact you more now that you’re down to one salary. Even $50 to $100 a month will go a long way to covering the surprises (e.g., car and furnace breakdowns) that you didn’t count on—and the ones you did, like all those diapers!

Diana Cawfield is an award-winning financial writer with more than 10 years experience. Send her your questions here.